BahamasCaribbeanTropical Destinations

How to travel to the Bahamas on a budget, choosing the Out Islands

Do you believe vacation in the Bahamas are suitable only for millionaires? travellers willing to spend in resorts, yachts and luxury shops? You’re wrong!

I have been on vacation in the Bahamas two times until now, but I’m far from being a millionaire. But I’m not even a backpacker, I never slept in a hostel my whole life. So how can holidays in the Bahamas islands be affordable for “common” people?

Bahamas, vacation for almost everyone

Of course, it is true: in this archipelago those who are looking for luxury and have a lot of money to spend will find what they are looking for.

But the reality is that this kind of luxury vacation is mainly to found on the island of Providence, where the capital, Nassau, and the intercontinental airport are situated. On this island you will find luxury shops, banks and one of the largest and most spectacular resorts in the world, the Atlantis, a tourist complex that includes hotels, restaurants, sports activities, casinos, spas and even a large aquarium. Just to get an idea, the average price for two persons in a standard room in this resort is around 3000-3500 euros per week (prices as per March 2020).

So, the first thing I suggest you to do if you don’t want to bankrupt the bank for your holidays in the Bahamas is:

1) Avoid staying in Nassau, go to the Out Islands

Bahamas are NOT only Nassau and Providence Island. The archipelago consists of around 700 islands and cays. Islands such as Eleuthera, Andros, Exuma, Long Island, Cat Island and San Salvador, called the “out islands” or “family islands”, are known for their tranquility and for the spectacular sea. Don’t search for luxury shops, restaurants and entertainement on these islands, you won’t find them.

On the Out Islands life in the small local communities revolves around sea, fishing and a little tourism

What type of accomodation can you find on the Out Islands?

On some of these islands like Exuma and Eleuthera you can find a few exclusive resorts too, but the most type of accomodation are small guesthouses and private houses and villas, mainly located directly on the beach. I suggest you to search on sites like Vrbo and Airbnb.

And so here is the second rule to travel to the Bahams on a budget:

2) Avoid staying in resorts, stay in a private house or villa

Especially if you are travelling with your family or friends, with a large group, staying in a private house or villa could be the perfect choice. Those kind of accomodation are mostly larges homes with 3 or 4 bedrooms and a lot of outside space, where you can relax, make a BBQ, cook your own meals and save on food and restaurants.

But how to get to the Out Islands like Exuma, Eleuthera and the Abaco’s?

There are many direct flights from Miami or Fort Lauderdale for each of these islands, on the Abaco’ there are actually two airports. The airlines that operate direct flights from Florida are American Airlines (from Miami International), and Silver Airways (from Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach). Of course there is Bahamasair too which operates flights between all islands of the Bahamas and Nassau, and from Nassau to Florida.

If your trip departs from Europe, the best way to reach the Out Islands is to fly to Miami and then to the Bahamas.

But given that flights to the Bahamas are usually expensive what is the best way to save on your flight? This is the third rule for you:

3) purchase your ticket at least 6 months in advance

From Italy we have flown Alitalia from Milano Malpensa, stayed one night in a hotel near the Terminal, and then to the Out ISlands next day with an American Airlines flight. From the UK you can fly with British Airways direct to Nassau, and then to the Out Islands. From Spain you can fly with Iberia to Miami.

During your flight to the Bahamas, this was the view from the plane, breathtaking!

Flying over the Bahamas archipelago
Flying over the Bahamas archipelago

Between all these islands, for our first trip to the Bahamas we chose Exuma for two reasons:

  • there are many direct flights (American Airlines) from Miami to the Exuma Georgetown Airport
  • there many type of accomodations alternative to resorts, such as small guesthouses and private houses

We stayed in this bungalow on the beach near Georgetown for 10 days, it is part of a residence called Hideaway’s, which includes the use of the pool, and the apartment was fully equipped with kitchen, A/C and Wifi.

palm bay bungalows exuma

How much does it cost travel to the Bahamas thanks to this formula?

So given that you find a flight for a price around 700 euros, you could spend around 3500-4000 euros for 10 days in the Bahamas, for two people, flying from Europe.

This price includes the flight, accomodation in a bungalow or vacation home, and a car rental.

  • The flight: around 650-900 per person from Europe, it depends on how much in advance you book.
  • The stay: around 200 euros per night for two people, depending on how many people the home hosts and how much it is located far away from the beach. Of course if you are a large group you can really save a lot on renting a big house.
  • The car rental: it will cost you around 70 USD per day (with full insurance).

Thanks to this formula, you could save a lot on your trip to the Bahamas:

save money trip bahamas formula
The Bahamas low-cost formula

What do you think? did you ever visit the Out Islands or the Bahamas?

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