Things I Need to Travel to the Bahamas

Things I Need to Travel to the Bahamas
The Bahamian Islands and their endless sandy beaches, clear water and glittering casinos are an easy boat or plane trip from the U.S. East Coast. Grand Bahama, Paradise Island, Andros, Cat Cay or any of scores of islands can be a carefree and exotic vacation choice that requires little preparation.


All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport--including children--but are not required to obtain visas for travel to the Bahamas.


U.S. dollars, credit cards and debit cards are accepted, and Bahamian currency is linked to the U.S. dollar. You can change money at hotels and banks if you want to pay in local currency, but there is no need to change money before travel.

Vaccines and Medical Coverage

No special medical preparations or vaccines are required for a Bahamas trip. Review the U.S. State Department travel advisories or check with your doctor for any precautions. Consult your medical insurance provider to see if you are covered in the Bahamas. According to the U.S. State Department, Bahamian doctors, hospitals and clinics do not routinely accept foreign insurance and expect to be paid in full when service is rendered. If you have any medical conditions or want to be covered in case of emergency, you can purchase additional health insurance before your trip.

Sun Protection

The Bahamas is sunny, flat and fairly treeless, and the surrounding water reflects the sun. Bring strong sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat or visor. When packing, include a cover-up or long sleeved shirt in with your bathing suit.

Cell Phones

Your cell phone may work in the Bahamas, but you could incur roaming charges. To avoid a high phone bill, travelers with with tri-band GSM cell phones can buy a prepaid SIM card from the Bahamas Telecommunications Company. Local shops will unlock your cell phone for a small fee. You can also use a prepaid BTC phone card for public phones--purchase them from shops or vending machines after you arrive.

Driver's License

Your U.S. driver's license is acceptable for car rentals but the Bahamas follows British driving rules, and cars drive on the left side of the road. This can get confusing, especially in roundabouts. It can also be tricky when crossing the street, so visitors should get in the habit of looking both ways--and checking to the right first.

Chargers and Hair Dryers

The electric current is the same as the U.S. Appliances and accessory chargers from home will work fine in your hotel or apartment.

Sports Gear

You can rent scuba gear and fishing tackle through local shops or a fishing charter company. If you are traveling by private boat from the States, consider bringing your own equipment.

Article Written By Benna Crawford

Benna Crawford has been a journalist and New York-based freelance writer since 1997. Her work has appeared in "The New York Times," "The Washington Post," "The Miami Herald," on CBS, CNN, ABC and in professional journals, trade publications and blogs. Crawford is a certified Prana Yoga instructor, currently studying green nutrition.

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