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How expensive is Antigua?

Level Contributor
137 posts
1 review
How expensive is Antigua?

How expensive is Antigua?

My husband and I are staying all inclusive at the Jolly Beach...I realize it is different for everyone, but I don't have a clue how much spending money to take; any suggestions? We are all inclusive and will probably venture off the resort for a meal or two as well as a couple of excursions, and will be wanting to bring back a souvenir or two for our teenaged kids (something from the local beach vendors/market).

I would rather take EC dollars than change from Cdn to USD and then to EC but don't want to convert more than I need before I go to avoid loosing on converting back to CDN when we get home. If we take $400 or $500 EC and have a CDN credit card with us for booking excursions would that appear to be sufficient/work?

Thanks :)

Destination Expert
for Nevis
Level Contributor
7,688 posts
9 reviews
1. Re: How expensive is Antigua?

Short answer - $400EC to $500EC is not a lot of "cash" money - it's the equivalent of around $150CDN to $185CDN - so it may not last you very long if you use it for excursions and or the occasional meals you have off resort.

Credit Cards (Visa and MasterCard) are widely accepted around the island.

If you have an ATM bring that also - you can draw out $EC cash at one of the local bank' ATM's if you need more cash.

Guelph, Canada
Level Contributor
2,505 posts
17 reviews
2. Re: How expensive is Antigua?

We found prices in Antigua to be similar to those in Canada for most things (perhaps a little more expensive). If you use your cash only for a couple of meals you should be fine. If you want more cash, there are a couple of ATMs in Jolly Harbour (or were when we were there a bit over a year ago). There is also a Royal Bank and a Scotiabank in St. John's.

Rockport, Texas
Level Contributor
332 posts
3 reviews
3. Re: How expensive is Antigua?

A large portion of folks go AI so the only other unknown expenses are tours and shopping. If you know the AI cost you can control the rest pretty much.

King's Lynn, United...
Level Contributor
3 posts
48 reviews
4. Re: How expensive is Antigua?

should we go room only or A/I ?? we like to explore the places we go on holiday and feel limited if we go A/I.

any recent experiences would be appreciated

Derbyshire Dame
Level Contributor
540 posts
85 reviews
5. Re: How expensive is Antigua?

We went A/I to the Jolly Beach Resort in September after getting a VERY good deal on the price with Virgin.

We went to the supermarket at Jolly Harbour and were shocked at how high the prices were there. For example we thought we'd buy some shower gel as none was provided in the room, only soap and shampoo. The equivalent of a UK supermarket basic brand worked out around £6 so we managed without! We were also planning on buying sweets and biscuits for my husband's workplace but didn't.

We prefer A/I as you can then budget and control your spending money; if the holiday is cheap enough then we don't begrudge drinks and meals out.


Destination Expert
for St. John's, Antigua
Level Contributor
6,699 posts
103 reviews
6. Re: How expensive is Antigua?

Not all prices are high though W-D! It very depends on how smart you shop, and go for local / regional brands rather than imports, especially those from Europe.

As breakfast can be disproportionately expensive, I tend to recommend either going for a villa (often cheaper than even r/o) where you can cater some of your own meals, or look for a B&B rate.

Bear in mind that when you stay AI, almost none of the price you've paid actually reaches the island. Which is a bigger deal than it might at first seem. Without that money coming in, wages are kept low and resorts keep the number of staff as low as they can. Then there are few customers for local restaurants, bars and shops, and a culture of many tourists being disinclined to spend additional money outside the resort as they want to get as much 'value' as possible from the AI deal.

It was a very different place in the days when people visited resorts other than their own (and were welcome there!), went out for lunch and dinner, and didn't worry about missing a meal or drink they'd already paid for. I think people also saw a lot more of the places they visit than they do now.

This doesn't, of course, apply just to Antigua and the Caribbean, but to a lot of AI destinations. I have to say, having seen some of what happens when young people on AI holidays have unlimited access to cheap (and often very low grade) alcohol, I'd love to see it abolished altogether. I think good old half board worked very well for most people.

Grumpy old woman moment over!

Level Contributor
967 posts
14 reviews
7. Re: How expensive is Antigua?

Oh, mizgeorge! Where would we be without your wealth of knowledge and insight? You can always be relied upon to give an accurate answer and interesting information.

Would love to buy you a drink when we are in Antigua in two weeks time - I will look out for that familiar face poking out from the water! However, we will be at St. James Club and around Falmouth Harbour a lot, so don't think we are likely to bump into you, but you never know - we are bound to visit the west coast at some time.

From a fellow grumpy old woman!

8. Re: How expensive is Antigua?

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