First time’s a charm – A beginner’s guide to the Bahamas
If you’ve been dreaming of soaking up the sun on an exotic beach, you’re not alone. People from around the world flock to far-away destinations hoping to let go of the daily grind and embrace the island life, if only for a short while. One of the most popular island destinations is the Bahamas, of course, with its breathtaking beaches and ideal weather.
For those that are both curious and a bit anxious about taking the plunge and booking a trip, we want to help. We teamed up with Kuleen Lashley at TravelingMom.com to show you just what it’s like when you go the Bahamas. As you will see, you're on the way to plenty of sun, surf, sand and fun!
Things every first-time tourist needs to know:
These tips will help you get prepared for your scenic and fun Caribbean vacation.
- English is actually the official language of the Bahamas, so it’ll be spoken everywhere you go.
- There’s no need to get your currency exchanged, US currency is accepted. You’ll want to travel with cash and a major credit card though, because you’ll probably need both during your stay.
- Tips are king. If someone helps you during your stay, tips are expected. From taking pictures for you to giving you directions, plan on offering a tip for the helping hand.
- Cars don’t drive on the right side of the road, they drive on the left. You’ll want to be mindful of this when you’re crossing streets.
- Tourists are welcomed on the island and most people are not only friendly, but eager to talk to visitors. You’ll find lots of smiles and local insight if you take the time to chat!
- Getting around on the island is simple. Drivers are pedestrian friendly and there are tour buses and taxis. Of course, always look for official taxis which have distinctive yellow licenses plates.
Traveling with your family?
If you’re bringing the entire crew for a Bahamian adventure, you’ll be glad to know that there are many family-friendly things to do. While there are the obvious activities of frolicking on the beach and hitting the waves, scuba diving or spending a day at the local zoo, there are more exotic ways to spend your time too!
- Boat tours – Glass bottomed boats, semi-submarines, air boats and more – there is no shortage of boat excursions you can try. Some are private, some are for groups, all offer you an amazing way to see the ocean.
- Bus tours – Tour the area, hit the hot spots and let someone else do the driving. Bus tours let you see historic spots, scenic areas and popular tourist hang outs. You’ll also get to hear insight from a local along the way, offering you a great way to get a feel for the area.
- Marine encounters – Would you like to dance with a dolphin? Hug a friendly sea lion? Or pet a graceful stingray? You and your family can make some new friends with a variety of marine encounters available on the island. You’re sure to make some lifelong memories and get some fun pictures along the way.
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