Looking for a quick place to escape to over the winter? Check out the Bahamas!
I visited from December 25-30, 2018.
Here are a few travel tips:
Where to stay: If you’re traveling solo (like I was), I stayed at BahaSea. It’s part-hostel and part-hotel. They offer dormitories if you want to share or private rooms. It’s three buildings connected on the beach front, with several entrances to the water and next to Sandyport Beach. It has two swimming pools, good wi-fi and is very charming. A dormitory style room will run about $60-$90 while a private room will be $150-$350. I opted for this because the resorts start at $175 but average about $250 a night, but during high-season (December to mid-April) it can be much higher. Atlantis is the most popular resort since it’s basically an entire island with water park, aquarium and so much more. Baha Mar is also a very popular resort too.
Booking tours: The Bahamas is very touristy and felt like there were more Americans than locals. There are not too many options in terms of different agencies; therefore, there is not much shopping around for pricing on tours. I’d recommend booking in advance as that is always cheaper than booking last minute. You can show-up without booking anything (as I did), and it will work out, but it will likely be more expensive.
If you stay on Nassau, there is more things to do than staying in Exuma. This is what I opted to do, and I’m glad I did. On Christmas and New Year’s Eve, there is a big parade/party downtown Nassau that is called Junkanoo – it’s Bahama’s version of Carnival. It starts really going at midnight and runs well into the next morning.
You can still go to Exuma for the day to swim with the pigs. You can book a boat tour for about $200 in advance and $400 last minute. Power Boat Adventures is one of the main agencies that offers the boat tours from Nassau to Exuma. If you are unlucky and have bad weather during your trip, your boat tours may get cancelled (this happened to me).
The other option is to fly to Exuma. I used the Exuma Escapes for my day tour. They charter a flight in the morning and tour runs from 10am to 4pm. I did not have the best experience since the pilot was late so we didn’t get to Exuma until closer to 11am and the tour guide rushed us to make us fly out at 2pm. I felt very rushed, but they are friendly. I would not recommend this tour, but other tourists I spoke to also said they felt rush on their tours. My guess is that is the case for most of the tours.
If you do stay in Nassau, I’d recommend you eat at the Fish Fry, a strip of restaurants just outside of the downtown area that has local, authentic cuisine. There is a great bus system on Nassau that allows you to go basically anywhere on the island for $1.25 a trip. It’s definitely a culture experience to ride the bus with locals. The drivers can be friendly to erratic and fast drivers. I loved the experience and it let me get around the island since BahaSea was about five miles from downtown Nassau.
All in all, the Bahamas is beautiful. The water is the most beautiful shade of blue. If you love beaches, the Bahamas will be your paradise. There are pretty areas to go snorkeling, and you can rent kayaks, jet skis and do other water sports.
If you’re interested, I’d recommend a long weekend trip!
Packing for Bahamas:
Here are the items I packed on my trip:
- Swimsuits (I wore a different one each day)
- Swimsuit cover
- Light-weight jumpsuit
- White shorts
- Blue and White striped dress – anything nautical theme
- Water shoes
- Eila Chérie Sunglasses
- Jean jacket
- Eila Chérie backpack
I loved bringing my Eila Chérie backpack on the trip, because it was just the right size to fit my kindle, my camera, phone and water bottle for a day at the beach! If you’ve got an upcoming beach trip and need the perfect bag and sunglasses for your holiday, check out Eila Chérie. Between now and March 9, 2019, you can get a 20% discount with promo code “KATESTYLE”. And you can also feel good about your purchase because Eila Chérie will donate 10% of each sale this year to the Global Fund for Women.
If you’re looking for other destinations to visit in the Winter, check out Iceland. There’s amazing glaciers and you can see northern lights better there in the winter!