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Tobago Travel Tips

Tobago travel tips on money saving, personal safety, sightseeing, and enjoying your trip to the fullest from InfoHub suppliers and community members.

Voltage
Submitted by M20487
Voltage is mostly 110 V. If your appliance is made for 220V it can still be damaged. You should use a transformer unless it has a switch to change the voltage. Wall outlets are made for American plugs.

All other countries should bring adapter plugs.
Be careful with European hair dryers! They can plunge your accommodation into sudden darkness if you forget to switch from 220 to 110! The smell after is also quite bad!
Vaccinations and medication
Submitted by M20487
Vaccinations: you don’t need any; just get a tetanus and polio booster. If you depend on any medications, bring them with you, you cannot rely that a pharmacy has in stock exactly the type and form you need.
Topless
Submitted by M20487
Topless? Never ever ever in Tobago!! Also swimwear is inappropriate when in town or in restaurants and bars - this is considered rude; you could be denied access or be treated disrespectfully. Some bars, restaurants and shops don't allow shorts, bareback (for men), baseball caps, muscle shirts etc.
Time difference
Submitted by M20487
Toabgo-Europe: Winter time difference is 5 hours, summer time difference 6 hours earlier than in Europe with the exception of England where you have 4 hours/5 hours difference.
In Tobago it's the same time as in New York.
Phone and cell phone service
Submitted by M20487
Telephone and cell phones: the overseas code to European countries starts with 011, followed by the country code, then the city code without the 0, and then the phone number. One (1) is the country code for the USA. Direct calls to Europe and elsewhere are no problem.

Coin phones are scarce; it is better to buy a phone card. You get the cards in supermarkets, other shops or directly at TSTT (Telecommunication T&T). Practical for oversea calls are the "companion cards", where you have an own ... view more account, your own PIN number and so forth - detailed instructions are written on the back of the card. You can also use them to make calls from a private phone; the fees will not appear on the bill of the owner. Some European cell phones function in Tobago. You have to go to the local telephone company in Scarborough (TSTT) to put everything in place.
Most American cell phones are no problem.

Sun protection and medication
Submitted by M20487
Buy good sun lotion/sun block with a very high protection factor; you can get sunburn even on a cloudy day or when sitting in the shade under a tree. Otherwise bring the usual basic medication supply for traveling - that's enough.
Single ladies traveling
Submitted by M20487
Single ladies: The island is still quite safe if you listen to your instincts and don't do things you wouldn't do at home either. Due to the increase of tourism you will, of course, be exposed to increased harassment but normally it doesn't get too bad or physical. The former old time respect towards a lady is fading.

I think that both sides are to blame for that. However, most Tobagonians will still accept a brief strong "no" (without a friendly smile).
Never take hitchhikers. Getting ... view more 'involved' with a Tobagonian male can be tricky. Many still think that this means that from now on the foreign lady is exclusively 'theirs'(..as long as she's in Tobago, of course). After, well, there will be another one...
Religion and churches
Submitted by M20487
There is an abundant variety of religious groups in Tobago. To name just a few: Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists, Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Pentecostals, Latter Day Saints and many more. Tobago is also a favorite outlet for all kind of American churches to send their missionaries, in suit and tie complete with leather briefcases, (the loudspeakers are on the house) to yell at the gullible population.

Tobagonians love to go to church and the longer and bloodier ... view more the sermon the better. Many just love to sing gospels, meet neighbors and friends, exchange gossip and in general socialize. If you want to visit a church feel free to do so, you are always welcome and you can leave at any time (the meetings in general last between 3 to 4 hours).

Please note: some churches welcome visitors in front of the congregation e.g. the Pentecostals.

Service and standard
Submitted by M20487
Service in relation to price paid sometimes leaves to be desired, not because you are a tourist but as a general rule. If you are not satisfied say so and don't go there again. When dealing with authorities stay polite, keep your calm and don't throw a wobbly. Just keep in mind that we residents have to deal daily with some of those grumpy individuals.
We DO throw a wobbly sometimes.
Post office and mail service
Submitted by M20487
The Post office is located in the wharf building in Scarborough and normally opens Monday to Friday from 8 am. As the mail is exceedingly slow, don't be surprised if your friends tell you they have never received your postcard. The postcards for sale in the post office are quite nice compared to those in some other shops.

I recently experienced a personal record of a postcard, sent to me from Egypt. I received it on the 5 September. My friend was in Egypt in January. On the other hand: we don't know ... view more about the Egyptian mail system now, do we?
Police
Submitted by M20487
The emergency number is "999" and is sometimes used for all types of complaints including small misdemeanors. The "999" squad are patrolling police cars, which drive along the highway, checking residential areas and beaches.

Police stations are located in Scarborough, Crown Point, Carnbee, Moriah, Roxborough and Charlotteville. Now and then you will experience traffic controls or road blocks, especially on busy weekends. If you are driving a rental car always carry your driver's license, ... view more your rental contract and the car insurance papers. Speed controls exist (a rather senseless action but nice to help the police fund): the police often hide about half a mile before the entrance to the Hilton Hotel when approaching on the highway from Scarborough.

They are lurking behind the bushes to the left and right of the highway and burst out if a car approaches too fast (they measure it by instinct, not with instruments). Beware if oncoming traffic is driving suspiciously slow, if you allow some fool to overtake will see what happens. Alcohol - in general "don't drink and drive"! Follow that rule as you are probably lacking any relatives in the police force. An alcohol level of 1 or 2 beers is okay. We DO have a breathalyzer now!

Opening hours
Submitted by M20487
Opening Hours:
Supermarkets: Monday to Saturday open any time between 8 am to 9 am and close between 7 pm and 9 pm. Sundays and public holidays from about 9 am to midday.

Banks: Monday to Thursday 8 am to 2 pm or 3 pm (according to the bank), Friday 8 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm to 5 pm., Sundays and public holidays closed.

Authorities: Monday to Friday open between 8 am or 9 am and close between 3 pm and 4 pm, Sundays and public holidays closed.

Drugstores: Monday to Friday (some also Saturdays) open ... view more between 8 am to 9 am and close at 4 pm. Drugstores are also pharmacies; the pharmaceutical section is usually located in the back part of the store.

Doctors: normally open Monday to Friday between 9 am and 10 am, some also make house calls, ask "Sunbird" or your host. Car mechanics: Monday to Saturday from 8 am until…
Gas stations: (2 in Scarborough, 1 in Crown Point, 1 in Plymouth, 1 in Carnbee, 1 in Roxborough, 1 in Charlotteville) Monday to Saturday open from 6 am to 9 pm, the big one in Scarbrough also longer; Sundays and public holidays: 1 in Scarborough, Carnbee and Plymouth from 6 am to 2 pm.

Getting married in Tobago
Submitted by M20487
If you want to get married in Tobago you have to be in the country for at least 3 days. You will need a valid passport, your birth certificate and two witnesses. If you are divorced or widowed take the relevant papers with you as well (in the multilingual version unless it's in English anyway).

You can get married at the registry office in Scarborough. Alas, Mr. Jordan has retired, who has been there for so long that nobody remembers any more who was there before him. Jordan was an senior professional with ... view more a tendency to heartbreaking long speeches, with poetic flourishes. He loved attend wedding parties...

There is a fee of a few hundred TT$ depending on where and how you want to get married.
Of course you can also get married by a priest at a location of your choice, even under water. After the ceremony your embassy in Trinidad should have your wedding papers validated and forwarded to your home address.

Malaria and dengue fever
Submitted by M20487
No Malaria protection is needed in Tobago but a good mosquito repellent and a net can be helpful if mosquitoes love you. Dengue fever cases have been reported, mainly from Trinidad and from low laying areas with standing water, lots of bush and/or waste disposal.
Internet connection
Submitted by M20487
Internet: there are a few cheap Internet shops in Tobago if you wish to check your e-mail. Some are in Scarborough, or around the airport. Hotels provide Internet service as well. The hourly fee varies. You could also buy a monthly card which provides you with unlimited Internet access. Avoid overpriced Internet shops. Internet access can be rather slow and impossible at times - that's Tobago, just take it easy.
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