Before the question of Way to Get to the Bahamas, a more probable question comes to the mind first: why to go to the Bahamas? And what does a backpacker do in the Bahamas? Nice question. You will find the prescription of what can a backpacker do in the Bahamas in this post. But if you are looking for the Bahamas as a honeymoon place, then please visit a tour company.
My adventurous spirit, my hunger to learn, my interest in commune life, and the idea of being in a place far away from the city, and making the sun soaking up in winter time took me to the Bahamas. I am a graduate Yoga Teacher from Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers. Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Bahamas is one of the ashrams of this organization. So when the land of this ashram was donated to Swami Vishnudevananda; one of the greatest masters who brought yoga to the West, this ashram was built in Paradise Island years and years ago. So, when there is an ashram in the paradise, the question comes up: “Why am I not going to the Bahamas?
But for sure as an individual with a Turkish passport, a flight ticket, fluency in English and a brave heart are not enough to travel overseas. Of course I need to add; with a short budget. It’s a mathematics problem. As a Statistician in origin, I will tell you the tricks of my trip with a Turkish passport as an example. Stay tight!
Booking a Flight for the Bahamas
Bahamas is an island just below Florida, US. Bahamas does not require a visa for Turkish citizens and most of the other nations. Upon arrival at the Bahamas, you will be asked for a return ticket. Most importantly, the return ticket must be to your home country. I had made up a return ticket to America. But, then I had to reserve a ticket back to Turkey. There are a couple of ways to create kind of fake reservations (which I do not want to disclose here 🙂 So if you wanna learn more, you can ask me directly).
As we have overcome this detail, we can focus on how to fly to the Bahamas. First of all, let’s say; there is no direct flight from Turkey to the the Bahamas. In order to go to the Bahamas, it is necessary to fly over the US or over the UK. AS you may know we need a transit visa for the UK. So I’m skipping the flights through UK. But anyways you will need at least ESTA or C-1 visa type visa for landing America.
That’s not enough, though.
Things You Need to Pay Attention For the Flights Through Schengen Countries
So of course, the cheapest way to travel to America is flying over Europe. But let’s have a short break here. If you’re going to fly from Europe, you have something to watch out for. I flew to the Bahamas through 3 connecting flights; Istanbul-Stockholm, Stockholm- Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale- Nassau. For the first one I was worried since I didn’t have Schengen visa. And I used to have a bad experience flying through Schengen area without visa, this time I’m very very cautious.
Rule 1; If you do not have a Schengen visa, it is necessary to research if the country you want to transfer from requests a transit visa. For example, many flights to the United States over London, Amsterdam or Canada. However, both the UK, the Netherlands and Canada are requesting a transit visa for Turkish citizens. Germany as an exclusion doesn’t require if there is a valid America, Canada etc. visa. On the way to the Bahamas, I flew from Stockholm (Sweden).
Rule 2; If you do not have a Schengen visa and the country that you will transit from doesn’t require a transit visa, then you need to search whether the flight company has a procedure against or not. For example, when I was returning from Morocco, I got stuck because of Ryanair’s policy and I wasn’t allowed to take my flight through Cologne to Istanbul. The fact that if you are flying with different companies it’s another risk. For this reason, before booking my flight through Stockholm, I called both of the airports’ police departments, flight companies to confirm.
Rule 3; If you do not have the required visa for the country you are transferring and you are in transit, you must not leave the transit area. So you have to fly with a carry-on baggage. This is another cause for heart attack. Because the size of my backpack which is 50L is OK, but the weight is always above the requirements… So every time I check-in, my heart rhythm jumps up.
In order not to pay attention about all these rules, I booked my ticket through Kiev (Ukraine) on the way back. I didn’t have the time and power to do Skype searches for all the options. And the amount I payed was almost the same if you ask.
If you wanna fly cheap, those are the points you need to pay attention to.
Anyways, the mission accomplished the way to get to the Bahamas. So what do we do there? My advice is if you are a backpacker and into yoga; Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat is the place for volunteer work. In addition to free accommodation and food, you can enjoy yoga, meditation and various courses, concerts, etc and of course enjoy the sun and the ocean during the winter. If you don’t have enough time to commit 3 free months, I would say Bahamas is a bit expensive for a backpacker.
Bahamas Currency: You can easily travel with US dollars in the Bahamas. Bahamian Dollar has the same value.
Climate: Bahamas has an astropic climate. That means just above the tropical regions. In both the summer and winter, the Bahamas where is consisting of 700 islands, the temperature is quite high.
The winter is from November to May and the temperature is around 23 degrees Celcius. From May to October, it’s summer; and temperature is around 29 degrees.
As someone who has stayed in the Paradise Island which is 2 minutes boat trip away from the capital city of Nassau, during December, January and February, I would say go during the winter, if you plan to stay long. But if you’re going for a week, then go in the summer, because it rains quite frequently during the winter.
Where is the Bahamas? : Bahamas is an island country which is 1 hour away from the States. It’s close to Florida as well as Cuba.
In order to have more idea about the ashram, check this link out : http://www.journalofayogini.com/yoga-journal-spiritual-journey.html
And please check out my travel articles here : http://www.journalofayogini.com/kategori/travel-with-me
And for the other yoga related articles, see the link: http://www.journalofayogini.com/kategori/yoga-wellness