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Love It or Hate It, It’s Bahamian Summer Travel Season!

by MakailanAugust 1, 2017

It’s the height of the travel season here in the 242 and despite the Game of Thrones scene that pops off at BahamasAir check-in counter everyday, Bahamians still see fit to over saturate the travel scene during these “sacred 8” weeks on our cultural calendar.

Yes, we know school is closed and all the teachers are on vacation, but for the rest of us, these 8 weeks are the source of 2 things; ticket prices to basic destinations such as Miami and Orlando skyrocketing to $400+ and an unnecessary 3 to 4 hour pre game on the check in line at LPIA behind the “Family Reunion/First Time Cruise Family” and the “We Take Everyone and Grammy to Miami Family”.

It’s annoying but to some it’s a must, because what is summer without iHop and a Timeshare pool to a Bahamian? To answer this question the eLIFE242 team has compiled a TOP 5 list of the craziest things Bahamians do when they travel for summer.

1. Midnight Madness at Walmart

At one point I thought the only thing Bahamians would get up for at midnight was Junkanoo or a booty call but it seems that the retail juggernaut has taken the #1 spot. Ever since Walmart decided that 24hrs was a necessity, 242 grammies and aunties have seen it fit to wake up at the crack of 11pm every night during their ‘vacation’ to peruse the aisles to look at the same stuff they saw there at 11am. The really sad part is they never really buy anything at midnight they still come back later that morning (after the Denny’s run) to pick up what they saw earlier. This is enough to drive any dad, son or designated driver crazy, but this routine is replayed time and time again as Walmart is an everyday stop on a Bahamian’s vacation calendar.

2. Living Like Family!

With the advent of Air BnB and similar sites you would think Bahamians would have found better means of accommodations rather than making grammy sleep on the floor in a Laquita Inn. No no, we are not knocking Laquinta just stating the obvious that most hotel rooms are not made for 8…hell, 4 people in one room is a stretch. So instead of taking the full Commonwealth Bank loan and using it for the flea market run, maybe shift a little more of the budget over to booking another room, cause we all know grammy’s back can’t take much more.

3. Packing!

It may sound crazy and stupid but Bahamians literally start packing from the moment they return from their first shopping stop in the US. If ya’ll moms are anything like ours, they are strategizing the return pack while they are sitting in the airport in Nassau. Why? Because a strong packing strategy is important when evading as much of the customs duty as you can! (stop judging; we all do it LOL) So shout out to moms every where who spend the majority of the vacation worrying how all this stuff the family is buying is gonna get back to Nassau in the 2 bags a person BahamasAir allows.

4. Get an Accent

Well this is self explanatory isn’t it. As soon as a Bahamians’ foot hits foreign soil (sometimes even on the plane) our normal accents magically disappear and we pick up either a lil southern drawl or sound like we are from deep in Brooklyn.

What confuses us is that the one thing that makes us magical (minus guava duff and potato bread) is the first thing Bahamians erase from their personality. FUN FACT: Our accent is beautiful and the easiest thing to use an ice breaker when engaging in conversation with the international crowd, though many of them will not know where The Bahamas is according to where you are in the world (but that’s another blog for another time). We have heard every excuse “Oh I do it for people to understand me better” etc etc, but we call bullshit on that. No American comes to The Bahamas and attempts to be understood, so why would we do it for them? Embrace who you are and make the world conform. Trust me the country will be better off for it.

5. Go On Vacation But Never Vacation!

On a serious note this has been a bad habit of Bahamians since the days of the Paradise Island Airport (only the real ones know about that ), but we as a people have a nasty habit of vacationing to not vacation. We take time off from work to do everything but rest! We have all heard it “I need a vacation after my vacation” and its kind of sad in a way that we don’t find time to de-stress from work and all the other issues life throws at us. We stress ourselves out with buying tickets, finding hotels, packing bags and keeping everyone from getting lost or hurt in the good ole’ USA.

Listen running up and down 103rd with your fam buying new wardrobes and knock off bags can be fun especially when you top it off with a food court lunch break, but at some point taking a break from it all is important. Our advice to our readers: dedicate at least 2 days of your ‘shopcation’ to just rest, stay in the hotel sleep until noon (Dennys can wait), order room service and just chill. Trust us it will be worth it.

Tell us about some of your family’s summer vacation adventures in the comments below!

Makailan is a Bahamian Cultural Enthusiast who prides himself on being tuned to the pulse of the local music, art, fashion and cultural scene in the 242. His love of all things Bahamian drives him to always seek out the most talent amongst us.