Bimini on a Budget
The Bahamas are a fantastic place, close enough to the US for a quick getaway and made up of a number of islands, each surrounded by beautiful turquoise waters. That makes them a very attractive destination but also a bit pricey. I recently went for a long weekend from Florida and here are a couple of things I would recommend if you’re thinking of doing the same, and on a smaller budget.
To be honest, let me say that the Bahamas on a budget is a pretty tough thing to do. It isn’t exactly the backpackers paradise I usually seek. But Bimini, being so close to the mainland was an appealing option for a quick getaway. For my journey, the ferry from Miami to Bimini cost about $200 return alone. There are flight options to the various islands, including Bimini, available as well, however, these were averaging roughly $300 return when I was searching.
The next problem in Bimini became budget accommodation. With one big Resort Complex at the north end of the island, most of what I found was either out of my preferred budget (max I would spend per night is $100) or very resorty – which is a word I am making up for this blog. I am not a big fan of resorts on travels. On Airbnb, I found some more affordable options ranging from $80-120 per night. Again, this obviously all depends on time of year, season, etc. But we are getting somewhere.
So from my 3 day trip, here are the three main money saving things I learned:
1. Getting to Bimini can cost a pretty penny, but if you are open to taking the ferry, I would recommend this. With deals and specials (none of which I was able to take advantage of due to timing) this could make for one of the cheapest ways to get to the island. As I always say, flexibility is key.
2. Rent a cottage off Airbnb or booking.com. The place we stayed in was a bit more remote down on the south end of Bimini but faced a private beach. It allowed us to explore the island a bit on foot and see it for what it really is – not the perfect and pretty little subdivision of condos, manicured lawns, and Sushi restaurants at the resort complex. Plus if you have your own kitchen, cooking meals and having snacks handy is always a money saver!
3. Don’t rent a golf cart. True that this ties you down to your location a little bit more, but all you have to do is walk out into the streets and you are offered rides for $5 per person to anywhere you’d like to go. Considering golf carts are $90 per day, I gladly took this option. Plus chatting with the locals on rides, was one of my favourite things from this trip.
There you go. There isn’t a ton you can do to save money, because food and drinks, even at the more remote spots will cost about the same as in Florida/mainland US. But you definitely get a bit more of the island feeling if you stay away from where everyone else is staying. All in all, it was a wonderful getaway and something I will definitely do again. Let’s hope next time it doesn’t rain for the majority of my stay.