7 Tips for Acclimating to Life in Antigua and Barbuda

Guest Author


Statistics show that there has been a 1.02% increase in the population of Antigua and Barbuda from 2018 to 2019. This can be partly attributed to the growing community of expats on the island.

With the region’s second citizenship program, a considerable number of foreigners have decided to split their lives between their original home countries and this popular holiday destination.

But apart from dual citizens who enjoy traveling in and out of Antigua often, some have decided to make the islands their permanent home. They say, with flourishing businesses, lower cost of living, and ideal holiday weather 95 percent of the year, why leave?

Indeed, a lot of foreigners are living their ideal life in Antigua. Therefore, it’s no wonder a lot of people who come here for a holiday are attracted to the idea of applying for second citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda.

It’s important to note, however, that life here is no eternal holiday. Life on the islands is no resort-living every day — there are also some challenges you will need to face. So, if you are seriously considering uprooting your life from your home country and transplanting it here, be prepared for some serious acclimation. Here are some tips.

1. Invest in a high-quality HVAC system for your home.

You may find that you can only withstand tropical weather for several hours a day and not all day, every day. So, make your home the perfect retreat by keeping it cool.

Install a high-quality HVAC system for your house to cool and protect you from the intense heat and humidity of the outdoors, especially during the long dry season.

2. Make your wardrobe all about light and breathable material.

Cotton, linen, rayon, and denim or chambray should make up your wardrobe. Opt for other materials, and you are likely to feel more heated every time you head out.

A lot of expats say that they have experienced a severe case of rashes by not “weatherproofing” their wardrobe. So, avoid a bad case of itching by wearing the right kind of clothes. Plus, make sure that you also have a big bottle of baby powder to keep your skin dry.

3. Keep the critters out.

Antigua and Barbuda boast virgin forests, and a lot of homes, be they small cottages, villas, or mansions, have these natural forests for their backyard. This is why all households have to deal with creepy flyers and crawlers on the daily.

Therefore, keeping insects and rodents out of your home is a full-time commitment. Make sure to install screens for your windows and doors. At the same time, you may want to purchase an electric bug zapper for your home. And, don’t forget to place covers on potential pest entry points into your home.

These implements will help you deal with everything, from mosquitoes to bees, ticks, hornets, black flies, huge spiders, lizards, and coco rats.

4. Learn the lingo.

Most Antiguans speak good English, but they have a lot of slang, and their pronunciation has that island rhythm, which can be a challenge to understand at first. You will also find that Antiguan English Creole sounds quite different from Barbudan English Creole.

So, it will help a great deal to learn the vernacular even if it’s fundamentally English to avoid misunderstandings. And, of course, you want to know the double meaning of certain words. You don’t want to look clueless especially when you hit local establishments or set up your own business.

5. Get yourself a 4×4.

Public transportation and taxis are reliable enough in Antigua and Barbuda. But, if you are a stickler for time and you want to be as comfortable as possible, you need your own vehicle.

Do not just go for any regular car, though. The best option is a 4×4 because the roads in Antigua and Barbuda can prove to be a challenge to tackle. Plus, thunderstorms (typically experienced from June to November) often lead to flooding in the country’s main thoroughfares. A 4×4 is simply the most reliable vehicle to use.


6. Take it slow.

The Caribbean region is known for its relaxed pace of life. This is the leading reason why stressed people choose to come here for the holidays and burned-out professionals move here.

If you are from a highly competitive environment where sticking to time was not an advantage but a way of life, you may find living in Antigua and Barbuda a tad frustrating at first. Locals never rush for anything, and relaxation is a way of life.

Thus, for more trivial things, learn to take it slow. This will make dealing with people so much easier. But, if you intend to build a company here, don’t worry about the slower beat of the drum that locals follow. In the right situations, they do not mind making the necessary adjustments.

7. For anything to be done fast, do it yourself.

For urgent concerns, you’re better off taking care of them yourself. So, invest in power tools and other solutions for convenience.

And, perhaps, find foreign workers on the island that you can hire for specific jobs. If they work independently, they are likely to be more reliable in upholding schedule requirements. Learn to tap into the foreign community to which you belong if you really need things to be done on time.

Better yet, hire teachable locals and impart your own culture of punctuality for work integrity. If you want to see change, you need to be the one to promote it.

Although Antigua and Barbuda look like an earthly version of paradise, it is not perfect, just like any other country.

But, it surely has the makings of the home you have always dreamed of. A few adjustments here and there are nothing, especially when you consider the fantastic benefits of citizenship here, and the potential the country holds for a different and better quality of life.

Are you ready to become a citizen of this tropical paradise?

Learn more about the second citizenship by investment program Antigua and Barbuda offers. Through this program, you can have your dual citizenship in just a matter of months and be on your way to creating the life of your fantasies.


Kal Kennard is a Partner at Citizens International, a white-glove specialist firm offering private client services necessary for citizenship investment into the Caribbean, Canada and Europe. Based in the Caribbean for the past 15 years, she is an experienced consultant who works directly with many professional partners and advises clients worldwide.