How to save money in the Bahamas:
After several years of ownership at the Harborside Resort at the Atlantis, we've come up with a list of tips to save you some time, aggravation and most of all money. Some of these things will help you at the Atlantis too but these are definitely geared toward staying at Harborside because of the extra amenities you have in the villa. Some of this stuff is common sense but sometimes it helps to have a list like this.
Here are your tips:
- You need a passport.
- You're on Bahama time, relax and slow down, things take a bit longer here.
- Phone calls from the room are very expensive. We have a Skype plan that allows us to dial anywhere in the US for $2.99/month that helps save money on calls. Some carriers have affordable international plans that you can use now.
- Turn off your phone's data service before you leave the states so you don't get hit with extra fees.
- Travel light. The villas at Harborside have a washer and dryer so you need a lot less clothes than you think.
- When you pass through the inspection area after you pickup your checked bags, stay to the left, most non-residents are let right through without being inspected.
- Bring food. At Harborside you will have a full Kitchen, bring foods you can eat for breakfast, lunch and snacking to save money. We even freeze bacon, hot dogs, sausage and other meat before we leave, put them in the insulated freezer bags and then pack them in a checked bag. Sticks of pepperoni, coffee, coffee filters, blocks of cheese, crackers, cereal, laundry detergent packets, iced tea packets, and bagels are all things that travel well. Try to think of things you like snack on that they will charge you a fortune for in the sundry stores.
- If you drink, ask your taxi driver to stop at the liquor store on the way to the resort. Bottles of liquor, wine, and a case of beer will save you a ton of money. You can make drinks in the room in plastic glasses and walk to the pool. Sure we all want a fancy frozen drink or two but you don't have to pay high drink prices the whole time you are there. If your room isn't ready when you arrive they will store your luggage and anything else locked away until it is.
- Once you are there, go to the local grocery store. Harborside has a shuttle that goes to the grocery store a couple times a week. It's $7 a person and well worth the money. Sure some things are expensive in the store but, what you save by not eating out all the time more than makes up for it. Bringing a roller suitcase with you to carry the stuff back to your room keeps you from having to carry everything like a pack mule. After you checkout there will be a group of fine young Bahamian boys that will help you carry all your stuff from the store to the shuttle. They work their butts off to help you out so do the right thing and toss them a buck or two. You can also give them the green stamps the cashier gives you when you check out, or give them to one of the locals. They really appreciate it and you probably aren't going to use them.
- Fish Fry - If you are looking for authentic Bahamian food for a great price go to the Fish Fry. It's an area just outside of Nassau that has lots of restaurants, just ask any taxi driver to take you there and he will know what you're talking about. A couple of the most popular places are Oh Andros and Twin Brothers. We usually go a couple times a week and not being seafood eaters we like to go to Oh Andros for the fried chicken dinner. You get a half a fried chicken, peas and rice, and 2 sides for $9 and you never leave hungry. A few tips, you may be intimidated but we've never had a problem, use common sense and don't act like a jerk. There will be guys that want to bring you to certain places but just tell the guy where you are going and he will escort you there. Just let him do it if he's persistent, he's just hustling for a few bucks from the restaurants and it has no effect on your prices so it's not a big deal. You'll also have people there trying to sell you Cuban cigars, if you don't want them just politely decline or tell them you don't smoke. When you are done with your meal just ask the waitress to call a cab and they will pick you up right outside.
- Internet Access in the rooms is pretty expensive at Harborside unless you share the cost. You can also setup a wi-fi hotspot using a laptop if you need more connections.
I own several of the Harborside Timeshares in various seasons, if you are intereted in a Harborside Timeshare Rental, email me at: ctscubadiver [at] gmail [dot] com.