When to pack your bags for a break in the Bahamas
Year-round sun, a laid-back attitude and the cleanest water on the planet. No wonder so many people love the Bahamas. The 700 islands and more than 2,000 rocks and cays in 100,000 square miles of ocean call people back year after year to explore. Whether returning or planning a first-time visit, consider going in the off-season when crowds are thin, prices are low and the weather is amazing.
Best time to visit
The off season in the Bahamas is from April to December, and that’s the most relaxing time to visit. Resort prices are down by as much as 60 percent, and resort boutiques tend to slash prices to stay afloat during slow times. The atmosphere is less frenzied, and there are shorter waits at restaurants and golf courses. The beaches and pools aren’t as crowded, yet the sun, sea and surf are just as good. This is all great news because, for many people, summer is the easiest time of year to schedule a vacation.
Seasons that command consideration
There are two seasons that may warrant staying away from the Bahamas. The first is hurricane season, which runs from June through November, but peaks from August to October. The good news is that hurricanes actually don’t hit the Bahamas frequently, and when they do, the hurricane cancellation policies that most Bahamian hotels have in place keep tourists from losing their vacation dollars.
The other possibly bad time for a visit is spring when rowdy spring break crowds are Bahamas-bound. From March to mid-April, college students and vacationing families abound, and parties are inevitable. What’s more, that time of year is still in the busy season when high prices can compound any lack of enjoyment.
Weather in paradise
The weather in the Bahamas is nearly always good. The lowest temperatures in the winter rarely dip below the 60s, and even though summer can be sweltering and humid at midday, the breezes are cool in the morning, late afternoon and evening. The rainiest months are May and June, but rain can be a welcome respite from the heat.
Traffic, crowd and tourist considerations
All things considered, the best times to avoid crowds and enjoy the weather are mid-April through May and September through mid-December. Avoiding traffic, however, can be problematic.
The first thing to know about driving in the Bahamas is that it happens on the left side of the road. Traffic is often congested and chaotic, and drivers can be careless or aggressive. Driving defensively is a must, particularly since drivers regularly pull out of side streets without warning. It’s also important to note that roads are often in disrepair and flooding is frequent in many areas. For most visitors, public transportation is a better idea.
On a cruise, or at a resort
At resorts, low prices abound in the summer. For those who prefer a cruise, however, summer might not be the best time to go. Sailing during the school year is often more economical, because families with kids like to cruise during the summer. Early fall is another great time to get a good deal if high seas and the prospect of changing plans due to rough weather are not problematic.
If money allows it, the holiday season is a wonderful time for a cruise. Not only is the weather beautiful in the Bahamas, but the cruise lines pull out all the stops for the holidays. It’s a great time to enjoy the natural beauty of the tropics while creating incredible memories.