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A first-timer’s guide to holidaying in the Bahamas

Lying off the tip of eastern Florida and stretching southeast across the Atlantic, the Bahamas are made up of some 2,000 islands if you include the cays, offering something for just about every type of traveller. Grand Bahama is ideal for families, with lots of children’s facilities and activities, while Nassau offers a 24/7 party. You’ll also find plenty of outdoor adventure, from diving and snorkelling to golfing and world-renowned bone fishing, along with quiet, romantic islands for enjoying the beautiful coral beaches in relative seclusion, and just about everything in between.

When to go to the Bahamas

The stunning white sand beaches and strikingly clear azure waters coupled with its tropical year-round climate, make the Bahamas wonderful to visit anytime of the year, but the best time to go really depends on the type of holiday you’re looking for. Whether you want a non-stop party, more budget-friendly rates or a taste of authentic, laid-back island life, we’ll help you decide when to go. Winter is the time most people head to the Bahamas to escape the cold. Mid-December through April is peak season, with the highest rates and the biggest crowds of the year, and it’s also the perfect time for partying 24/7. If you want to join in on the excitement, plan to visit during this time, but be sure to book well in advance for flights and accommodation.

The off-season, from May through mid-December, typically brings the lowest airfare and hotel rates of the year, and you’ll have few crowds to contend with. If you’re concerned about the hurricane season, which officially stretches from June 1 to November 30, they’re actually rather infrequent here and you’ll have plenty of advance warning if a major storm should occur. The optimal time of the year for the best rates, fewest crowds and driest weather is the month of May and again, from about mid-November to mid-December.

Weather in the Bahamas

Bahamian temperatures vary little throughout the year, averaging in the mid- to upper-20s Celsius in summer and winter, though summer does bring higher humidity making it feel much hotter, as well as a greater chance of rain which lasts through fall. September and October present the highest risk for hurricane activity, with the islands of Grand Bahama, Abaco and Andros most likely to be affected, although it’s still a rather rare occurrence.

Bahamas flights and transfers

The flight time from London to the Bahamas is roughly 9 hours, with flights landing at Nassau Lynden Pindling International Airport. British Airways flies non-stop to Nassau five times a week, or if you’d like to combine your holiday with time in a U.S. city , you might want to take a transatlantic flight to Miami, followed by a connecting flight to Nassau, Grand Bahama, or one of the Out Islands such as the Exumas, Eleuthero, Andros, Abacos or Berry Islands.

Visa requirements

British citizens who are travelling to the Bahamas don’t need to obtain a visa to stay for up to three months, although a passport that does not expire for at least six months after your date of entry into the country is needed for all travellers, including children and infants.

Language

English is the official language spoken in the Bahamas. You will notice the dialect and slang can be rather difficult to understand, more so on the Out Islands.

Transportation

Inter-island travel: If you want to travel around the islands, you’ll have a few different options. Bahamas Ferries operates fast ferry service from Nassau to Andors, Long, Exuma, Grand Bahama, South Abaco and Eleuthera, including Spanish Wells and Harbour Island. There are also much slower mail boats that sail between islands, carrying cargo as well as passengers, providing a cheap, adventurous way to travel, mingle with the locals and enjoy the scenery, though they aren’t recommended for those who are on a tight time schedule.

Multiple airlines, including Bahamasair, Sky Bahamas, Lee Air, Southern Air, Flamingo, Western Air and Pineapple, offer flights to various islands throughout the Bahamas as well.

Driving: We don’t recommend hiring a car in the Bahamas for several reasons. It’s very expensive in Nassau and Freeport, around 60 pounds per day or more, and not much less than that in the Out Islands. Plus, there isn’t much scenery that you won’t be able to enjoy right from your hotel or resort as the islands tend to be dominated by scrub brush. If you do drive for the pure convenience of getting to wherever you want to go when you want to get there, be aware that Bahamian drivers tend to drive rather aggressively, there are massive potholes on the roads and signage can be very confusing or missing altogether.

Bus: Bus service is very limited or non-existent, with the exception of Nassau/New Providence and Grand Bahama. The mini-buses in Nassau and on New Providence Island are locally known as jitneys. They’re a cheap way to get around and can be found on and near Bay Street, although understanding the routes can be challenging and destinations aren’t always indicated on the bus. Your best bet is to ask staff at your hotel or resort for help.

Taxi: Taxis are readily available, found outside hotels and airports, identified by yellow licence plates with small Gothic black lettering indicating “Taxi.” Rates aren’t cheap – from Nassau Airport to downtown Nassau the fare is over 23 pounds currently, with fares based on two passengers. If you have more than that, there will be an extra charge for passengers as well as any extra luggage. Keep in mind that the taxis are equipped with meters, but most drivers refuse to use them, so you’ll need to agree on the fare in advance.

Currency

The official legal tender in the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar, though U.S. currency is accepted throughout the islands. When you’re in need of cash, ATMs typically offer the best exchange rates. On New Providence Island and Paradise Island you’ll find many. While there aren’t as many ATMs on the other islands, you can almost always find one somewhere, especially in airports and casinos. Keep in mind that most shopkeepers and casinos won’t exchange currency, however. For example, if you pay in Bahamian dollars, you’ll get Bahamian currency back; use U.S. dollars, and you’ll get U.S change.

Electricity

Electricity normally runs on 120-volt AC, which means those travelling from the U.K. where standard voltage is in the range of 220 to 240 Volts will likely need an adaptor, and possibly a voltage converter, to plug in electronics.

Vaccination and health

There are no vaccinations requirements for those visiting from the U.K. Other than certain areas of Nassau and Freeport, the Bahamas are virtually free of violent crime. Petty crime like pickpocketing is possible, so as with any other destination it’s important to follow common sense and avoid walking alone after dark or doing any heavy drinking that might put you at risk. The HIV rate is relatively high here compared to many other countries at 3%, making it essential to use a condom if you have sexual relations with a partner you didn’t bring with you to the island.  You’ll also want to slather on the sunscreen, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, as sunburns are arguably your biggest health threat.

Time difference

GMT – 4 hours, – 5 hours in the summer.

Festivals & events

Bahamians love a good celebration, which means, odds are, there will be some kind of festival or special event happening when you visit. The biggest of the year is hosted on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, known as “Junkanoo,” in honour of the freedom of slaves. There are street parades held throughout the islands, with Nassau holding the most elaborate events of all. Participants don incredible homemade crepe paper costumes while playing Junkanoo music, a mix of African rhythms, cowbells and loud brass that gets nearly everyone up on their feet and dancing. The Conch Festival is hosted every October, celebrating the nation’s most beloved food, a culinary spectacle that includes a conch cracking contest, live music and dancing.

Culture

While the Bahamas have one of the world’s highest ratios of churches per capita, the islanders’ religious devotion doesn’t prohibit any visitor activities, with more of a libertarian attitude when it comes to personal morals here. Bahamians tend to be very friendly, hospitable and easy-going. That said, bathing suits are only acceptable around the pool or at the beach. In certain, more upscale restaurants, nightclubs and casinos, you may have to follow a dress code.

Food, drink and nightlife

As with most island nations, seafood can be found on many menus in the Bahamas, with the national dish being conch, a kind of mollusc that’s served deep-fried or raw with a twist of lemon. You can also expect many types of fish, rock lobster and crab as well as salt pork and side dishes like pigeon peas, rice, tropical fruit and potatoes. Coconut water and fruit juices are common non-alcoholic beverages, like rum is commonly used in mixed drinks like rum punch. The Bahamas also has its own native brews, like the 7% ABV golden lager Kalik, considered the national beer.

Some of the best local fare can be found among the Arawak Cay’s collection of seafood shacks. No matter where you dine, expect service to be rather slow paced, even in fast food eateries. There are no hurried meals here.

If exciting nightlife is what you’re after, Nassau is where you want to be. The majority of action can be found around Paradise Island and the downtown waterfront. While this may be the tropics, flip-flops and casual attire in general are not acceptable at the trendiest spots, like Fluid known for spinning the latest reggae jams, and Aura at the Atlantis Resort which draws a celebrity crowd to dance to island favourites, hip-hop and top-40 hits. Cover charges, VIP sections and dress codes are the norm.

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travel

How to travel with a baby

Welcoming a baby into your family is a big adjustment and, if you love to travel, you may worry that having a baby will bring an end to that. Thankfully, just as other parts of your life will change, your travel style will adapt to include your new addition. There are plenty of tips to help make traveling with an infant a fun experience.

Tips for traveling with a baby

While babies and adults have many of the same basic needs while traveling, it takes a bit more planning to make sure a baby is fed and happy. You’ll also want to make sure you plan for the unexpected — diaper blowouts on an airplane, a stroller breaking, leaving a pacifier at a rest stop…just to name a few.

Additionally, babies are still developing their immune systems, so make sure they’re up to date on their immunizations and check with your pediatrician before traveling — especially if you’re visiting another country.

When it comes to planning a trip, you know your baby best. Try to keep their abilities and interests in mind. Traveling with children is different than traveling with a baby or a toddler. Places like national parks may be a good option for babies, as you can put them in a stroller or carrier and explore. Plus, because you’re in the great outdoors, you’ll likely be able to find a little extra open space to avoid the crowds.

If your little one is like a sponge soaking in everything going on around them, you may want to consider a bigger city. There’s plenty to look at, and you’ll likely find plenty of places that are baby-friendly. Even if your baby doesn’t exactly know what a shark is, they may still love watching them swim in an aquarium. Or you can visit a children’s museum, where you’ll find entertainment for all ages.

Regardless of where you decide to go, there are some things you’ll have to pack no matter what.

Checklist for traveling with a baby

  • Extra clothing for you and baby
  • Layers of clothing for unpredictable weather
  • Pacifier and clip (plus back-up)
  • Comfort toy or blanket
  • Extra diapers
  • Formula/breast milk/pump
  • Baby wipes
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Bottles
  • Bibs (and extra)
  • A first-aid kit with baby-safe medications
  • A small toy or two
  • Baby soap and shampoo

Car travel with a baby

If you’re going on a longer driving trip with your baby, there are some tips that may make it a bit easier on you both. In the weeks leading up to your trip, start practicing in the car with your baby. Traveling with a baby by car will be much easier if they’re used to their car seat and you can anticipate their needs. If your little one is used to shorter trips to the park or the grocery store, start practicing longer trips. Head to a zoo or park an hour or two away to help them get used to spending more time in the car.

You may also want to give yourself plenty of extra time when planning your trip. Even a baby with plenty of experience in a car seat can only sit still for so long. Plan on regular breaks for both you and your baby to get out of the car and get some fresh air. Plus, you’ll likely need to stop for some diaper changes along the way. If it’s possible, you may want to try to plan longer stretches of driving to coincide with your baby’s naptime.

You will likely want to pack some toys as well, to keep your baby entertained. These can be as simple as a rattle or their favorite stuffed animal. You may also want to consider getting a toy tether to keep the toys from falling onto the floor of the car.

Plane travel with a baby

Flying with a baby can be even more intimidating than driving, as you have less control over the environment. Between getting through security, making connections and dealing with pressure changes, traveling with an infant on a plane requires even more planning.

The first thing you should do is remember that parents fly with their babies all the time — you can do this. You may want to mentally prepare for a few hiccups, but there are plenty of tips to help the trip go more smoothly.

Most airlines won’t require you to buy a ticket for kids under 2 years old. However, this does mean your baby will have to sit on your lap. And of course, before foregoing the ticket, check the airline’s policy. If you can swing it, you may want to purchase a second seat so you can use a car seat and give yourself a little more freedom.

Even if they don’t need a ticket, your baby will need a passport for international travel, regardless of age. For domestic travel, TSA does not require anyone under the age of 18 to have identification.

Baby formula and breast milk are exempt from TSA’s 3-ounce liquid rule. They will need to be screened separately though, so you may want to keep them in their own bag to make it easier to pull out of your carry-on. Pressure changes can be tough on babies’ ears, so try to plan feedings for the ascent and descent, as swallowing can help alleviate the pressure.

Public transportation with a baby

Navigating public transportation with a baby has its own unique quirks as well. One way to make your life a little easier is to try and plan your trips outside of peak hours. This will give you a little more space to get in and out with your stroller or baby carrier.

Check out the route online and ensure they are accessible, that way you know you’ll have no problem getting the stroller onto the bus or train. It also means there will likely be a section reserved for wheelchairs and strollers, so you’ll have a bit more room.

When you are getting on and off public transportation, it’s safest to step out first and then pull the stroller out backwards. That way, if it tips, it won’t be tipping your little one forward and risking a fall.

And lastly, try and enjoy it. Many little ones will enjoy watching out the window or seeing all the people, so engage with your baby and make it a positive experience for them.

What’s more

Traveling with an infant can seem a little daunting at first, but with the right preparation and mindset, you’ll find it’s more than worth it. Just follow these tips before your next trip and you can enjoy being a family that travels together.

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fashiontravel

How Should Your Travel Outfits Look like? – Best Ideas

If you’re a frequent traveler, you’ll be well aware that certain things are of utmost importance, like wearing the right clothes according to the norms of the destination. But what’s also important is that the clothes are comfortable and practical to get you through. So pay attention to some of the most amazing travel outfit ideas coming your way.

The thought of sunny skies, beautiful beaches, and delightful landscapes might make you feel excited, but the selection of your outfit should not be left for the last minute. Here is how your travel outfit should look from the point of departure to the destination.

What To Wear For Traveling On A Plane?

Traveling is fun, but long flights can be the worst thing ever. Sitting for hours on cramping seats, you don’t want to make it more difficult by wearing something uncomfortable.

On the other hand, you don’t want to look like a teen going out for a slumber party; the best thing you can do is find a balance between fashion and comfort.

Top
Cotton T-shirts are a great pick for long travel because they feel highly comfortable and always look great. Secondly, you can wear something over it too. Blazers are amongst the best options, especially if you want a slightly polished, smart look.

Bottom
Can you wear jeans at the airport?

Yes, Jeans are great to wear for short-haul flights. But opt for regular jeans rather than ripped or faded jeans. For long-haul flights, soft cotton chinos are a better option; you can wear colors like khaki, beige, ivory white, or stick to the versatile black and grey.

Outer Wear
Traveling light can be tempting, but it’s not always great to cut edges when it comes to your attire. For times like these, it’s pretty cool to drape on a jacket. For a casual summer trip, a denim one is a superb choice. But Black Leather Jackets look hot, and Brown Leather Jackets look refined.

Foot Wear
Can you wear flip-flops through airport security? Some airports require taking off your shoes before getting through the security check. While you might think flip-flops are the best option, you will have to walk bare feet. So why not wear something that looks better as a pair of slip-ons.

What To Wear Once You Arrive At Your Destination?

Now that you know what to wear for your flight, let move on and see what other options we have once we’ve reached our long-awaited travel destination.

What Should I Wear In Europe?

When traveling to Europe, you don’t want to look like those cringe-worthy tourists with socks, sandals, and tropical shirts along with a camera hanging from the neck. Instead, try wearing something that looks preppy.

As opposed to the American effortless style, Europeans prefer smart casuals. Your outfit can vary depending on the area of your travel. In cities like London and Paris, opt for darker colors. On the other hand, wear brighter colors while beaching in Italy or Spain.

Here are the 10 best travel outfit ideas for men according to different seasons.

Travel Outfits for Fall & Spring

To keep it simple and elegant, your first option can be a checkered shirt. You can experiment with different colors and patterns but keep in mind not to make it too extravagant. Instead, pair the shirt with nice-looking chinos and loafers. You can also keep a small leather bag to carry your stuff.

If it’s chilly outside, you can also drop in a tailored sweatshirt and pair it with dark blue or black jeans and white sneakers to complete the look. Sunglasses and watches are great accessories that compliment your outfit, and you can easily build a wardrobe on a budget. Of course, you can also carry a bag with all the important items you need.

Bomber Jackets are an excellent addition to your lightweight travel clothes; keep the colors simple like green, navy, and black. You can layer it with a black or grey cotton tee and dark jeans, wear contrasting shoes to highlight the entire outfit.

Travel Outfit for Summer

What Should A Guy Wear To A Beach Vacation?

If you’re planning to hit the beach on your holidays, you can still keep your style statement on a high. However, if you’re confused about what to wear, here are some fantastic ideas that you don’t make summer style mistakes.

A light blue shirt looks fabulous at the beach when paired with denim shorts. You can also wear a cap, and it will not only look stylish but will provide shade from the bright sunlight.

Light cotton sleeveless shirts and Bermuda shorts are best for the beach on a sunny day. Just sit back and enjoy the sunlight and gushing wind.

What Do I Need For An African Holiday Safari?

Hiking in the desert can attract dirt and stains, so it’s highly recommended not to wear your favorite pair of clothing. Opt for basic color shorts and shirts like beige, stone, and khakis. It will not only hide dirt but will also help you blend in the landscape. You will spend most of the time in the sun so better wear sunglasses.

You can wear lighter shades for jungle safaris as well but make sure you cover your skin to avoid bugs and mosquito bites. Pair a light green long sleeve shirt with comfortable travel pants, drop out a wide brim hat, and leather boot to complete the style.

Winter Travel Outfit Ideas for Men

Dark colors such as black and charcoal are great for winters, wear a grey tee/sweatshirt and layer it with a warm double-breasted wool coat. Complete the look with plain black jeans and brown sneakers.

Puffer jackets are stylish and reliable winter wear; you can layer them over a warm turtle neck and slim-fit denim pants. Finish the look with contrasting sneakers or a classic leather boot.

Wool coats are a timeless winter layering piece; you should have at least one in your wardrobes, preferably versatile colors like black or grey, to elevate any outfit. Wear it with a black sweatshirt, navy chinos, and suede Chelsea boots.

These were the best travel outfit ideas for men ranging from the flight to the destination. All you need to do is select your desired style and adjust it according to your surroundings, keeping the same guidelines.

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Health

Avoid these Foods While Travelling

As the summer months are here many people are planning to go for summer vacations. Of course visiting some places in summer is quite exciting and memorable. But along with the excitement of travelling it is very important to take special care of our health and diet. During travelling consumption of outside food can cause health problems. So it is very important to take care of your food during vacations as you mostly depend on outside food.

Here are a few tips for you regarding the foods to eat during travelling.

Eat light food: It is better to have light food during the journey. On the other hand, if the journey is long, then light food is digested early as compared to heavy food. You can take food items like boiled eggs, lentils, rice or khichdi to eat during the journey. Also, do not forget to carry some fruits or fruit juices to maintain energy in the journey.

Foods to carry: Before going on the journey, keep some prepared food to eat. For this you can also make sandwiches and keep them. Also, you can have salads, fruits and dry fruits as snacks.

Stay away from oily food: Many people do not hold back from eating chips, crisps and fried things during the journey. Oily food items do not get digested quickly in summers and they can cause problems like acidity, gas and indigestion. So, try to minimize the consumption of these things on the journey.

Drink a lot of water: Do not forget to drink plenty of water during the journey. If possible, carry some water bottles from home with you. If you have to buy water, then buy only sealed bottles of water while traveling. Also, if you want, you can also drink packaged juice or other drinks.

Don’t miss the meal time: Delaying your lunch or dinner during travel is quite possible. But it’s advisable to eat food at regular intervals if you have not been able to take your lunch. Don’t avoid your breakfast and you should not be empty stomach while travelling. If you have taken a heavy meal it’s advisable to allow at least 5-6 hours getting the food completely digested, otherwise it may lead to problems like bloating.

By following these easy tips while travelling you can keep yourself healthy and enjoy your trip properly.

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