Bahamas Travel Tips
Advice from the Experts
The Bahamas is an incredible country located in the middle of the Caribbean. Filled with tropical islands, white sand beaches, and delicious food, it’s the perfect spot for your next vacation. If you’re thinking of coming our way sometime soon, check out our tips for how to make the most of your stay in our little slice of paradise!
GETTING TO THE BAHAMAS
Due to its close proximity to the United States, the Bahamas continue to be popular for American tourists. However, it’s also easy for visitors from around the world to get to our country! Our main airport is the Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, and it welcomes flights from major cities throughout North America and Europe. There are also a number of smaller airports, such as our Staniel Cay Airport, as well as private facilities.
As with most countries, visa requirements for entering the Bahamas are based on a person’s country of citizenship. However, most visitors who will be staying in the Bahamas for less than three months do not require a visa. To see the requirements for your country, check out the website from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.
Most travelers do not need any specific vaccines to visit the Bahamas. However, if you’re traveling from a country with a risk of Yellow Fever transmission, you need a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate. Please find the full list on the website for the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.
We pride ourselves on having a relatively safe country. Because tourism makes up such a big part of our economy, our law enforcement is dedicated to making sure that visitors are in good hands during their stay. Our little island of Staniel Cay is extremely safe (one of the safest places in the world!)—so much so that guests have been known to leave their kids with locals while they enjoy a short couples’ getaway! Locals regularly sleep at night with their door unlocked because the crime rate in Staniel Cay is basically 0!
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
There are a number of hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies in the Bahamas to serve your health and wellness needs. Our medical facilities are staffed by trained medical professionals, so you’ll be in good hands (should the need arise). For those staying in Staniel Cay, there is a clinic available in case you need medical assistance. In the event of a serious injury, 3N’s Vacation Services will assist you in getting the proper medical care required.
One of the reasons the Bahamas get so many visitors is because of our incredible weather. The climate is relatively temperate all year round. The fall is considered our rainy season as well as hurricane season, though we often have sunny days then as well. We recommend bringing a light sweater or jacket for those visiting in the winter, as it can get a bit cool at night. However, we’re willing to bet that it’s probably warmer than where you’re coming from!
Because the Bahamas are filled with gorgeous beaches and crystal clear blue waters, bringing a swimsuit is a must! However, we don’t recommend wearing your beach clothes when not at the beach, as swimsuits are not permitted attire in many places of business. Make sure to cover up your suit with shorts and a t-shirt if you plan to take a walk around the city. Some restaurants, hotels, bars, and casinos require men to wear a jacket at night, so please check the requirements of where you’ll be visiting before you arrive. Otherwise, our only other piece of advice is to bring a light coat or jacket for going out at night if you’re visiting between the months of December and February.
The official language of the Bahamas is English, and most guests have very little trouble understanding our accent.
The exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and Bahamian dollar is 1:1, and both are accepted throughout the country. We recommend bringing both cash and credit cards, as most taxis only accept cash while some hotels only accept credit cards. Most locations also accept traveler’s checks. For those visiting Staniel Cay, we recommend bringing cash due to the 5% surcharge on all credit card purchases. 3N’s Vacation Services accepts American Express, Mastercard, and Visa.
Electrical outlets in the Bahamas are 120 V/60 Hz, and our sockets are compatible with type A and type B plugs. Those bringing electrical devices from the United States and other North American countries likely do not need an adapter or converter, while those coming from British and European countries should bring both an adapter and a 220-volt converter.
Although accommodation in the Bahamas is a bit more expensive than on other Caribbean islands, there are still plenty of affordable options. A two-star hotel room for two adults costs approximately $90 per night, while luxury options will likely cost a bit more if you’re staying in major cities like Nassau or Freeport. For those staying in Staniel Cay, we offer villas at the EMBRACE Resort for as low as $219 per night as well as house rentals for as low as $170 per night.
GETTING AROUND THE BAHAMAS
We drive on the left side of the road in the Bahamas, so if you’re from a country that drives on the right side, your traffic rules will be reversed. Please keep this in mind when getting around and remember to look right then left before crossing the street. For those staying in the Bahamas for three months or less, you only need your residence permit and a valid driver’s license to operate a vehicle. And because we take your safety seriously, seatbelts must be worn at all times!
If you prefer not to rent a car, jitneys (or minibuses) are the easiest ways to get around Nassau and Freeport. They run approximately $2 per trip and are one of the most affordable ways to get from one place to another. However, jitneys stop operating around 6 o’clock in the evening, so you will have to make alternative arrangements if you wish to get around after this time. Like other big cities, taxis are also an option for getting around. However please exercise caution when choosing a cab and only use official taxis, which can be identified by their yellow license plates.
Although cars are an option on the bigger islands, we recommend using a golf cart to get around Staniel Cay. We offer golf cart rentals for as low as $50 a day for EMBRACE Resort guests, so no beach is ever too far away!
FOOD AND DINING
Dining costs in the Bahamas are similar to those in North America and Europe. A dish of chicken and rice costs about $12, while many restaurants—especially high-end ones—can fetch prices double that or more. If you’re planning to do all your own cooking, we recommend a budget of about $60 per week for the basics. Because there are only a few grocery stores in Staniel Cay, however, food costs can run much higher. Therefore we offer a provisioning service where we will purchase your groceries in Nassau and stock your accommodation prior to your arrival in Staniel Cay.
Tipping is a common practice in the Bahamas and is usually 15% of your final bill for waiters, taxi cabs, etc. However, many restaurants and other establishments already include gratuity, so be sure to check your bill before adding extra. A traditional tip for bellboys or porters who help you with your luggage is $1 per bag. 3N’s Vacation Services, as well as our suppliers, also gladly accept tips. If you feel that your service was top notch, feel free to tip the person that assisted you.
Looking for reasonably priced souvenirs? Duty-free shopping is a great way to purchase gifts for your friends and loved ones without breaking the bank. Traditional savings are about 25-50% below what you would pay for similar products in the U.S., so make sure to save room in your luggage for a few last-minute splurges!