Last Updated on March 16, 2022
I don’t come from a rich family, but my parents believed wholeheartedly in travel’s physical and mental benefits. Although we didn’t have much money, every year, we’d take a trip together. The experiences were priceless and stuck with me throughout my journey to adulthood. It inspired me to one day travel outside of the country and explore the world. One place I always dreamed of going to was the Bahamas.
I saved every penny, and after graduating college, I decided to make this my first travel destination. Of course, my budget was limited, but I was determined to visit this tropical paradise. While most would think a trip like this was impossible, you’ll be surprised with what a bit of perseverance, creativity, and savviness will get you.
The Planning Stages
I knew that the Bahamas was my destination, but I hadn’t narrowed down which island I’d visit. After conducting research, I discovered that Grand Bahama Island was a budget-friendly destination for people on a student’s budget.
Getting A Passport
I knew I’d need a passport if I were going to reach my destination safely. I had a valid driver’s license but couldn’t find my original birth certificate or social security card. So, I first had to apply for a social security card replacement to retrieve the birth certificate. I acquired those documents, then completed my passport application.
Flight And Hotel
Next, I needed to consider transportation and accommodations once I arrived in the Bahamas. I didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a plane ticket, so; I got savvy. I searched for cheap flights using an incognito browsing window so that advertisers wouldn’t keep changing flight prices to encourage me to make a rash decision. Then, I identified the best day and time to travel (during the week at low peak times).
As for hotel accommodations, I decided that I would stay in a local vacation rental instead of staying in the many lavish hotels and resorts they advertise. I secured an excellent space for a few days that only cost me a few bucks per night.
I managed to find a cheap way to fly and stay on Grand Bahama Island, but would I enjoy the experience on a budget? I didn’t want to stay locked up in the room the entire time with nothing to do or eat. So, here’s a look at how I managed.
National Parks, Gardens, And Nature Centers
I wanted to experience nature in a way I had never done before. It’s also no secret that spending time outdoors is often free or affordable. There was no shortage of cheap things to do that enabled me to experience nature in the Bahamas. I explored the Peterson Cay National Park, The Rand Nature Center, and the Garden of Groves. By packing meals and snacks that I prepared in my vacation rental, I was able to experience nature relatively affordably.
Tours are your best friend if you want to learn about history, arts, and culture on a budget. I found several tours on Grand Bahama Island that enabled me to explore this oasis extensively. I took a sunset cruise, snorkeling tour, rode a bike around the island, discovered exotic creatures on a birdwatch, and even went on a jet ski safari.
Another thing I learned about budget-friendly travel in the Bahamas is that local exploration can save you a lot of money. While it can be tempting to participate in activities and visit attractions tourists frequent, they often cost a lot more money. So, I did a little exploring myself, talking to the locals, visiting free beaches, and finding delicious cuisines in small cafes and mom-and-pop restaurants.
Travel has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My family and I never went anywhere far or expensive, but we learned a lot and cultivated memories that would last a lifetime. As an adult, I wanted to continue this in my own life and decided to travel to the Bahamas. During my trip to Grand Bahama Island, I discovered a beautiful destination and created experiences that will stay with me forever. The best part is, I did it all on a tight budget.