How to Decide What You Want for your Vacation in the Bahamas

A Bahamas vacation presents plenty of options, but the decisions are up to you

Photo credit: © Patchaya Saksakulkrai |

Making informed decisions is a key part of achieving your ideal Bahamas vacation. Your lodgings, transportation methods, and on-island activities are all considerations that will shape how much you enjoy your trip.

Having already completed your research, you should begin to personalize all of your information, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of different regions of the Bahamas, your own travel goals, and any restrictions imposed by time or budget. After all, cultural enthusiasts may not want to stay in a resort aimed primarily at those who enjoy water sports, and families traveling with small children will want to visit areas that offer plenty of kid-friendly adventures. Decision-making can seem overwhelming however, so streamline the process by observing these guidelines.

Narrow Your Search

A vacation that is centered on a particular activity, such as tennis or fishing, will probably benefit from the guidance of an activity-specific travel book or a Web site that focuses primarily on the best places in the region to do this. Some Internet travel vendors even allow users to search each island by activity and rank your options based on how well they can accommodate your interests. This convenience is not available from more generalized travel sellers meaning that you must already know which area you'd like to visit before you can search for airfare and lodgings.

The culture you will encounter in the Bahamas should also be considered. The influences of English, African, and native settlers have blended to give the islands a distinct character. The unhurried lifestyle of most residents is one of the islands' most attractive qualities. The Bahamas presents a unique case for visitors, though, as the islands that comprise the country are all rife with diversity. On larger islands you may even experience regional differences from town to town. The opportunity to expose yourself to several types of atmospheres is a rare treat that travelers should not pass up.


Some of the remote Out Islands can be a great alternative for vacationers who want to avoid the "tourist traps" found in more popular areas of the Bahamas. Naturally it is more difficult to get to these places and transportation constraints should be well planned for. Also remember that while English is the official language of the Bahamas, dialects and accents vary throughout the islands and inhabitants of more remote regions may be harder to understand than those who are accustomed to speaking with travelers. It may seem obvious, but these are the sorts of details that should be considered when making your travel decisions.


The proximity of the Bahamas to the U.S. mainland is another feature that many travelers find attractive. Adventurous types are permitted to fly or even sail themselves into various spots on the islands, although the great majority of travelers prefer to take advantage of the wealth of commercial flights and cruises that service the area. Once you have settled on a method, you will need to determine where in the islands you would like to arrive and how long you would like to stay. Bear in mind that most cruise lines do not stay in port more than a few days, which will offer a very different experience than the one you might have if you stayed ashore.

If you plan to visit several islands while on vacation, you should also decide on the best way to travel between your destinations. Inter-island ferries are very popular in the Bahamas, shuttling passengers from one island to another, but they are more time-consuming than the commuter planes that offer similar service. Before choosing, you ought to weigh factors such as expense, travel time, and the experience afforded by each method.

On the Island

Picking your destination is the most difficult part. After you've chosen the island you'll be staying on, you are free to begin the enviable task of deciding what sort of accommodations you prefer and how you'll spend your time once you're in the Bahamas.

First consider your traveling companion, if you have one. If your vacation is meant to be a romantic second honeymoon you may want to consult guide books that are aimed at finding secluded hotels and couples-only tours and activities. On the other hand, groups of friends traveling together may prefer to spend their days meeting new people and enjoying more lively nightlife. Discussing your vacation priorities can help ensure that everyone has a pleasant trip.

Once the group's priorities are established, you can start looking into the most accommodating arrangements. Staying near the reefs will keep snorkelers happy, while finding a resort with an 18-hole course will satisfy fans of golf. If your preferences are defined more by what you're trying to avoid (like hotels that cater to older travelers or those with young children) you can still narrow down your options by reviewing descriptions and asking questions.

The decisions you make for your vacation in the Bahamas will determine whether or not you have the dream trip you've been waiting for. Take your time to weigh your options before choosing and then relax, knowing that your both your research and attention to detail have paid off, and a great time is awaiting you in the Bahamas.


Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.