What to Expect in the Bahamas

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The Bahamas are beautiful, but there are a few things to think about before flying south (or north, depending on where you are, I guess!). I recently arrived back home after a family trip, and I loved getting to learn more about a new country and even celebrate their Independance Day while we were there.

For reference, we were on New Providence Island, near Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.

Before heading to the islands, here’s what you need to know:

They drive on the opposite side of the road (if you’re coming from the U.S.) and there are a ton of roundabouts. It’s best to not drive while you’re there if you’re not used to driving in the opposite direction.

Speaking of transportation, it’s best to take a bus outside of your hotel/Airbnb/whatever. It’s only around $1.25 a person, making it the cheapest option for getting around. However, be aware of bus schedules–most busses are in service from seven in the morning to seven at night. Taxis are also available pretty much everywhere.

Walking around the area is also a viable option. The Bahamas is safe, and if your destination is close by, maybe try walking. And be prepared to do a lot of walking in downtown Nassau.

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You don’t need to switch over any money if you’re coming from the U.S. Their money has the same value as American money, which makes paying for things a lot easier. However, you will probably get Bahamian money back as change at some point if you’re paying with cash.

Pretty much everywhere has a service charge attached to the bill (basically a built-in tip), so be prepared to pay a little extra.

Find things to do outside your hotel, if you are able. Staying on hotel grounds the whole time is lame (unless you can’t leave because of medical reasons or something like that). But if you can leave, leave! Explore the area, maybe even go to different islands. The Bahamas has 700 different islands, so there is plenty to explore.

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They gained independence from Great Britain less than 50 years ago, which is kind of crazy–that’s not that long ago.

Beware of jellyfish and other large fish that come close to shore.

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Pack a rain jacket or umbrella. It tends to rain in the mornings and evenings now and then, and the rain is kind of unpredictable. I wish I had packed a rain jacket for those gray mornings.

Protect yourself from the sun at all costs. It will burn you in no time if you’re not prepared.

Hopefully, this helps! Planning for trips is fun, but it’s important to remember to do your research on all things, not just the fun stuff you want to do once you get there. Make an effort to get out and learn, especially about how tourism affects the different places you go.

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