November Dividend Income Update
This month, we spent a week on the beautiful island of Barbados. I was first introduced to this island as a child when my dad began working at an airline called Wardair. One of the perks of the job was employee passes, which led to traveling throughout the Caribbean.
Over the course of those travels, my parents taught me many lessons on frugality, for instance:
Go off the beaten path. Look for hidden gems, such as hotels, B&Bs, and restaurants, outside the typical tourist area as they will be less crowded and less expensive.
Cook your own meals. Eating out can be costly, especially if you are paying for three meals a day. Plus it’s fun to shop for food at the local markets. If you do decide to splurge on a meal in a restaurant, lunch is usually a better option. The selection is similar to the dinner menu but often at half the cost.
Travel light. Today with low-cost airlines and having to pay for practically everything, the fee for checking luggage can add up quickly. It’s also not worth the hassle or time of waiting to retrieve your bags. It also helps to avoid overspending on souvenirs as there’s usually no room for extras in your carry-on.
Travel off-season. This is by far the easiest way to save money when traveling. The weather may not be ideal but given everything will be less crowded, you should be able to see and do more as compared to going during the busy school holiday periods.
Use public transportation. Hopping on a bus or train is usually a better option than renting a car if you want to save money. If you do decide to rent a car, make sure to begin checking prices well in advance of your trip. You can always book a car and then cancel if a cheaper option becomes available. Make sure to check with your current auto insurance provider to see if you are covered (usually this only applies to rentals in the U.S. and costs very little to add to your current insurance - ours is an additional $30/annually added to our policy.) Otherwise, check to see if your travel credit card provides insurance. Take note that most travel cards that provide auto insurance DO NOT cover damages to other vehicles or liability insurance. This is something we found out after calling our credit card company and therefore needed to buy liability insurance when we picked up the car. It cost us $12/day.
Plan when you’ll see the sights. If you happen to be on the beaten path like most other tourists and you want to see the top attractions like everyone else, make sure you do your research. Know what day and time are the best to visit so you don’t have to fight with crowds.
Cost Breakdown - Barbados, November 2022
As this was our first trip post-lockdown (other than visiting our daughter in Vancouver in March), despite following my parents' frugal travel lessons, we spent more on this week’s holiday than we normally do. It was still a good deal in comparison to regular seasonal prices but certainly not as economical as we would have liked.
In an unorthodox fashion, we purchased a package through Air Canada Vacations (hotel + flights) staying at the Divi Southwinds in the St Lawrence Gap. The cost per person for the package was $1,629 (taxes in).
The Divi was our top choice because every room comes with a kitchenette and this would allow us to cook our own meals. Groceries were purchased at the Clifton Market which had a wide variety of food items, and fresh fish was bought daily at the Oistins Fish Market straight off the boat. We also ate out 4 times during the week - 3 suppers and 1 lunch.
Here’s a breakdown of what our 1 week in Barbados cost:
Air Canada Vacations package with air and hotel $1629 CDN x 2
Weekly car rental ~$392.35 CDN ($295 USD)
Gas $60 CDN
Groceries, alcohol, and eating out for 3 people $1,646.77 CDN (3 people here, not 2)
Admission to the Codrington College grounds $10 CDN per person x 3
Three people… because our daughter flew in from Vancouver at the last minute and slept on our pull-out sofa bed. She found the best travel deal of all… pay for a flight, surprise Mum and Dad, and then let them pay for everything else!
All in, our week away cost us $5,387. This is more than we usually spend on a week's holiday, and is about $1,200 more than we spent for a week in Barbados in 2019. Granted, we didn’t have a third person with us then, but still, in 2019 we rented a private oceanfront villa on the West Coast!
I know we could have done this trip much cheaper but we had been dreaming of a beach holiday and simply jumped at the chance to go.
Have you visited Barbados, and if so, where is your favourite spot?
For some additional travel tips, check out Mark Seed’s latest weekend reading at My Own Advisor.com
Portfolio and Market Musings
I felt a little out of the loop this month and didn’t really pay much attention to the markets. It's amazing what putting your feet in the sand and looking out at the ocean can do. While I enjoyed a rum punch under a palapa, Algonquin Power went down the toilet in a matter of a day. When I came home I sold my position a few days later at a big loss - more on that later...
For now, here are the November income highlights:
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