It's been just over two months since we took our amazing trip to the Bahamas and I'm finally feeling ready to sit down and share about it.
It was one of those vacations that was filled with SO many amazing memories and experiences that I felt overwhelmed with where to even begin.
We went to the Abaco Islands and it was truly magical. The island chain is known as the boating capital of the Bahamas and I don't think you could do this trip without a boat.
You could take a boat like we did (more on that below) or fly there and rent a boat, but without a boat you wouldn't be able to island hop and experience all there is to see and do.
The waters and beaches are like nothing I have ever seen, the sea life surrounding the islands is like something from a National Geographic movie and the laidback vibes of the towns, restaurants and Bahamian people were a welcomed change of pace.
No Chick-fil-A or Starbucks, no Target runs, and not even a grocery store with the essentials we are so accustomed to, BUT we didn't think twice about it. I didn't put on a stitch of makeup for 10 days and not sure why I packed anything but swimsuits and flip-flops.
Because there is just SO much to share I decided to split this trip into at least two posts and will try to share everything for anyone that might be wanting to plan a similar vacation!
During the time we went the Bahamas was requiring a full vaccination OR a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival in order to get your travel visa. I was nervous about the turnaround time for both the tests for my kids and the travel visa approval, but never should have worried. I'd read online that the Visa approval could take up to a few days, but ours were approved within a few hours and we were all set and ready to go. If you stay in the Bahamas for longer than a certain amount of days you were required to get another Covid test and there was a daily health survey that was emailed to us that I had to fill out each day. It only took a few minutes and was really not a big deal. We weren't really around many people except when we were at restaurants, but they are all outdoors. If you went into a store or market, you were expected to wear a mask.
HOW WE GOT THERE (AND BACK HOME)
We took this vacation with some of our best friends who have a boat and the original plan was for the husbands to drive the boat over to the Bahamas and the wives and kids were going to fly and met them there. Well, somewhere along the line of planning we all ended up on the boat.
We left bright and early from Stuart, FL and we were prepped for some rough seas crossing the Gulf Stream. We thought a few hours of that then it would be smooth Bahamas water. We never could have prepared for the day of travel we got. We crossed with another boat and were told conditions weren't great, but that it would be safe. We were in 4-5 foot seas felt like 10 foot seas and instead of the water getting calm when we hit the Bahamas it was pretty rough the entire way. We made a few pit stops along the way, but the entire day door to door was about 12 hours.
We felt beat up, tired, and I questioned why we were on that dang boat almost the entire time. I remember my little guy looking at me at one point and saying, "This trip isn't as much fun as I thought it would be." He spoke for all of us. No one was having a good time. I kept wondering why we couldn't just take a normal vacation like normal people.
All of that said, the amazing week made up for it and the ride back to Florida on the boat was a million times better. It was like a different ocean. The water was like glass for most of the ride and we broke up the trip into two parts, staying overnight in West End for a night.
Even crossing the gulf stream was a breeze. Our first day was just not ideal conditions and I would 100% do the crossing again, but I'd be very picky about the conditions. I'd even be willing to loose a day of our trip, if it meant calmer waters and I would totally recommend breaking up the trip and staying half way like we did on the way home.
WHERE WE STAYED
We rented a house through VRBO on Treasure Cay. It was a very spacious 4 bedroom, with an adequate kitchen, dining, and living area. It had a laundry room, all the necessities, and was right on the canal with a dock, which we needed for the boat.
The house we were in was great, but there was still so much destruction in this area from the hurricane that hit them a few years ago. Many places were destroyed and still have not been able to be rebuilt.
On the way back home in West End we tried to book rooms at Old Bahama Bay Resort, but it was July 4th and since it was a last minute decision to break up our trip we couldn't get in there. We did stop by for a quick drink and swim at the pool. The little cottages were adorable, it seemed very family friendly, and the beach was so picturesque.
I'll finish up the rest of our trip info in my second post later this week so be sure to check back! If anyone has any questions, just leave them in the comments and I'll try to answer.