Bahamas Travel Tips and Safety Advice
Your best travel guide to the islands of the Caribbean and more.
Bahamas Travel Tips and Safety AdvicePosted on December 3. 2013
An island nation of more than 700 islands, islets, and cays located in that magical spot where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea, the Bahamas are one of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire Caribbean. How popular? Well, between cruise ship passengers and land-loving overnight-staying guests, nearly five million visitors a year visit the Bahamas. Nearly every single one of them has a fantastic holiday free of any sort of medical or safety issue as well. Like anywhere else though, there are a few things you do need to keep in mind while visiting to ensure that you stay in that overwhelmingly large majority of people who have a healthy, fun, and safe holiday. Here is a list of Bahamas travel tips to keep in mind.
As far as food and drink, drinking bottled water is recommended in the Bahamas, as is avoiding ice in your drinks. Of course, there is always the risk of your stomach not agreeing with some local seafood or rum, and for that drinking plenty of bottled water is recommended. If you do need more serious medical attention though, you will find the facilities in the Bahamas are of a very high standard and pharmacies will be able to provide you with any over-the-counter medicine you might require.
The most common health concern that ends up affecting visitors in the Bahamas though is simple sunburn. It is nothing to take lightly though as absorbing too much sun can be a serious issue, especially in a tropical region like this. Taking the usual precautions that you would take anywhere against sunburn and sunstroke are recommended in the Bahamas. It is recommended that your time in the sun should be minimal during the first few days of your trip as you should allow your body to gradually become accustomed to the more intense rays of the sun. Also bring with you and USE strong UVA/UVB sunscreen and drink plenty of that aforementioned bottled water. Remember to re-apply this sunscreen after every time you get into the water.
Facilities that offer water sports equipment and scooter rentals are not carefully regulated in the Bahamas. People suffer from injuries or even die because of careles or improper operation of scooters, jetskis, snorkeling and scuba equipment. If you are going to rent equipment, make sure to ask the establishment to provide proper use and safety training before using the equipment. Ask the locals for licensed and reputable operators and check whether they have sufficient medical and liability insurance.
The Bahamas is a safe country, but just like your hometown, there are no doubt some spots that are a little less safe than others. When visiting Nassau, Paradise Island, Freeport, or other major tourist hubs of the Bahamas, make sure to exercise a little extra caution and good judgment at all times. Nothing extreme here, just about on a par with how you would act during a night out downtown at home. In the capital Nassau, most crime takes place in a part of town not usually visited by tourists (the area inland from Bay Street to the South of Bay Street, behind the tourist district), but that doesn’t mean the odd incident can’t occur in the tourist zone. As long as you don’t flaunt your cash or jewelry or have a conversation with a shady street drug dealer, you will be well on your way to enjoying a carefree and safe holiday.
If you decide to make a visit to the one of the many casinos in the Bahamas, make sure to keep an eye on your wallet, as some casinos have been known to be infested with pickpockets. If you rent a car to explore the islands, make sure you hide all valuables when you park the car, especially if you are parked near a well-known tourist sight where a potential thief can easily deduce that you will be gone for a while.
Avoid engaging in high-risk behavior such as consuming large amounts of alcoholic beverages which can greatly affect your otherwise normal behaviour or increase your vulnerability to accidents or opportunistic crime. Avoid accepting rides from people you do not know or from unlicensed cab drivers.
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