The more you know about traveling in The Islands Of The Bahamas, the more prepared you’ll be when you arrive.
Casual summer wear can be worn during the day any time of the year; but be sure to bring a jacket or sweater for cooler evenings from December to February. Most hotels/restaurants/casinos require jackets for men in the evening, especially in more cosmopolitan areas, such as Nassau and Freeport/Lucaya.
Though walking the streets in swim trunks in mid-January might sound irresistible, beach clothing is inappropriate on the streets, in churches, restaurants and casinos. Away from beach or pool areas, you are expected to cover your bathing suit with shorts or a long shirt. In the more laid-back remote areas, the dress code is more flexible.
The Bahamian dollar is held on par with the US dollar and both are accepted interchangeably throughout the islands. Credit cards and travelers checks are accepted at most locations on Nassau/Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island. +PLUS and Cirrus ATMs can be found at banks on Nassau/Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island and on most of the major Out Islands.
The friendly nature makes it easy to strike up a conversation with a Bahamian. Try it for yourself. English is the official language. Although, you might hear Bahamian English. It’s a mixture of Queen’s diction, African influence and island dialect. The “h” is often dropped, so it sounds like “ouse” for “house” or “t’anks” for “thanks.”
The dialect and idioms were influenced by African slaves, English Puritans and other settlers. Because of this combination, you will hear a unique language found only on The Islands Of The Bahamas. For instance, if you hear “day clean” they mean “daybreak” and “first fowl crow” means the first cry a rooster makes in the morning. These idioms are typical of Bahamian English.
Inoculations are not required unless traveling to The Islands Of The Bahamas from an infected area.
While in The Bahamas, you can have peace of mind knowing that there are facilities available to serve your health-related and pharmacy needs. The medical facilities on the islands, especially Nassau/Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island, are staffed with North American and European-trained physicians.
Tipping in The Islands Of The Bahamas is just like where you’re from—tip according to quality of service. Bellboys and porters usually receive $1 per bag, while most other servers (waiters, taxis, etc.) receive 15%. Many establishments include gratuity in the total, so make sure you check your bill to see if it’s been added.
Alternative TextTo experience knowledgeable, professional Bahamian hospitality as you travel in The Islands Of The Bahamas, look for this Bahamahost decal on taxicabs and buses. Managed by the National Bahamahost Association, the program promotes professionalism, pride and education in hospitality fields to ensure a proper welcome to visitors.
The training familiarizes all participants with correct and accurate information on the country’s history, geography, civics, economics, culture, flora, fauna and places of interest. Additional emphasis is placed on attitudinal training, teamwork and cooperation. Graduates of the program are issued a Bahamahost identification badge and vehicle owners are issued a Bahamahost decal. All graduates are encouraged to display their badge or decal with pride.
Public transportation service (referred to as jitneys) is available on several of the major islands, such as Nassau/Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island. Service is generally from early morning (about 6:30 a.m.) until about 7:00 p.m. Fares vary, depending on the route, and exact change is required. Bus stops are marked. The basic fare is $1.25 per person. Out of town zones in New Providence could cost up to $2.25.
You can call a taxi or flag one down on the street in the major islands. Taxi stands are also conveniently placed at most hotels and at airports. Although metered rates vary by island, they are reasonable and are fixed by law.
Nassau/Paradise Island Taxi Rates
Nassau International Airport to:
- Cable Beach: $18.00
- Downtown: $27.00
- Paradise Island: $32.00 (add $1 bridge toll)
Cable Beach to:
- Downtown: $15.00
- Paradise Island: $22.00 (add $1 bridge toll)
- Paradise Island: $11.00 ($4.00 per person group rate for 4 or more passengers)
- Surcharges often apply for more than two persons and extra luggage.
- A 5-mile taxi ride is approximately $12.00.
- Taxi rates quoted are for up to two (2) passengers.
- Each additional passenger is $3.00 per person.