A non-stop flight to The Bahamas from New York typically lasts a little more than 3 hours. It’s a fairly easy trip to The Bahamas, not just because of the duration of the flight but because of every other thing one might have to consider when traveling internationally. Visiting The Bahamas from New York will feel as simple as visiting another state.
Here, answers to 10 questions will be discussed that one may have about traveling to The Bahamas from the Big Apple; everything from customs questions to what one may think they will need to prepare for but really don’t.
10 Do I Need A Visa To Enter The Bahamas?
The first thing to remember is, yes, a passport is needed. Regarding a visa, entering The Bahamas depends on travelers’ country of citizenship and residency. For many countries, visitors will need a visa. Here is what one needs to know if they are a US citizen or a non-citizen but a permanent resident.
According to The Bahamas Department of Immigration, US citizens do not need a visa if their stay does not exceed 8 months.
Non-citizens permanent resident (Green Card holder)
If a permanent resident of the United States – one who has a passport from a different country but has a Green Card that proves permanent residency in the US– entering without a visa is acceptable.
But, a passport and Alien Registration Card (Green Card) are still required. However, unlike US citizens, permanent residents will only be allowed to stay up to 30 days in The Bahamas.
9 Do I Need Special Vaccinations?
Portugal Vaccine Green Pass
As a US citizen or permanent resident, additional vaccinations are not required. However, The Bahamas puts an emphasis on vaccinations against Yellow Fever for other countries or those coming from certain countries. A list of those countries can be found on the Bahamas’ official website.
If you have “transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission. They [visitors] must be vaccinated 10 days before entering The Bahamas.”
US citizens are not required to show proof of COVID vaccinations. Permanent residents, according to the CDC, will need to show evidence of COVID vaccination. For more COVID-related information, check out the US Embassy in The Bahamas’ website.
8 Do I Need To Exchange US Dollars For Bahamian Dollars?
counting US dollars
The simple answer is no. What’s more, most credit cards and debit cards are accepted throughout the island. Some credit companies charge a minor international fee, so contact the credit card provider.
7 When Is The Best Time To Go To The Bahamas?
Spanish Wells, Bahamas
In this section, the best months to go to The Bahamas, when hurricane season begins and ends, and when is the cheapest time to visit these paradise islands will be explained.
Best months to visit The Bahamas
The weather is warm and dry in The Bahamas from December through April. This is great if one is coming from New York because they get to escape the winter weather. However, this is also the busiest time in The Bahamas.
June through November is a less busy time but check the weather, especially for hurricanes (which brings us to the next section in this category).
When is hurricane season in The Bahamas?
Hurricane season is during the less busy months: the beginning of June through the end of November. This may not be the best time to go because of the weather, but there is something to consider (which will be discussed in the following section).
Cheapest time to visit The Bahamas
For obvious reasons, the cheapest time to visit The Bahamas is during hurricane season – June to November. Hurricane season does not always mean a massive dangerous storm; many times, it is just a lot of rain. May to June and November to December are months with fewer tourists and enjoyable weather.
Winter months for New Yorkers (December through April) will see a spike in prices, especially during Christmas and Easter. Usual vacation months like June through August can get busy as well. But according to Cheap Flights, January is the cheapest month to buy a plane ticket.
6 Do They Speak English In The Bahamas?
Yes, English is spoken in The Bahamas. As a matter of fact, English is the main language spoken throughout.
The English spoken is known as Bahamian English, which is a product of British English coupled with rich linguistic influences, rooted in the African languages of the slave trade. –Commisceo Global
Two other languages are spoken in The Bahamas: Haitian Creole and Bahamian Creole.
5 Planning On Driving In The Bahamas?
If planning to rent a car while vacationing in The Bahamas, remember that one will need to drive on the left. That will take an adjustment for New Yorkers. It is probably best to use a taxi to avoid confusion and the expensive renting rates. Consider tipping the driver 10%-15% of the charge; it is an etiquette tip.
4 Do I Need An Adapter For My Electronics?
Even though this is considered international travel, purchasing an adapter is not needed. Outlets are the same as in New York.
Tip: If making calls using a cell phone, international fees may apply.
3 Is There A Time Difference In The Bahamas From New York?
Plane vs Boat to the Bahamas
The time in The Bahamas is still Eastern Standard Time (EST) like in New York. With that being said, there is no time difference between New York and The Bahamas. Another thing to note is The Bahamas observes Daylight Savings Time too.
2 Keep The Return Ticket With On Hand
Just FYI, the departure ticket from The Bahamas may be needed as proof of not overstaying the visit. When arriving in The Bahamas, travelers may be required to show their return flight ticket.
Something good to know: When returning to the US, travelers will be able to bypass US Customs and Immigration.
1 Are The Bahamas Safe?
There is so much going on in New York including crime. The Caribbean is not any different. Granted, resorts and specific areas of The Bahamas are safe and police are patrolling the islands; traveling outside the resort area may require visitors to be extra aware of their surroundings.
According to the Broke Backpacker, the British High Commission reports that there has been an increase in reports of break-ins and robberies across New Providence, Grand Bahama, and Freeport. They also note police patrols in tourist areas.
Most violent crime, however, is against Bahamians, but that doesn’t mean shouldn’t take sensible precautions.
The other islands of The Bahamas have fewer crimes. But it’s always best to be cautious when traveling anywhere. This does not mean that travelers should avoid certain islands. Even in New York, one should be mindful of what is around them. Crime in New York increased by 5.9% as of October 2022, revealed the state’s official site. As for The Bahamas, crime increased by 18% in the first five months of 2022.
Keeping informed is a smart move when traveling to unfamiliar territory. This allows for better preparation and planning.
Vacationing in The Bahamas will prove to be a pleasant experience. Flying from New York to The Bahamas should be a smooth process; so, relax and enjoy the time away from the big city’s hustle and bustle.