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Antigua and Barbuda is a twin island state in the Eastern Caribbean known primarily for having lots of beaches. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of living on the amazing Caribbean island of Antigua & Barbuda.

The pros of living in Antigua and Barbuda are the warm weather, easy access to international cities with a beach for every day of the year. Alternatively, the cons of living on the island are its high cost of living, the potential loss of privacy and the risk of natural disasters such as hurricanes.

Read on for further details of the advantages and drawbacks of living in Antigua & Barbuda from my visit. In addition, an Antiguan contributed to the creation of this article.

Pros of Living In Antigua & Barbuda

Natural & Beautiful Scenery

Antigua & Barbuda is well known as the island in the Caribbean with 365 beaches. That is a beach for each day of the year. In addition, the caves at Hells Gate Island are breath taking.

Their unique shapes and sizes are mesmerizing. When visiting the caves, do wear strong and solid shoes for safety purposes.

Antigua & Barbuda and its archaeological sites were recognized as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2016.

The Dockyard was constructed by European Nations as they battled to control sugar producing nations in the Eastern Caribbean.

Hell's Gate, Antigua

Antigua & Barbuda Has A Stable Currency

The official currency of Antigua & Barbuda is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar which has been pegged to the US (United States) dollar since July 7th, 1976 at a rate of USD $1 to XCD $2.70.

This currency is also shared by seven other Eastern Caribbean islands and is managed through a regional central bank which is based in St Kitts.

The US dollar is readily accepted by businesses on the island. However, expect to get change in the XCD dollar.

As with every other country, at times a business may be skeptical to accept larger currencies but the smaller denominations are easy to spend around the island. Worn and torn notes are usually rejected by businesses.

Easy Access To Neighboring Islands

The northern Caribbean islands are much closer to each other than the Southern Caribbean islands. The flight from Antigua to St Kitts is approximately 30 minutes.

There is a ferry service to the neighboring island of Monsterrat. The ferry named Jayden Sun departs from Heritage Quay from 8: 30 am and returns 5 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays weekly. The price of the ferry is approximately XCD$300.

Easy Access To International Cities

Several major international airlines fly directly to and from Antigua and Barbuda from the USA, UK, Canada and Europe.

These airlines include Delta, Jet Blue, United, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Condor and Sunwing Airlines.

Antigua and Barbuda

Friendly People

The islands are very small. The population of Antigua and Barbuda, according to Worldometer, is 98,928. Living on the island you will still experience community spirit and togetherness. 

On the island, neighbors look out for each other and take an active role in raising children in the villages. People still share with one another. For example, if you are walking on the island, it is not uncommon for someone to stop and offer you a ride.

The Island Is Safe

Generally, Antigua and Barbuda is a safe island. According to the US Department State, Overseas Advisory Council based on a 2018 crime report per 100,000 citizens,  murders on the island was 12. There were 2 kidnappings, 26 residential burglaries and 24 vehicle related thefts that same year.

I felt extremely safe walking in the city during the day and having visited countless stores in town by myself.

Nevertheless, due care must be taken as in any other country. Visitors should avoid walking in secluded areas at nights and take only authorized taxis.

Cons of Living In Antigua & Barbuda

There Could Be A Loss Of Privacy

While there is a great sense of community which can be helpful, the drawback to this is that there is a loss of privacy.

In small villages and communities where everyone knows everyone, people may tend to overstep which can be detrimental to relationships and families, hence a measure of privacy could be loss.

Limited Access To Specialized Goods

Being a small island state means that local access to popular products and services is limited when compared to developed countries.

If you require certain medical expertise, overseas travel may be necessary to neighboring islands such as Barbados and Puerto Rico.

While access to goods and services is limited, there has been several new businesses that facilitate easy online shopping and shipping to the island.  One such business is Ezone located on Airport Road.

Threat of Natural Disasters

There is a relatively low risk of hurricanes hitting Antigua & Barbuda. The last hurricane that significantly impacted the island was hurricane Irma on September 6th, 2017.

The eye of the storm passed directly over Barbuda.  In addition, hurricane Maria affected the island on September 18th, 2017.

Old Buildings At Fort James, Antigua

High Cost of Living

Generally the cost of living in Antigua and Barbuda is higher than the Southern Eastern Caribbean islands.

During my trip to Antigua, in some cases the costs of food and drink were triple the amount that the same meal would cost in Caribbean islands such as St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada.

According to Global Citizen Solutions, the cost of living in Antigua & Barbuda is about 20% cheaper than the USA and the UK.

Final Thoughts

As a general rule, the pros of living in Antigua and Barbuda are that the island is beautiful, has a stable currency, safe with stunning views and many beaches. Alternatively, the cons of living on the island are the threat of natural disasters, potential loss of privacy and the high cost of living.

If you are contemplating traveling to Antigua & Barbuda or the rest of the Caribbean, cruising is an affordable option to consider. I have recently completed an informative course by cruise specialist, Emma Cruises which you should check out titled How To Cruise For Less.

This course provides detail tips and techniques on how to save money while cruising onboard, onshore as well as the importance of insurance. So if you if you are considering a cruise for your next Caribbean vacation, check out How To Cruise For Less.

Need More Information?

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