So you want to go to the Bahamas on a budget? The first thing to remember is to do your homework first. There’s a plethora of resources available to you to make your trip worthwhile. Plan ahead and save that money in your pocket!
This three-section guide will break down everything you need to know:
a) NEEDFUL RESOURCES FOR PLANNING YOUR TRIP (FOR ULTIMATE MONEY SAVING)
b) ALL INCLUSIVE PACKAGES (TO KEEP THE GREEN IN THE POCKET)
c) IDEAS FOR WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET THERE (ON A BUDGET)
SECTION A: PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO THE BAHAMAS – ESSENTIAL RESOURCES
There’s a few basic things you have to do . The Bahamas are comprised of more than one island, so you have to do your homework and find out where exactly it is you want to go. A great resource to start with is the Government Site of the Bahamas (make sure they don’t have any strange rules you aren’t aware of) which is located at Also helpful is checking into customs information to ensure you meet proper passport criteria and know what to bring and not bring back home with you. (Don’t think the fiance would like having to choose from all the nice jewelry you bought her thanks to some quack customs rule.) Once you find out what island destination you are going to, you can then research web information for that island. For instance, Nassau has a great site called Nassau Paradise Island, which educates you on the island and where to go. *Although most of these sites I’m mentioning have links to book hotels, don’t’ do that until you have properly gathered all your information!
Find links to the Tourism Bureau of the Bahamas, and reading all the information including “What to do, Before you Come, and While You’re Here” would be good topics to be had.
Check the weather, and trends for the time you are planning to go. Your husband or wife won’t be too happy about the rock bottom price if you get caught in a hurricane or tropical storm! The Bahamas Department of Meteorology has an official site, with weather links and information updated by the minute.
Utilize people (who have gone) friends or family (who know the hot spots) and the web to read online stories to see what to do, where to go, and the best values of the Bahamas. The Website called DESTINATION 360 gives things both free and paid (best values) to do depending on which area you are going.
Before booking your hotel and where you want to go —COMPARE. A great idea is if you have a particular hotel or place in mind, read the trip reviews on other websites even if you aren’t booking though that site. In other words, if you are ready to book thru TRIP ADVISOR to the FICTIONAL WEBB MOTEL, check on Expedia for travel reviews of the very same hotel to ensure they are indeed favorable. A little extra checking can save you a hassle if they have changed ownership or have some horror stories.
Free or little – cost things to do may include:
State or National Parks
Visits to Local Attractions or Museums
Attending fairs, festivals or events that are taking place the week you are going.
SECTION B: ALL INCLUSIVE PACKAGES – OVERALL SAVINGS WITH COMBINATIONS
An all-inclusive package generally offers you a savings on airfare, hotel, meals and sometimes even your travel to and from the hotel to the airport. Overall it’s a much better value. However, even with this there are loopholes to save you more money.
You must remember first off, there are off seasons and prime seasons when booking to the Bahamas. Sometimes travel to a foreign country may be CHEAPER when others aren’t going, and you can get a rock bottom deal. Avoiding the rest of the masses of people may not be a downfall either. The only flip side to this is to make sure the local stores and attractions around where you are going will be open during the time you go. Or you may have a quiet but boring vacation!
More money saving tips:
• Certain days of airfare flight and hotel check in and checkout will be cheaper than a Saturday thru Sunday stay. Play around with the dates and length of time for rock bottom prices. Rumor has it Tuesday trips are cheaper, but this could have changed.
• READ THE FINE PRINT – All inclusive may or may not be all inclusive. Some of these won’t cover all meals. Certain hotels have restaurants that are off limits and typically offer a buffet style set up for the all inclusive. If you drink alcoholic beverages, make sure this is included or else you will be spending an arm in a leg. Sometimes you can earn “hotel dollars” or “upgrade” based on the package you book.
• PREBOOKING SIGHTSEEING AND ACTIVITIES – Do your homework first-let’s say you have a great deal on Trip Advisor and the scuba package is a real bargain. Make sure to investigate the company (perhaps even call the company to see if indeed the tour or activity is still available. I have read and heard so many horror stories, that people booked scuba diving or sightseeing tours only to find upon arrival these programs were outdated or discontinued. Sometimes it is hard to obtain refunds or you are given forced substitutes that you can’t use if you are not staying within the specified use dates.
ALL INCLUSIVE SIGHTS FOR THE BAHAMAS
Below is a list of websites for the Bahamas, featuring all inclusive packages. If you are on a budget, start a journal and compare prices, or print out the pages for best value. BEWARE: if you go back in two weeks from now, the rates may indeed change as the market fluctuates all the time.
PARADISE ISLAND BAHAMA features specials, rates, and all inclusive deals.
CHEAP CARIBBEAN features many specials and packages to fit your needs
EXPEDIA, ORBITZ , TRIP ADVISOR, and TRAVEL ZOO also offer all inclusive vacations/upgrades also.
SECTION 3: WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET THERE PLANNED RESEARCH CAN SAVE YOU BUCKS!
First off, trust other tourists who know and have been there also. There are great resources on the web to help you plan cheap and fruitful activities based on where you are going.
My absolute favorite is VIRTUAL TOURIST, by the tourist, for the tourist, and an essential site you’ll want to visit.
Another is called 10 BEST DOT COM, and you would do a search for where you are going. If you are going to Nassau, then you would search at TEN BEST DOT COM NASSAU . It gives you the top ten best things to do in or around the area, and is updated constantly.
Do your own searches, use keywords such as “Bahamas Fairs, Festivals, Events, Happenings, ” in addition to the city you are going and the month you are going. Perhaps there’s a special fair or event happening when you are going to be there, that you would not have otherwise known of.
The hotel concierge may also have literature and brochures about what to do. Many of them offer paid extra activities that you can pay for when you get there ie: scuba diving, touring, sightseeing, etc. Since you are staying in their hotel the prices may be fair and reasonable, and it sure beats booking ahead of time and finding out that your program is no longer offered.
MY SECRET: Maid Service or Housekeeping. The people who work in the hotel are some of the best people to talk to. Just like you and I, they are on a budget and know where to go for the best value. If you happen to catch the maid, you can offer her a few dollars for her time, and explain you are on a budget and you need all the “good” connections-not necessarily the ones the hotel is suggesting but the cheapest. Next thing you know, you have three names and numbers of her friends who can give you the grand tour for pennies on the dollar. It’s always worked for me (except when I don’t’ speak the language, that is where the hotel concierge comes in, get him to translate, and now you offer them both a few dollars and get twice the information.)
PLACES TO EAT:
Do a good old Google search with keywords “Places to Eat Bahamas” or “Restaurant Reviews Bahamas” and you will get thousands of hits, some wrote by vacationers who know. You will want to narrow this down to the area in which you are going for instance, “NASSAU LOCAL RESTAURANTS” or “NASSAU CHEAP EATS” to find the best in value. Make sure you obtain the restaurant’s name and see if they have an online website. The two previous mentioned sites, TEN BEST DOT COM and VIRTUAL TOURIST DOT COM also have numerous dining guides.
DEDICATE YOURSELF to the cause, as education and a few hours of web surfing can cut hundreds off your trip, even thousands. Involve your loved one and it can be fun time for the whole family doing the research and planning your trip. You may just save enough to stay a few more days…….Visiting the Bahamas on a Budget!How to find things to do, places to go and where to stay on a budgetGuide to Travel to Bahamas while on a budget.Some of the best things in life are free. Before planning your trip to the Bahamas, utilize these free resources to help you get maximum bang for your buck.