10 Ways to Act Like a Local on Antigua

by Female Abroad

No matter where you travel, it is always a great idea to try to blend in with the locals. If you want to act like a local on Antigua, here are several tips to help you embrace the local culture.

  1. Greet people warmly
    Antiguans are known for their friendly and welcoming nature. When you meet locals, greet them with a warm smile and say "Good morning," "Good afternoon," or "Good evening," depending on the time of day.

  2. Learn some local phrases
    Familiarize yourself with common Antiguan expressions and greetings. For example, "Wa gwan?" means "What's going on?" and "Wadadli" is a term used to refer to Antiguans as this is what the original island natives (the Arawak Indians) called the island.

  3. Dress appropriately
    Antigua has a generally relaxed and casual atmosphere, but it's respectful to dress modestly when visiting public places or religious sites. Opt for lightweight, comfortable clothing suitable for the tropical climate.

  4. Support local businesses
    Eat at local restaurants, visit local shops, and participate in activities organized by Antiguan operators. This not only supports the local economy but also gives you a taste of the authentic Antiguan experience.

  5. Embrace the local cuisine
    Sample traditional Antiguan dishes like saltfish and fungi, pepperpot, or conch fritters. Explore local markets and try fresh fruits and vegetables. Don't forget to indulge in the national drink, the Antigua rum!

  6. Respect local customs and traditions
    Antiguans value their cultural heritage, so it's important to respect their customs and traditions. If you're invited to someone's home, remove your shoes before entering and bring a small gift as a gesture of appreciation.

  7. Engage in local activities
    Participate in local events, festivals, and celebrations to immerse yourself in Antiguan culture. Events like Antigua Carnival and the Antigua Sailing Week are excellent opportunities to experience the vibrancy and liveliness of the island.

  8. Use public transportation
    Instead of relying solely on taxis or rental cars, consider using the local buses or shared minivans known as "dollar vans." This will give you a chance to interact with locals and experience the everyday way of getting around.

  9. Explore the island
    Antigua offers stunning beaches, historical sites, and natural beauty. Venture beyond the touristy areas and discover hidden gems like secluded coves or local hangouts. Engage in outdoor activities like hiking or snorkeling to appreciate the island's beauty.

  10. Be polite and courteous
    Politeness goes a long way in Antiguan culture. Say "please" and "thank you" when interacting with locals and follow local customs when it comes to greetings and social etiquette.

Remember, the most important aspect of acting like a local is to approach the experience with an open mind, genuine curiosity, and respect for the local culture. Enjoy your time on Antigua!