Catch Flights, Not Feelings
The Commonwealth of The Bahamas is a region of overwhelming beauty with what seems to be an unending number of islands and even greater number of alluring sand banks. While we usually hear that The Bahamas is home to 700 islands, which is a good estimate, the archipelago actually consists of just about 3,100 islands, cays, and rocks. Collectively, all of the islands cover an area of land that is about 1000 square miles larger than the island of Jamaica. Andros is, by far, the largest island here and along with Acklins Island, Cat Island, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, Great Abaco, Great Inagua, Long Island & Mayaguana, it accounts for 86% of all of the land in The Bahamas.
The capital, Nassau, is found on the island of New Providence. The island is just 80 square miles but is home to the bulk of the economic activity & population. Despite this, the true beauty of The Bahamas can only really be appreciated in the Family Islands; all islands save New Providence (& depending on who you ask, New Providence & Grand Bahama). They’re home to the most breath taking cliffs, rolling hills, beautiful beaches and most importantly they’re home to the true Bahamian culture. The experiences to be had in the Family Islands are unparalleled. Because of this, memes like the one below seriously grind my gears.
The only drawback is that travelling throughout the out islands can be a bit of a headache, logistically (finding an airline that offers services to the island you want to visit) and, more often than not, a real strain on the pocket.
Quite frankly, inter-island travel is ridiculously expensive. This includes getting there, staying there, getting around, and eating. We live in a society that tells us anything that’s not Bahamian is better. This is also the case when it comes to travel. Almost 100% of Bahamians have left the country at some point in their lives and almost 200% of them have only ever been to Miami. Hundreds of thousands of people have to save years to visit our shores & we cast our own islands to the wayside because there’s no BJ’s, Walmart or Sawgrass Mills Mall. Family Island vacations can be some of the best trips and there is no reason why Bahamians shouldn’t venture out into their own backyard.
So, here’s a little (very) last minute advice for this long holiday weekend. If you have no plans & a little extra cash, why not take a spur of the moment trip to one of the out islands? The family islands are bustling with activities this weekend.
· Grand Bahama has Homecoming in Sea Grape, where soca superstar Denise Belfon will be performing.
· In Eleuthera, there is Bay Fest in Hatchet Bay & Homecoming in Tarpum Bay, which will also be featuring a carnival mas of sorts.
· The Berry Islands have their annual Homecoming this weekend in Bullock’s Harbour.
· In the Exuma Cays, Black Point hosts their Homecoming & Regatta and not too far away on the mainland, Rolleville hosts their variant.
· Cat Island, home to the highest point in The Bahamas, is holding their Regatta in New Bight.
· All the way in Acklins Island, there is Homecoming.
There are activities for this holiday weekend throughout the archipelago. Bahamasair, Flamingo Air, Sky Bahamas & Western Air offer services to Grand Bahama. For Eleuthera, you have Bahamasair, Pineapple Air & Southern Air along with Bahamas Ferries. To get to the Berry Islands, you have LeAir Charters. Sky Bahamas is your choice for Cat Island and again for the mainland of Exuma or Bahamasair if that’s your preference. While Black Point in the Exuma Cays is serviced by Flamingo Air. Acklins is the only tricky one, but for the sake of their homecoming, Bahamasair is offering flights this weekend.
If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, rest easy knowing that there are a plethora of events and festivities right here at home to do. If you can't this weekend, don't let that stop you. Plan a family island trip for later in the year. It’ll cost a little bit more when compared to going to Miami, but the experience is worth it.
If you've already been to any family island, tell me about your experience in the comments below.