Flamingos in the Bahamas

You are here

Travel Hacks: The Bahamas

29th October 2019

Nestled in the Carribean, between Florida and Cuba, there is an archipelago of over 700 islands known as the Bahamas. 

The island paradise is full of incredible beaches and luxurious resorts, and it is the perfect location for your next relaxing holiday. Word of warning though, your Instagram followers will probably block you in response to the seriously FOMO-inducing beach snaps you will be posting.

Travel Money expert Georgia decided to take one for the team and endure a five-day stay in one of the Bahamas best resorts. She's come back perfectly tanned and in love with everything the Bahamas has to offer. She also picked up a few tips and tricks along the way to ensure your trip to the Bahamas is as picture-perfect as possible. 


First up, though, let's start with some basic info. 

Bahamas Basics


The Bahamian dollar, though you can just stick with USD.


English and Bahamian English are spoken throughout the Bahamas. 

Getting around 

The best way to get around major islands is by Jitneys or public buses. They service most major airports and the surrounding islands. On smaller islands, you will have to rely on cabs or your trusty feet to get you around. 

Getting between islands is an entirely different story, and you'll need to look at water taxis or inter-island flights. These costs can add up quickly, so try and limit yourself to a few islands to save money. 


You'll find plenty of ATMs in larger islands and in resorts, just be careful of some pretty hefty fees. 

How much to budget for the Bahamas

It's probably worth noting that the Bahamas is the third most expensive place in the world to live according to Numbeo data. This is understandable, considering they have to import most of their primary resources. 

Don't let this deter you from visiting though, especially when you consider some of the prime activities like swimming, snorkelling and relaxing on the beach are free of charge.

If you're wondering if the Bahamas can become more than just a dream, or you've already booked and you're wanting to sort out your expenses, try out our holiday budget planner below.

Keep in mind this accounts for your daily expenses. You'll still need to consider flights, accommodation, travel insurance and any visas or other pre-departure expenses. 

After reading Georgia's Bahama's guide though, I think you'll find the trip is more than worth the expense. You can't put a price on relaxation, right? 


Georgia's guide to the Bahamas

I'm gonna start by saying The Bahamas is basically paradise. Five days was NOT enough time to enjoy everything the stunning destination had to offer, but I definitely gave it a red hot crack. Regardless of whether you're considering a shot-gun trip or an extended vacay, here's a few do's and don'ts.

We stayed at Baha Mar on Nassau, the capital island of The Bahamas. Baha Mar is connected to the famous SLS (a total party hotel) and Rosewood Baha Mar (too boujee for us. We were asked to leave their swimming pool...). This hotel is insane. You've got six pools, designer stores, casinos and over 30 restaurants and bars. Oh, and did I mention, this place has even got flamingos!


Most of the hotels themselves are cashless. Meaning any restaurants or bars, only accept card or room charge. With this in mind, I suggest you roll with your Cash Passport Platinum with a split of 90% card and 10% cash (for tips) type thang.

The Bahamas has its own currency, being The Bahamian dollar. Where possible, do (and I cannot express this enough) not use this. Stick with the USD, which is accepted everywhere. 

Our goal for this short holiday was to avoid needing to leave the resort. Lemme tell you, this place made that very very easy. Here's how I suggest you rock your days if you've got a similar goal, aka maxo relaxo. 


Wake up, breakfast at Cafe Madeleine, bloody marys by your choice of pool, relocate to the beach, tacos for lunch at El Jefe (a retro-style Airstream eatery!), cycle your life away around the resort and mix you own daiquiri at Daqs, rent jet skis, eat dinner at Cleo (reservation needed), pre-game drinks at Skybar, followed by the grand finale at Bond Nightclub. On a separate day, I highly suggest a full day at Privilege - an upscale adults-only pool party and cabanas at SLS Baha Mar.

Of course, this is specific to Baha Mar; however, you can basically just sub in different restaurants and clubs for those at your choice of resort. At the end of the day, you'll spend your time swimming, relaxing, eating and soaking up the sun regardless of where you stay. It's worth noting that the hotels charge a bomb to withdraw cash. USD$5, plus your own bank's fees. So to withdraw USD$20, you're looking at NZD$40+. As mentioned above, most of the hotels are cashless, so grab some USD from Travel Money NZ before you leave and aim not to withdraw while overseas. 

Be mindful of taxi drivers, as they can be a little cheeky. For trips to and from the airport, prices can differ. Oddly enough, it's based on the number of passengers and luggage - rather than per car. For example, 2 people + 2 suitcases, cost us $27USD.

Shopping is, unfortunately, limited. You've got the options of a super basic Mac Cosmetics, then just your regular/everyday stores such as Cartier, Rolex, Bvlgari and Tiffany & Co...(yeah right). 


In summary, this place is lit. Think Miami/Vegas/Caribbean vibes, with a sprinkle of heaven. All you'll need is your bikini, loose and/or party pants, as well as your Cash Passport Platinum. Let this magical island take care of the rest. 

Until next time/my boss approves my annual leave request...

XOXO Gossip Georgia

To stock up on USD and grab a Cash Passport ready for your own beachside bliss in the Bahamas, visit your closest Travel Money NZ. With over 150 stores and the Best Price Guarantee, even your foreign currency purchase can be stress-free. 

This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you. We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.

*Terms and conditions apply to Best Price Guarantee. Visit travelmoney.co.nz/best-price-guarantee for more details.