Bahamas Vacation Guide

Frequently Asked Questions
About The Bahamas

Fresh Conch Stand at Potter's Cay, Paradise Island by Terri Gardiner
JPEG of Print courtesy of Terry Gardiner

What is the currency in the The Bahamas and do I need to exchange my money for Bahamian?
What is the appropriate dress code?
What is the legal age for drinking and gambling?
What are the banking hours and are there ATM's?
Is it possible to work in The Bahamas if I am not a citizen?
What taxes will I pay?
How much should I tip?
Is nude or topless sunbathing allowed?
What are driving and walking rules?
What are the means of transportation if I don't wish rent a vehicle?
What are the current taxi fares?
What are the laws concerning possession of illegal drugs?
Can I camp in The Bahamas?
What is the electrical service?
Can I drink the water?
What are the business hours?
Do I need to obtain vaccinations prior to traveling to The Bahamas?
Can I use my cell phone in The Bahamas?
How do I make overseas calls from The Bahamas?

What is the currency in the The Bahamas and do I need to exchange my money for Bahamian?

The Bahamian dollar is on par with the US dollar and either currency is accepted in the Bahamas. Some Bahamian money are considered novelty and make good souvenirs such as the 15¢ coin and the $3.00 bill.

What is the appropriate dress code?

Casual wear is widely worn in The Bahamas. It is considered rude not to wear cover-ups over swim wear in public places, but shorts, tees and casual sun dresses are quite acceptable. A few of the more distinguished restaurants required dress clothing, jackets and ties for men.

What is the legal age for drinking and gambling?

18 years of age.

What are the banking hours and are there ATM's?

Banks are open Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. through 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. and on Fridays most banks are open from 9:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. Many banks now offer ATM's that tender Bahamian dollars however there are a few which will advance US currency located in areas of tourism on the larger islands. On the family of out-islands don't rely upon ATM's.

Is it possible to work in The Bahamas if I am not a Bahamian citizen?

Generally no. There are exceptions for those having skills not available from a Bahamian. The employer must show proof of exhaustive searching for a suitable Bahamian prior to applying for a work permit for the foreign candidate. Work permits can be costly and are assessed based on the value of skills. The field of teaching is an area of need and many teachers enter on work permits. For more detailed information on working in The Bahamas, Immigrations and Residency please refer to this resource.

What taxes will I pay?

Those guests at hotels will pay a government tax of 6% and a resort levy of 6% as well as a maid service charge on the hotel room. Departure tax (children under age 6 are exempt) is $15.00 (one-day excursion passengers pay only $13 by sea) throughout The Bahamas however, in Grand Bahama (Freeport) there is an additional $5.00 airport security fee for a total of $20.00. In 2003 the departure tax itself has been included in the price of airline tickets but the security fee remains payable at time of departure. Small children are exempt of the departure tax. There is a fee of $2.00 for motorized vehicles to cross the Paradise Island Bridge and 25¢ for all others.

How much should I tip?

15% is the acceptable amount to tip wait staff, taxi drivers and others offering personal services. Many restaurants automatically add the gratuities to the guest bill, so be sure and look for the restaurant policy or upon the bill. If you are uncertain of the policy or if the charge has been added inquire. For bell boys and porters is customary to tip $1.00 per bag.

Is nude or topless sunbathing allowed?

Generally no, it is not legal to be nude in public. However those who wish to do so will find that there are certain unfrequented beaches they may go to and privately sunbathe as they prefer.

What are driving and walking rules?

Driving is on the left, so walking should be on the right for safety. Wearing helmets while riding on a scooter or motorbike is compulsory.

What are the means of transportation if I don't wish to rent a vehicle?

Airports, sea ports, hotels, shopping centres and other busier destinations have taxis standing on Bahama Islands which have a regular tourist trade. They can be called on the less frequented islands. On the larger islands they are metered or fares are published obviously at the location to most destinations. Always ask and agree to a fare before starting your journey. Nearly all islands have a regular bus schedule. Buses are privately owned in the Bahamas and are smaller than the traditional buses such as used in the U.S., Great Britain and other regions. They are compact with seats that fold down into the isles as the buses fill. The tight seated vehicles are commonly referred to as Jitneys. Schedules are posted on the Jitneys, if you are unfamiliar with routes question the driver and ask what letter bus to wait for to reach your destination. They may only run during daylight hours after which you will need to hire cabs.

What are the current taxi fares?

Taxi fares are government regulated and all cabs are required to have meters.

General rates for one or two passengers are $3 for the first quarter mile and each additional quarter mile is forty cents. Each additional passenger is $3 however children under age three are free.

Waiting rates are thirty cents a minute and Baggage charges are free up to two items of hand luggage and small bags/packages carried by the passengers. Additional pieces of luggage are seventy-fives cents, large bags, golf clubs and boxes cost one dollar each.

What are the laws concerning possession of illegal drugs?

It is a serious criminal offense to be in possession of illegal drugs.

Can I camp in The Bahamas?

The Bahamas does not cater to campers and does not offer any formal camp grounds. It is not advisable to camp on the beaches. To camp on privately owned property it is required that you obtain the permission of the land owner.

What is the electrical service?

Electric is 120 volts AC. American appliances will work just fine.

Can I drink the water?

The tap water is fine for drinking. However some folks prefer bottled water purely based on flavour. It is readily available for purchase.

What are the business hours?

For shops in Nassau normal weekday business hours are from 9am to 5pm and on Grand Bahama they tend to vary but mainly operate from 10am to 6pm. Many businesses make choices to open early or stay open later. They are usually open the same hours on Saturdays although some business reduce the open hours. On Sundays nearly all shops are closed but you may find some straw vendors still open. Grocery stores generally open at 7:30am and close at 9:00pm Monday through Saturday and on Sunday most are only open from 7:30am and close at 10:00am. Inquire with the individual stores.

Do I need to obtain vaccinations prior to going to The Bahamas?

No you need not get shots to travel to The Bahamas.

Can I use my cell phone in The Bahamas?

Most foreign cell service plans will not work within The Bahamas. Many services will arrange for you to set up service for your stay in The Bahamas, it is important that you clearly understand what rates will apply. You can also bring your cellular phone to BTC (The Bahamas Telecommunications Company) and they will program it for a fee.

How do I make overseas calls from The Bahamas?

You will find that most pay telephones in The Bahamas have discontinued accepting quarters. To use these pay phones you require a prepaid phone card issued by BTC (The Bahamas Telecommunications Company). The cards are readily for sale from vending machines, many stores and restaurants, and from BTC offices. They come in denominations starting at $5.00. If you use a pay phone you can access the following long distance carriers toll free (but you will need the card to initiate the call) to use your service from The Bahamas or you can simply use a regular phone:

AT&T Canada Country Direct 1-800-389-0004
Canada Direct (Stentor) 1-800-463-0501
MCI Call USA 1-800-888-8000
Sprint Express 1-800-389-2111
USA Direct 1-800-872-2881 (AT&T)
U.K. Direct 1-800-389-4444

Call US direct phones have been appearing as well.

Blocked phones and prepaid cards: many phones do not offer long distance service (many folks elect not to engage in overseas phone service as if there is a dispute they must pay the bill despite their claim that it is not their charge and often there is no way to prove otherwise) and therefore there is no ability to dial beyond seven (7) digits. In this case you may not use the above 800 numbers to access your service without first initiating the call using a Bahamas Direct Prepaid Card. These cards differ in appearance and usage and must be purchased from BTC. At the time of purchase you pay the amount desired of the card value (you can choose anything $10 and over). The card renders a local access number that is only seven (7) digits enabling you to place long distance calls against your Bahamas Prepaid Card or by dialing one of the above services by numbers listed.

Please note that the majority of toll free numbers available in the US, Canada and other advertised toll free numbers are normally not toll free from The Bahamas. This is the choice of the business setting up the toll free service as they must designate which countries, regions etc. that they are willing to incur the charges for.

bvgbar

Search the Bahamas Vacation Guide

Can't find what you are looking for? Contact Bahamas Vacation Guide info

the-bahamas-islands.com Back to Bahamas Vacation Guide Welcome Page

 

| Bahamas Activities | Bahamas Bed & Breakfast | Bahamas Car & Other Rentals |
| Bahamas Diving | Bahamas Eco Tourism | Bahamas Fishing |
| Travel to Bahamas By Sea & Air | Bahamas Hotels |
| Bahamas Kids Activities | Bahamas Law Firms | Bahamas Marinas |
| Medical | Bahamas Night Life | Other Services | Pampering |
| Bahamas Private Islands | Bahamas Real Estate | Bahamas Restaurants |
| Bahamas Sailing & Charters | Bahamas Shopping | Tax Free Investments |
| Bahamas Timeshares | Bahamas Travel Services | Bahamas Vacation Rentals |
| Bahamas Watersports | Bahamas Wedding | Bahama Islands |
| Bahamas Vacation Contest | Bahamas Information |
| Bahamas Maps | Follow Us On Facebook! | Bahamas Weather Forecast |
| Search | Advertise with Us | Book a Bahamas Vacation |


http://www.the-bahamas-islands.com/faq.html
Pages Designed and Maintained by BVG Design
Questions or Comments: Bahamas Vacation Guide
Date Page Last Maintained: 13 June, 2012
Bahamas Vacation Guide Copyright © 1996 - 2014
see privacy, copyright, disclaimer & policies All Rights Reserved