Palm trees on the beach

Grand Bahama Island Travel Tips

When planning for your next tropical vacation, our collection of travel tips will keep you informed on current international travel regulations. Don’t let small details get in the way of planning your ultimate getaway to the Bahamas. Plan ahead with these great travel tips.

Climate

Grand Bahama Island is well known for its year-round warm, tropical climate. The island experiences temperatures that range from 70° F to 80°F. There are two types of seasons that affect travelling decisions: hurricane season occurs June through November, and the rainy season during the months of May through October.

Currency & Banking

Grand Bahama Island currency is the Bahamian dollar, which is on par with the American dollar. Credit cards and travelers checks are accepted at most locations on the island. Automatic teller machines (ATMs), equipped with +PLUS and Cirrus systems, are also found in various locations.

Customs & Duty Free Shopping

In 1992, The Government of The Bahamas took away the import duty on 11 categories of luxury goods: liquor, china, crystal, collectibles, fragrances, watches, photographic equipment and leather goods.

U.S. citizens out of the country for 48 hours or more are allowed up to $800 worth of duty-free merchandise; if less than 48 hours, the duty-free exemption is $200. Limitations include 32 ounces of tobacco for those over 21 and no more than two liters of alcohol.

Canadian residents away for seven or more days are entitled to $750 worth of duty-free goods. Limitations include two pounds of manufactured tobacco and up to 40 ounces of liquor or wine. If traveling for 48 hours or less, the duty-free exemption is $400 worth of merchandise.

United Kingdom residents may take home the equivalent of 145 GBP of duty-free merchandise. Limitations include two fluid ounces of perfume, a half-pound of tobacco and two liters of table wine.

Drinking Water

Tap water on Grand Bahama Island is safe to drink, but bottled water is available for purchase at many locations on the island.

Electricity

Electrical appliances from the United States are easily adaptable during your stay on Grand Bahama Island. All electrical outlets are 60 cycles/120 volts so you can still use your hair dryer or electrical shaver.

Holidays

Banks, businesses and many shops are closed on the following public government holidays and some close early the day before:

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Good Friday (Friday before Easter)
  • Easter Sunday (Same as in the U.S.)
  • Easter Monday (Monday after Easter Sunday)
  • Whit Monday (Seventh Monday after Easter)
  • Labour Day (First Friday in June)
  • Bahamas Independence Day (July 10)
  • Emancipation Day (First Monday in August)
  • Discovery Day (October 12)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)
  • Boxing Day (December 26)

Note: Holidays falling on a Saturday or Sunday are usually celebrated on the following Monday.

Hotel Check-in/Check-out

Hotel check-in and check-out hours are typically the same for most Grand Bahama Island hotels and resorts.

  • Check-in: 3:00pm
  • Check-out: 11:00am

If you anticipate a late or earlier flight, have a change of clothes handy, as most hotels will store your luggage for you until your room is available.

Language

The official language of The Bahamas is English.

Medical Facilities

There are several medical facilities in The Bahamas and most hotels and resorts have a doctor on call for guests. The Rand Memorial Hospital and several private clinics are located in Freeport.

Telephone & Internet access

Direct dial services in guest rooms are provided in most hotels and resorts. In order to save on long-distance phone calls, phone cards are available with convenient rates. The Bahamas Telephone Company (BTC) also provides roaming rates for cell phones. Visit www.btcbahamas.com for more information on BTC’s roaming partners and rates. High-speed Internet access is generally found in all hotels and resorts on Grand Bahama Island. Certain fees for Internet access may apply. For information on Internet fees, contact your hotel or resort directly.

Time Zone

Grand Bahama Island is in the Eastern Standard Time Zone. Daylight Savings Time occurs from March to November, during the summer months.

Tipping

If you are tipping for a service, the standard amount is 15%. Many resorts and hotels automatically add this service charge in order to cover gratuities.

Tourist Information

There are several Tourist Information Centers available in Freeport/Lucaya:

  • Grand Bahama International Airport
  • Port Lucaya Marketplace
  • Lucayan Cruise Facility

Transportation

Vacationers can get around Grand Bahama Island a variety of ways: taxi cabs, rental cars, motor scooters and jitney buses are available throughout the island. If you are driving, remember to drive on the left side of the road. You may use your own driver’s license for up to three months, and then you are required to obtain a Bahamian license. If you are driving or riding on motor scooter, be sure to wear a protective helmet.

Travelling with Children

Travelling to Grand Bahama Island with children is no trouble at all. Many of the island’s hotels and resorts offer special activities for children as well as babysitting services. As an added bonus, children under 12 generally stay free.

Travelling with Pets

If you prefer having your pet with you, you will need to apply for a valid import permit. In the application process, you are required to provide the following information: kind of animal, breed, age, sex, country of embarkation and a $10 processing fee. All import permits are provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Trade and Industry in Nassau, Paradise Island.

Ministry of Agriculture, Trade and Industry

Bahama Import Requirements
Phone: (242) 325-7502/9 or (242) 325-7438
Fax: (242) 325-3960
P.O. Box 3704
Nassau, Bahamas

Weddings

Couples who wish to obtain a marriage license in Grand Bahama must be in the country for 24 hours prior to applying. Valid passports, birth certificates, photo ID, and evidence of the date of arrival in The Bahamas must be presented by both parties. Divorce papers, death certificate of a former spouse and parental consent if under the age of 18 must also be presented.

For more information contact:
The Assistant Registrar General of The Bahamas
PO Box F-42602
Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas
tel: (242) 352-4934
fax: (242) 352-4060