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Travelling to the Bahamas

Here are a few tips about Travelling to the Bahamas before you arrive. If you have any other questions contact us!

Weather

This is weather that you can quickly get used to. The trade winds have blessed us with warm year-round weather, with winter lows averaging a comfortable 70 degrees Fahrenheit and summer highs with high humidity at around 80–90, with a gentle dip at night of just 5 to 7 degrees. The result? A climate where you can have fun anytime of the day, any season.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements differ depending on what country you are a resident and citizen of. Check below to find out the necessary documentation you will need to insure a smooth entry into our country.

NOTE: Where a minor child is traveling with only one parent, a notarized letter of permit from the parent not traveling may be requested. If traveling with non-parents, a notarized letter from the minor's guardians would be required. The letter should indicate that the chaperones are authorized to travel outside the country with the minor, as well as permit the chaperones to seek medical attention for the minor, if necessary.

The more you know about traveling to The Islands of The Bahamas, the more you'll be prepared when you arrive.

Banking

Bank opening hours are Monday to Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Some banks are open on Saturday; hours vary between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

In Nassau / Paradise Island, there are ATM machines at Paradise Island casinos and commercial banks. In Grand Bahama Island, they can be found in major banks, the casino, and Port Lucaya Marketplace. On the Out Islands, ATMs are installed in all major islands. Most are equipped with ATM + and Cirrus systems.

Events

No matter what time of year you arrive here in The Bahamas, there’s always something fun to be had! Junkanoo is a must do, so choose between the Christmas and Boxing Day Parade, the New Year’s Junkanoo celebration, or the Junkanoo Summer Festival, or come to all (side note, we also have the Junkanoo Carnival Festival just before Easter, too)! Come out for the races with our annual regattas throughout the entire country, like the Long Island Regatta, Bimini C Class Regatta, and Black Point Regatta in Exuma! The Nassau Rum Festival is a pleasure for the palette, and so is the All Andros Crab Fest. Don’t let our relaxed natures fool you; we’re always up to something!

Boating

Checklist for boaters before leaving for The Bahamas: • Bahamas maps for navigation / GPS • Fuel (quantity appropriate for travel and additional) • Food and supplies • Coast Guard approved safety equipment (if required, by size / type of vessel) • Dockliners and wings • Engine and equipment maintained and fully operational • Appropriate spare parts • Quarantine flag (yellow flag) • Portable VHF Radio / Portable Floating Spare Radio • Separators 30/50 Amp (if necessary) • Appropriate documentation on the ownership and registration of vessels • Proof of Citizenship - Passport • Wharf reservations

Clothing

Casual summer wear can be worn during the day at any time of the year; but be sure to bring a jacket or sweater for the cooler evenings from December to February. Most hotels / restaurants / casinos require jackets for men at night, especially in more cosmopolitan areas, such as Nassau / Paradise Island and Freeport / Lucaya.

Beachwear is inappropriate in churches, restaurants, and casinos. Away from the beach or the pool, you should cover your swimsuit with shorts or a long shirt when walking the city streets. In the more relaxed remote areas, the dress code is more flexible.

Check out some of our island photos

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Communications

Visitors and business travelers will find that telecommunication services in The Bahamas are comparable to the services found in most developed countries. A 100% digital switching system allows direct dialing in more than 100 countries. The United States and Canada are accessible by a direct call and most hotels offer direct dialing from the rooms and / or the conference center. The Bahamas Telephone Company (BTC) provides a variety of services beyond the telephone: fax, telex, Internet, cellular service, private line service, satellite and radio leasing, and an enhanced VHF-FM radiotelephone service that allows you to contact vessels at sea. You can save money on long distance calls by purchasing phone cards. These have good rates to the United States and Canada and can be found at any BTC location in Nassau / Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island, or The Out Islands.

Currency

The Bahamian dollar is maintained at the same level as the U.S. dollar and both are accepted interchangeably on all islands. Credit cards and traveler's checks are accepted at most locations on Nassau / Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island. ATMs + PLUS and Cirrus are in banks on Nassau / Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island, and most major Out Islands.

Duty-free shopping

On most large islands you can find cameras, binoculars and telescopes, porcelain and crystal, watches and clocks, jewelry, perfumes, linens and tablecloths, alcohol and leather goods. The savings on these items are usually between 25-50% below U.S. prices.

You can find local crafts in straw markets and specialty shops, or at Festival Place in Nassau, the Bahama Craft Center on Paradise Island, and at Port Lucaya Marketplace on Grand Bahama Island.

Getting around

Jitney Buses
A public transportation service (called jitneys) is available on several of the major islands, including Nassau / Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island. It usually runs from early morning (around 6:30 a.m.) until around 7:00 p.m. Rates vary depending on the route and the exact change is required. Bus stops are marked. On New Providence, the basic rate is $1.25 per person; areas outside the city of Nassau could cost up to $3.50.

Taxis
Taxis are conveniently placed in most hotels and at airports. You can also call for a taxi or get one off the street in the main islands. The metered rates vary by island, but they are reasonable and set by law. Please note that surcharges often apply for more than two persons and extra luggage. Check the 'Getting Around' page for the island you are visiting to get more specific information.

Health and security

Vaccines are not required to visit The Bahamas, unless you are traveling from an infected area.

You can have peace of mind knowing that there are facilities available to meet your health and pharmacy needs. Medical facilities on the islands, particularly Nassau / Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island, have North American and European doctors.

Spring break

On most large islands you can find cameras, binoculars and telescopes, porcelain and crystal, watches and clocks, jewelry, perfumes, linens and tablecloths, alcohol and leather goods. The savings on these items are usually between 25-50% below U.S. prices.

You can find local crafts in straw markets and specialty shops, or at Festival Place in Nassau, the Bahama Craft Center on Paradise Island, and at Port Lucaya Marketplace on Grand Bahama Island.

Time zone

The Bahamas falls in the Eastern Time Zone.

In March 2007, the country adopted the new Daylight Saving Time policy—the same one followed by parts of Canada and the United States. As a result, Daylight Saving Time begins each year on the second Sunday in March at 2:00 a.m. and ends on the first Sunday in November at 2:00 a.m.

Tipping

Tipping in The Bahamas should be treated just like where you come from, and you should tip according to the quality of service you receive. Bellboys and porters usually receive $1 per bag, while most other servers (waiters, taxis, etc.) receive 15%. Many establishments include the gratuity in the total, so make sure you check your bill to see if it has already been added.

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