Lonely Planet Writer

A departure lounge on a Barbados beach will help you savour every minute of your holiday

The final day of a holiday is a sad enough experience without wasting the last few hours killing time in an airport. To solve this problem, Virgin Holidays plans to create a departure lounge on a beach in Barbados that will let travellers savour every last minute of their beach vacation.

A rendering shows Virgin Holiday's Departure Beach in Barbados.
A departure lounge on the beach in Barbados will help you enjoy every last minute of your holiday. Image by Virgin Holidays

The travel company has announced that it will launch The Departure Beach on Brownes Beach in Barbados – a service it says is the first of its kind. Since most hotels require guests to check out before mid-day, the beach offers people a much better place to kill time than at the airport. The experience is geared towards UK travellers, and many flights to Europe don’t leave until the evening.

To make the most of the day, a Virgin Holiday transfer will pick up guests from their hotel in the morning, drop them at the beach, and take their hold luggage to the airport for them. Guests can check-in to their Virgin Atlantic flight on the beach and pick up their boarding pass there. While on the beach, they can eat a free lunch, go for a swim, use the Wi-Fi and more. There will be free beach towels, plastic bags for wet swimsuits, and showers so travellers can be clean on their flights. From there, staff will take travellers to the airport so they can catch their plane on time.

A rendering shows Virgin Holiday's Departure Beach in Barbados.
Virgin Holidays will launch a departure lounge on the beach in 2018. Image by Virgin Holidays

Virgin Holidays will begin constructing the beach facilities soon, with plans to open in May 2018. The beach will be free for customers staying at the company’s Savannah Beach in Barbados or on a Virgin cruise that ends in Barbados. Other customers can book a spot at a promotional price of £20 per adult and £15 per child.

According to the company, the “lost day” of a holiday, caused by waiting around airport, accounts for a considerable amount of a vacation. Since the average British long-haul holiday is 10 days, it can mean 10% of a holiday is spent hanging out in waiting rooms, or hauling luggage around cities.