Caribbean Castaways: One Month in Freeport, Bahamas

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be shipwrecked on a deserted island?  Would you get bored? Would you starve? Die of dehydration?

Or would you thrive and prosper in your newfound isolation and make the most out of your (hopefully) temporary stay on the beach?

In a roundabout way, our one month trip to Freeport, Bahamas was inspired by this thought experiment. What would life be like in a relatively isolated section of a Caribbean island? Crystal clear water. White sand beaches. No people. No nearby restaurants or entertainment.

Are we crazy to voluntarily shipwreck ourselves in such a predicament?  I don’t think so. But we aren’t complete gluttons for punishment. We made sure to book a place with air conditioning and wifi (it is the 21st century after all).

For housing, we chose a somewhat isolated apartment with a long stretch of undeveloped beach.  We kept our transportation very simple by only renting a car for 24 hours for a big grocery run, some sightseeing, and a few meals out. Otherwise we were stranded. Our feet became our sole (get it?) form of transportation.

End result: we all had a nice relaxing time throughout our stay and focused on enjoying the beauty of the beach and the peace and tranquility of our natural surroundings.

 

Time to hit the Beach!

The beach was the main reason we rented this particular apartment in the Bahamas. Two thirds of a mile of undeveloped beach and it was all ours almost every day!

 

Swim time!

 

Just another day in paradise. Two thirds of a mile of beach and rarely are more than 1 or 2 people on it.

 

 

This guy parked his boat where I was planning to go swimming.

 

Former (on left) and future (on right) civil engineers at work. We built a dam to create a manmade wading pool between the shore and the sandbar.

 

 

This pic pretty much sums up why you might want to retire early.

 

I started most dips into the ocean with a snorkeling swim up and down the beach.  The floor of the ocean was flat for five hundred feet or more offshore, which made it perfect for snorkeling.  Most days the water was incredibly calm and clear. I even managed to harvest some sea urchins for dinner one day. Keep reading to see what the inside of a sea urchin looks like.

The snorkeling was amazing. We probably saw two dozen species of tropical fish plus the occasional sting ray.

 

 

The kids really enjoyed collecting seashells

 

 

Exploring the Canal

Virtually every day in the Bahamas was unstructured. Unlike most vacations, we didn’t have an itinerary or a list of attractions to visit. This was the ultimate in sloooooooow travel.

The canal was a five minute walk from our condo.  We visited the canal repeatedly as there was always something different to see. Tons of fish, jellyfish, crabs, and seabirds every day. Plus the occasional eagle ray.

 

Eagle ray in the canal!

 

Some mornings I ventured out for a solitary walk to the canal.  The only time I saw an eagle ray was on one of these solo journeys. Unfortunately I only had my mediocre camera phone instead of Mrs. Root of Good’s fancy DSLR camera.

 

Short trail that runs from our condo to the canal

 

One day while walking down this trail, I came upon a huge pile of what looked like donkey poop.  Parts of the Bahamas are still rather rural in nature so it wasn’t too surprising to imagine a local using a donkey to transport goods.

A week or two later after spotting the equine droppings, we saw the offender on the beach. A lady was riding her horse up and down the coastline in the shallow water. Mystery solved.

 

A possibly abandoned hotel across the canal.

 

Tons of fish and other aquatic life in there!

 

The damage from 2016’s Hurricane Matthew was still evident in the Bahamas almost two years after the fact when we visited. The condos to the right of the canal were severely damaged and only a few units were occupied (and possibly by squatters). The hotel across the canal appeared to be vacant as well.

In the picture above, we are on a section of sidewalk that has been completely undermined by the storm surge. The seawall and sidewalk will eventually collapse into the canal if it’s not repaired.

 

 

Tour of the Bahamian Brewery

We couldn’t go an entire month without doing something touristy. On the day we had the rental car, we visited the Bahamian Brewery on the western side of Freeport.

The Bahamian Brewery is one of two breweries in the Bahamas making beer for their domestic market.

We took a private tour of the brewery’s operations with a tasting experience afterward. Total price tag for the brewery tour plus sampling was USD$10 per adult.  Kids are free.

 

Very cool tour for my fellow enginerds out there.

 

I don’t think there is a limit to how much beer you can drink in the brewery’s taproom.  But I didn’t have more than a beer or maybe two since I had to drive (as my daughter responsibly reminded me half way through what would become my last cup of beer). And driving on the left side of the road is pretty tricky for this American even when 100% sober!

 

Just one more sip, please.

 

In the true Bahamian way, everything is imported at the beer factory. The brewery sources its hops, barley, and yeast from Germany. All the equipment is German made. They even imported the brewmaster himself from Germany! They only thing domestic is the water.

Review of the beer: they produce six beers that were all perfectly drinkable. Several were like “regular” US beers (Coors, Bud, Bud Light) and one was a Heineken look alike (which I liked better than the real thing). Their Strongback Stout was excellent and I enjoyed it more than Guinness. Rounding out the lineup is a grapefruit radler that’s fruity and sweet.

 

What we got. From left to right: Strongback, a stout; High Rock, a Heineken knock off, and Sands, very Budweiser-ish.

They have a bottle shop where you can get great deals on their line of beers plus a wide assortment of wines and liquor at very reasonable prices. We bought a six pack of mix n match bottles from the brewery for $10 and enjoyed those during the rest of our stay in the Bahamas.

At $20 for the tour for the whole family plus several beers in the tasting room, I’d say it was a good value. As far as brewery tours go, it’s pretty good and the beer is tasty.

 

Lodging for One Month in Freeport, Bahamas with Airbnb

We rented a two bedroom, two bathroom condo right on the beach in Freeport, Bahamas. The condo was very spacious for an airbnb rental. Each bedroom had a walk-in closet.  We converted the closet in the kids’ bedroom to a third bedroom and put an extra air mattress in there for the middle kid.

We paid $2300 for the one month rental. Renting for a full month came with a 50% discount off the nightly rate due to the long term rental.

 

Our “third” bedroom that we created from an underutilized walk in closet.

 

Kitchen, dining room, living room

 

The kitchen was well appointed with everything but a dishwasher.  The free laundry facilities were about 20 seconds away at the end of our building right next to the pool.

We originally tried to book a 2 bedroom, 1 bath condo on the second story. However, our Airbnb host suggested we would be happier in his larger ground floor unit that we ended up booking at no additional cost.

 

Our private rear patio

 

The ground floor unit came with an extra full bathroom which came in very handy for our post-beach showering. It was also nice to walk straight out of our back door onto the beach instead of going up or down the stairs. The main downside of the ground floor unit is a worse view of the ocean from inside and from the patio.

 

Our modest beach shack where we sheltered against the wind and waves and Caribbean heat for a month.

 

Our airbnb host Peter rents out several units in the 20 unit condo building. The building is about half empty because there are several owners that use their unit as a vacation home. Plus a couple units that were damaged in the last hurricane and not repaired yet. Around 5 units are occupied by full time residents and another 5-6 units that were rented out at various times while we were there.

Overall it’s a very quiet building. We only saw other people in the pool on a few occasions during our one month stay.

 

Pool with very warm water and a great view

 

The location of the apartment was perfect for our deserted island themed vacation.  When you don’t have a car, and the nearest restaurants and grocery store are a mile away, it’s basically the middle of nowhere.

 

Our 20 unit condo building. Right next to the ocean!  Next door to the right is an abandoned mansion.

 

I had my expert graphic designer pull together a professional map showing where we stayed, the two thirds of a mile of deserted beach in front of our condo, and the location of the seafood shack and mini grocery store.

The seafood shack and the mini grocery store are both about a one mile walk from our temporary home on the beach.  The “real” grocery store that closely resembles what you commonly see in the US was about 4-5 miles away.

 

 

Here are some links to a few units in the building where we stayed. Don’t forget to use my $40 off referral link off your first Airbnb stay if you end up booking any of these places (or anywhere listed on Airbnb for that matter!).

 

A little nighttime dip in the pool.

 

 

Food in the Bahamas

For those long time readers of Root of Good, you know that we like to eat. When we’re on a slow travel vacation, that often means we cook at home in the kitchen in our rented apartment.

In preparing for our trip, I read that groceries in the Bahamas are tricky. Prices are high, availability is limited, and quality of fresh meat and produce is inconsistent. I’m sad to report that it’s all true.

 

Cooking up a feast in the Bahamas.

 

We paid about 50% more for groceries compared to prices at home in Raleigh. And that was with carefully planning our meals and keeping the fresh produce and meat to only those items that were on sale.

The Bahamas imports nearly all its food since hardly anything is grown on the islands. A lot of the produce was in poor condition after being shipped over from Miami or elsewhere.

In the US, I’m pretty sure grocers would fill the dumpster with some of the produce we purchased. But down in the Bahamas, that’s what passes for fresh. Leafy vegetables seemed to be the worst. The more durable produce like onions, cabbage, carrots, apples, and bell peppers seemed to hold up well throughout their journey to the Bahamian grocery shelves.

Another interesting phenomenon of island living is the concept of “milk day” or “bread day”. When I visited the main grocery store on our first day in the Bahamas, I couldn’t find any regular cow milk on the shelves. When I asked, the clerk helpfully explained “Today’s not milk day. Come back Wednesday, that’s milk day”.

Shipments of some fresh goods arrive once per week. When the supply runs out, that’s it until the following week.

In terms of grocery logistics, our airbnb host was gracious enough to give me a lift to the big grocery store several miles away on our first day. I got about a half cart of basic groceries plus some toilet paper for about USD$100. That kept food on the table for about a week.

After that first week, we rented a car for the multiple purposes of a big grocery run, some dining out, and some sightseeing. We spent another $225 and filled the grocery cart all the way up with provisions to last the remaining three weeks in the Bahamas.

 

I wised up and packed some taco seasoning on this trip. No more going taco free for a month or two! I also made a huge batch of pico de gallo. And spiced it with a ghost pepper. Those things are HOT!

 

We pretty much nailed it in terms of getting just the right amount of food in our big grocery haul. I built a spreadsheet to model food consumption and estimated what and how much we would need for the remaining three weeks on the island.

Staple meals for the month in the Bahamas included:

  • baked chicken and rice
  • stewed chicken and rice
  • deep fried chicken and rice
  • butter curry chicken and rice
  • chicken stir fry and rice
  • chicken and veggie soup (on top of rice)
  • tacos (some ground beef, some chicken and rice)
  • spaghetti and meat sauce

You may note a chicken and rice-centric menu.  Those are staple ingredients in the Bahamas. In true castaway spirit, we wanted to keep it local. Though we also purchased a ton of fresh fruits and veggies to complement our chicken-and-rice meals.

I even made some killer ghost pepper pico de gallo from scratch to keep things lively. Very lively.

We brought seasonings, bullion, sauces, curry paste, and spices from home. We also brought some noodles and other dried goods to the Bahamas since everything was more expensive down there.

Breakfasts were simple: cereal and milk, yogurt, fruit, and eggs.

 

Eating good in the Bahamas. Brought a few packets of butter chicken curry paste and made this treat.

 

Bahamian stir fry: find the freshest and least expensive veggies and cuts of meat and let them get to know one another in a frying pan.

 

Mrs. Root of Good’s Bahamian birthday celebration. I packed a $1 box of cake mix and bought some sweetened condensed milk for the icing with chocolate shavings on top.

 

Cooking at home is healthier and saves money. In our case it was easier and more convenient to cook at home instead of going out for a bite at a restaurant since we didn’t have a car everyday.  However, we also like to try local dishes and restaurants.

At the suggestion of our airbnb host, we visited Sire’s Restaurant which offers local cuisine like conch fritters, cracked conch, and a Bahamian twist on hamburgers. The whole meal for five of us including a beer was under USD$40. There was so much food that had plenty of leftovers to bring home. And it was so good that we went back a second time the next day before turning in the rental car!

 

You know what makes kids happy? Burgers and fries.

 

When we were car-less, we made the mile long trek down the beach to a total hole in the wall seafood shack on the beach called “Gone Legit Two Dolla Bar”. They weren’t lying – the conch fritters and crack conch were totally legit.

 

The Gone Legit Two Dollar Bar. Pure Bahamas right here, y’all!

 

Cracked conch (left) and conch fritters (right). The tab for both came to only USD$15.

 

Being Americans, we couldn’t neglect our pizza addiction.  We ordered Domino’s pizza for Mrs. Root of Good’s birthday.  Very convenient to have pizza delivered when you have no car!

With the dining out, we cheated a bit on our deserted island castaway themed vacation.  It’s unlikely most deserted islands have pizza delivery or conch shacks on the beach.  Or breweries selling ice cold beer.

 

First time trying uni. I caught some live sea urchins while snorkeling in front of our condo. Probably the last time I’ll eat uni. For the unfancy folks like me who had to google it: uni is sea urchin gonads favored in Japan, especially on sushi.

 

 

Getting To/From/Around Freeport, Bahamas

Flights

We flew to Freeport from Raleigh with a connection in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Flights are pretty expensive due to departure taxes. Regular tickets were roughly $500 round trip from Raleigh. Even from Ft. Lauderdale, the 25 minute flight to Freeport is $250+ round trip!

We used a combination of Southwest points for Raleigh-Ft. Lauderdale and Chase Ultimate Reward points (redeemed through the Chase Sapphire Reserve card at 1.5x the normal point value) for the Ft. Lauderdale-Freeport tickets. This combo of Southwest and Chase UR points saved us points overall.

Raleigh-Ft. Lauderdale, FL tickets: 9,308 Southwest points x 5 + $5.60 x 10 = 46,540 SW pts + $56 tax

Ft. Lauderdale-Freeport, Bahamas tickets: 19,500 Chase UR pts x 5 = 97,500 Chase UR points

In total, we used just under 150,000 points plus $56 cash for the $2,500+ in plane tickets to the Bahamas.

If you want to score free travel from credit cards, there are several cards currently offering 50,000 points or more. These points can be redeemed for $500 cash or $500+ in free flights or hotel stays. Compare current travel credit card deals.

 

Rental Car

We rented a car for USD$55 for 24 hours. The car rental lady dropped the car at the condo and she gave me a lift back to the condo at drop off time.  Since we had the car 24 hours, we went grocery shopping and dined out during the afternoon and evening of day 1.  Then we went sightseeing the next morning and had a nice lunch out that afternoon before returning the car.

Since the Bahamas is a former British colony, they drive on the left hand side of the road. This was my first time experiencing left-side driving! My strategy was to keep the left edge of the road on the left side of the car and make sure oncoming cars went to my right. Left turns are easy; right turns require you to stop and yield to oncoming traffic.

 

Taxi

Taxis travel all over the island and rates seemed reasonable though we never hailed a cab ourselves.  Rates are about what you would pay in the US. A 15-18 minute drive from the airport to condo would have been around USD$20 I think.  Fortunately our airbnb host picked us up and dropped us off at the airport without extra charge.

 

Buses

Minivans serve as local buses. They have bus shelters on the main roads but the buses seem to run very infrequently. At least they are affordable with rates starting at a buck or two for the shorter routes into town. Longer distance routes to the edges of the island are more.  I never tried to figure out the bus system so I can’t vouch for the prices or reliability personally.

 

Walking

We did a lot of walking. The neighborhood grocery store was just under a mile away from our condo. We had to make a few trips up there during our stay to resupply on essentials like spaghetti noodles and, more importantly, toilet paper.

A mile’s walk up the beach, we found two small seafood shacks offering fried conch, fish, burgers, and cold beer. They even had free wifi though it was inoperable when we visited.

 

Walking home from the grocery store. We quickly learned that early morning is the best time to make this trip when the sun is still low in the sky.

 

Biking

We didn’t rent bikes during our stay but that’s an option.  I briefly considered buying a used bike or a very cheap new bike to make it easier to get to grocery stores and restaurants.

I couldn’t find a way to buy a used bike. They must not use Craigslist in the Bahamas. The cost of a new bike (after tariffs) would have been the same price as several days of car rental.

 

Ferries and Cruises to/between Bahamian Islands and the United States

The easiest way to get to the Bahamas is a short flight from Florida. However, ferries run from Fort Lauderdale daily for a slightly lower cost than plane tickets. The downside is the ferry takes many hours instead of 30 minutes of flight time.

Another interesting option to get to Freeport is the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.  They offer two night voyages with a departure leaving each day of the week. Rates are more than a plane ticket but not by a lot. Considering you get a place to stay for two nights plus meals, it’s a good value.

Related Root of Good article on cruises

 

Flying ships are another great way to get to the Bahamas. Pretty cool optical illusion, huh? #noPhotoshop

 

Costs for One Month in the Bahamas

Here’s how a family of five can survive and thrive as beach bums in the Bahamas for a month on a mere $3,000 budget (plus some travel hacking).

 

Apartment $2,300
Groceries $440
Dining Out + Drinks $125
Plane Tickets $56 + 150,000 points
Rental Car + Gas $59
Brewery Admission $20
TOTAL $3,000

 

We got a decent deal on the apartment at $2,300 for the month since we booked it for such a long period of time. The nightly rate for the unit was $150 at the time we booked, and the landlord offered us half off since we rented for an entire month.

Groceries were more expensive than at home and the quality and freshness weren’t great. We brought spices, seasoning, curry paste, and some dried good from home which kept our grocery budget artificially low. We kept the menu rather simple and shopped the fresh meat, fruits, and vegetables that were on sale.  Total grocery spending was $440.

We had four restaurant meals that varied from $15 at the seafood shack to $27 for pizza delivery to $35 at the sit down local Bahamian place. I stuck the $10 six pack of beer from the brewery in this category which totaled $125 for all dining out plus alcohol.  The restaurant meals were surprisingly affordable in light of how expensive groceries were in general.

Plane tickets were 150,000 frequent flyer points plus $56 cash for the taxes.  If we paid cash for flights for the five of us, it would have been $2,500 total.

Rental car for the day plus gas was $59.

The brewery admission was $20.

In total, we only spent $3,000 for an amazing month in the Bahamas. If we included the value of the plane tickets we got basically for free, the total would be $5,500. Either way you count it, that’s a phenomenal value for a month of oceanfront living for five of us in the moderately expensive Bahamas.

 

Thoughts on Freeport, Bahamas

The beach was unbelievably beautiful. I struggle for the right words to convey how we felt about it but hopefully the pictures offer some insight into how amazing the beach was. The beach is what we were looking for when searching for the right apartment rental on the right island in the right country and we nailed it.

 

Living it up in the Bahamas

 

This was exactly the kind of place we wanted to rent. Somewhere a little out of the way so we weren’t surrounded by crowds on the beach. Yet somewhere that offered modern amenities like wifi and air conditioning.

The inconvenience of having to walk a mile for groceries or restaurant food was more than offset by the tranquility of having two thirds of a mile of deserted beach all to ourselves most days. I would definitely go back to this same place again.

 

Relaxing by the water in the Bahamas.

 

Did we get bored after a month in the same place? The adults in the family didn’t. The ocean was so beautiful and changes in the weather led to changes in the scenery. The ocean was calm most days but turned into a raging churning beast once or twice when a thunderstorm rolled over the island.

We spent several hours on the beach every evening when the sun was lower in the sky and the heat subsided. We also went out in the middle of the day occasionally when the water was particularly enticing.

 

Amazing sunsets. #nofilter

 

Though the adults were thrilled to be on this “deserted” island, the kids eventually grew tired of the ocean. They really wanted to stay inside and play games on the computers or watch Netflix. However, when we “made” them come out to the beach and have fun, they always had a good time. I think they are simply lazy. And kids will be kids.

Overall, I would say the Bahamas met my high expectations. We have visited the Bahamas a dozen times on cruises but never stayed overnight. Spending a month in such a beautiful spot was a nice change of pace and let us enjoy the Bahamas in a totally different way versus our normal short daytime visits while on a cruise.

 

 

How would you like to be “stranded” on a Bahamian beach for a month? Would you go stir crazy and flag down the Coast Guard to rescue you? Or would you embrace the situation and indulge in some laziness?

 

Like free money? Several credit cards are offering sign up bonuses of 50,000 points or more right now. With the points from just one of those cards you can take two round trip flights in the US, or one flight to Mexico, Hawaii, or the Caribbean, or book 3-5 free hotel nights, or redeem for $500 cash! Compare top travel credit card offers if you want to travel for free like us.


Root of Good Recommends:
  • Personal Capital* - It's the best FREE way to track your spending, income, and entire investment portfolio all in one place. Did I mention it's FREE?
  • Free Travel* - We score $10,000 worth of free travel every year from credit card sign up bonuses. Get your free travel, too.
  • Save more on travel with Airbnb and take $40 off your first stay*. We usually get apartments with 2-3 bedrooms plus a kitchen and living room for less than the price of 1 hotel room. Save even more with weekly and monthly discounts.
  • Use a shopping portal like Ebates* and save more on everything you buy online. Get a $10 bonus* when you sign up now.
  • Google Fi* - Use the link and save $20 on unlimited calls and texts for US cell service plus 200+ countries of free international coverage. Only $20 per month plus $10 per GB data.
* Affiliate links. If you click on a link and do business with these companies, we may earn a small commission.

42 comments

  1. Thanks for the cruise recommendation! Its good for young tip toers like us who hoard points but never go anywhere to experiment. I love the idea of a long, slow travel trip since traveling for the sake of bucket listing never flickered much of any desire. Too bad there’s no time for us yet to take that length off to submere into a world like that 🙂 The 50% for long-term discount stays is excellent! Man that location!

  2. How did you negotiate the 50% off for a long-term stay? Did it say something on the website about discounts for longer stays, or did you suggest it yourself? Did you happen to mention you have a bit of a travel blog? Just interested in the ins and outs of suggesting a deal like that.
    I used your Airbnb link and booked through them for the first time ever last month. Planning a visit to Halstaat now based on your recs. 🙂

    1. Airbnb used to show you the weekly and monthly discount % in the listing. Now I think you have to put in a 1 wk or 1 month stay in the dates and it’ll automatically show you the % discount in the rate summary on the right (on the web browser anyway). My “trick” is to put in a 1 week stay or 1 month stay and the places with steep discounts tend to be low-priced in the overview map search results.

      Thanks for using the referral link. 🙂 Enjoy Hallstatt – it’s crowded but really beautiful!

  3. $3,000 for a family of five, for a month, in the Bahamas! That’s incredible. Thank you so much for the detailed breakdown of everything, and also for the tips on travel hacking with credit cards and cruises. Looking forward to more posts like this in the future!

  4. It’s crazy to think about the fact that without travel hacking, your entire trip costs could have been just the cost of the plane tickets. Some day we would love to have the time to take a full month to experience somewhere new. We’re not there yet, but starting to practice with two week long trips 😉

    1. In our experience, getting free flights for these long summer trips means we almost cut our costs in half. Travel hacking is definitely a game changer for our kind of trip!

  5. I love your travel reports, Justin. You are quite thorough, and you’ve got budget travel and slow travel pretty well figured out. And you were able to do this for $3,000 — most people including yours truly, spend more than that on a week’s family vacation. Slow travel for the win!

    Cheers (with a Bahamian Strongback Stout)!
    -PoF

    1. Yeah – it’s pretty crazy how cheap some parts of the earth are. We really only wanted to stay for 2 weeks but when I saw it was half off for a monthly rental I figured why not stay 2 extra weeks for free?

  6. Sitting on a beach day after day with that view..I’d like to see if I’d get tired of it after a month. I don’t think I would. After a month, I can imagine not wanting to ever leave.. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  7. Looks like a beautiful beach RoG, but dang it sounds inconvenient! It might have been almost worth checking a bicycle on your flight.

    It’s too bad about the food price/quality too. Other island locations I’ve visited (like Hawaii) have expensive groceries but the quality is always top-notch.

    1. It wasn’t really that inconvenient. We bike or walk to places around home so it’s not like the island life was that much different.

      A $20-40 round trip taxi would get us to the grocery store or any restaurant. Or $55/day rental car isn’t bad. We just didn’t plan on doing much so skipped all that 🙂 A bike definitely would have been handy. I almost asked a neighbor to borrow theirs 🙂

      The grocery experience wasn’t horrible – just not up to par with modern US standards in a decent size city like ours. I imagine if you live out in the really rural parts of the country in the US you have grocery options just like in the Bahamas (unless you drive the 30 minutes into town). Somewhat limited availability, little price competition, and you take what you can find in terms of freshness. I imagine Hawaii has much better options, but they are also much more populous with a per capita income 3x that of Bahamas.

      Freeport (really Grand Bahama Island) only has 25k people on the island so it’s like a small town in the US. They do have 3 “regular” grocery stores plus a discount club like a Costco knockoff but because of everything being imported the quality of the fresh stuff wasn’t that high.

  8. This looks AWESOME!!! I was loving your beach pictures on twitter, but this is next level. I already added this town to my bucket list, but sharing the AirBnB links? Super sweet. Peter sounds like an amazing host. After my last trip to the Bahamas I said I’d never return (Nassau…) but seeing everything you experienced definitely changed my mind…and helped me realize maybe I shouldn’t lump a whole country into the ‘no’ category after only seeing their capital city 😉 .

    This sounds like a wonderfully tranquil vacation. Even the walking a mile to the grocery store sounds awesome (I already do that, but it’s up and down hills so your seemingly flat road into town sounds relaxing). A castaway vacation is a great idea I’m definitely going to try. Thanks so much for the thorough write-up!

    1. Freeport is nice if you’re not in the tourist part – same as Nassau. Though we have a favorite spot in Nassau when we go there on cruises (Junkanoo beach). 10 minute walk from the cruise dock and it’s not crazy busy the times we’ve been there. And we saw an adolescent sea turtle in the water there once. 🙂

      The walk to the grocery wasn’t bad. But it was HOT without much shade! If you can swing it, the weather is a lot nicer in spring and fall and still rather warm in the middle of winter. Definitely not a bad place to spend a month if you’re early retired and don’t have to be anywhere.

  9. Was there a lot of different sealife to see while snorkeling off the beach there? We love to snorkel but only if there is plenty to see in the water. Er, but not sharks.

    1. There was a ton. I just added a snorkeling video to the first section of the article. Mostly tons of tropical fish but also saw some coral, stingrays, sea urchins, etc. And I think we encountered a baby shark. Never seen a fish that aggressive so I assume it was a shark. And it had the body shape and fins to match 🙂 Only 18-24″ though.

  10. It looks like a heavenly vacation and a great, peaceful family bonding experience. The prices you’re able to do these wonderful, long family vacations for every year is spectacular. I thought my parents were good with money but they could have learned a lot from you. If you ever wanted another career, you could become a professional travel hacker!

  11. Should have tried the fish Market. Open every day and also have fruits and veggies. Probably even deliver you fresh catch. Nothing like fresh lobster! I support the locals every chance I can.

    1. We didn’t hear about any fresh fish markets. The kids won’t eat fish anyway so we put off the fresh fish till we got home.

      And lobster wasn’t in season while we were there. Nobody had any of it!

  12. You did a nice article, too bad you did not do a car rental for a week, very discounted, believe it or not 30 years going to the island you only scratched the surface the island boast over 30 pluss miles of pure un devloped beach pure white sands, no homes,!on the East end of island, as said food is the most expensive, 50-60 percent more chicken being the cheapest meat, alcohol expensive,pluss add vat tax to everything now. Whith out a car you missed East end McLean s town,High Rock, pelican point true paradise! West end too, kids would of loved paradise cove dead man’s reef to snorkel.thst said you missed the fast ferry with summer Groupon special $100 per person round Trip it’s how we get off ft.lauderDale to Grand Bahama, if you like see our blog we cover hidden beaches, blue holes, locals to visit and places to stay away!
    Our blog
    Brad And Linda’s grand Bahama and high rock adventures

  13. That is an amazing rate for a month. You mentioned it was your first time driving on the left, can you you speak to the amount reconnaissance it took to find the specific location you selected? I’m pretty apprehensive and would have a hard time jumping on the room despite the cheap rate without some other insight into the local area (Ex. knowing roads safe for bikes, someone telling me there was a decent grocery and a bar or two within a mile). Was it really just a simple as playing with the AirBNB filters and visually seeing which properties the 50% discount applied to? In my experience, even if I know the vicinity of where I intend to stay, I would think the available host density (too crowded without zooming in super close) would make such a great deal harder to find. Perhaps I’m just to accustomed to big resort factories and need to roll the dice with AirBNB more…

    1. We spent a TON of time finding the perfect place. In fact after searching all over Mexico and the Caribbean, we gave up the search. Then we went back to it and found this place in the Bahamas. It came down to quality of beach and location (plus price of course 🙂 ).

      I don’t know if Airbnb shows the weekly/monthly % discount any longer. But if you put in dates for a week or for a month, it’ll automatically show you the weekly/monthly rate.

  14. That sounds like a great trip. I’m not sure if we can stay for a whole month, though. I’d get restless. Renting a car for a week to explore sounds like a good idea to me.
    Great price for a great vacation. Nice job.
    We might go to the Caribbean next year. We have AA miles and that’s a cheap destination for them (miles.)

    1. A month would be too much? I figured you for a “chill and explore and take it easy guy”. Imagine being able to compose your blog posts from the back patio with a little ocean breeze on your face and your feet propped up on the lounge chair 😉

  15. That’s one heckuva vacation for just $3k. I would like to think my kids would get bored after awhile of staying in the same place every day, but as long as they can dig in the sand and play in the pool, I’m sure I could shut them up rather easily. Add the wi-fi and problem solved. I love simple vacations where I get the time to just relax, get simple exercise, enjoy good food, and read some books. Well done, sir.

    1. “I love simple vacations where I get the time to just relax, get simple exercise, enjoy good food, and read some books.” Pretty much our vacation 🙂

      And yes, the wifi helped keep the kids happy!

  16. “only renting a car for 24 hours”
    A car for only 1 day?! How did you survive? 😛 Looks like you guys did a great job planning out your meals on that single grocery trip ( I would’ve forgotten all sorts of things).

    Wow. Those are some amazing pictures! I’m glad you “forced” the kids to go out in nature. It’s so easy to get caught up with phones and online games these days. Sometimes I even fall prey to that. Stupid addictive Netflix and Settlers of Catan.

    1. How to survive? Walk or don’t go 😉 And pizza delivery.

      Our backup plan was to rent the car more than once if we needed more groceries or we got bored.

      Settlers of Catan? You have the game on your phone or computer? I had the computer version but it was so incredibly easy once you figured out the computer opponents suck at trading (no game theory; not strategic enough to starve you of critical resources). So easy to get tons of cheap resources that way.

  17. What an awesome slooow vacation. You keep on mentioning kids and adults, who is who in your family? Did they charge dad as an adult at the brewery?

    1. It’s me, my wife, and 3 kids (age 6, 12, and 13). Yes, they charged me full price at the brewery. $10 for me and $10 for Mrs. Root of Good. Kids were free (under age 18 = free I believe).

  18. Incredible detail, thanks for posting so much info associated with your trip. As a publisher, I know how much effort that requires. I recently started a blog as well to share with others (mainly my nieces) what I’ve learned to become financially independent as well as what I learned from entrepreneurship. I started my first business a few decades ago. Being a self-employed business owner forces you to cut wasteful spending, which paid off with our personal finances over time as well. We are also financially independent with multiple revenue streams and recurring revenue.

    I haven’t been to the Bahamas yet, but after reading your post I’m definitely planning to go! My wife and I do a lot of walking while on vacation, so the mile walk to the grocery store, etc. would be welcomed, in general. Again, thanks for the detail – awesome!

    1. We tend to walk a lot, too, so the “hardship” of walking a mile to the store or to the seafood shack down the beach wasn’t much of a hardship at all (other than dealing with the sun and heat, which was no worse than what we have at home!).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.