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Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas

Welcome to Dream Vacations, a lifestyle column on travelling to amazing destinations with practical advice and my revelations about locales from years of personal experience. Whether you’re looking for luxury accommodations in some of the most amazing spots in the U.S. and around the world, or just need some tips on how to save a few dollars to help you keep taking awesome family vacations, this is the place.

The Jewel of the Bahamas

Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas is considered by many to be the jewel of family vacationing in the Caribbean. As such, it can sometimes feel like it takes a precious gemstone to fund a trip. If you have never been to Harborside Resort (a part of Atlantis) or are looking for some insider tips on how to be more efficient with your money on vacation, keep reading.  

Affordable Times & Airfare

Although early fall and late spring are cheaper for airfare, many families with children in school cannot go during these times. When booking airfare, whether at peak or not, be sure to keep watching airfares for a few weeks before deciding to book your fare. Typically the best time to buy airfare is between 40-80 days before travel, but there is significant variation. An option is to go with an ultra-discount carrier such as Spirit Airlines if you don’t mind sitting apart, bringing your snacks and can pack light (otherwise stick with a mainstream carrier, as their fees add up quickly!).

Pack It In

Your absolute most expensive item in the Bahamas will be food for the family. The best way to cut down on costs is to pack it in. Pack as many snacks as you can and even some staples in your luggage. On a recent trip to Harborside, a client family of four brought only two hard-sided suitcases with them, and packed:


  • Pringles
  • Granola bars
  • Popcorn
  • Twizzlers
  • Mike & Ike’s
  • Candy
  • Spaghetti
  • Ramen noodles
  • Cheerios
  • Tea and coffee
  • Sugar packets
  • Peanut Butter
  • A bottle of wine
  • A bottle of bourbon


Ensure every person brings a personal item to allow that extra room if you need it, as this saves on baggage fees and food costs.

Pick It Up, Before You Get There

You cannot bring fresh foods such as dairy, meat, fruits or vegetables, but there is a better option if you are staying at a Resort with a kitchenette such as Harborside. Choose a taxi or livery service that will offer to take you to the ‘locals’ grocery store on the way from the airport to your hotel. Be sure to arrive late enough that the groceries do not wait for your room in the hot sun. Groceries are still expensive, but this is a much cheaper option than dining out every meal. Otherwise Harborside provides a grocery shuttle for $10 US per person most days.

All in a Day

Atlantis (and Harborside) is on Paradise Island and accessible by water ferry, taxi and by walking over either of the two bridges. It’s economical to take a ferry or taxi to Nassau and spend the day instead of heading to the mainland for only a few hours at a time. The ferry is approximately $4 USD per person per direction, while taxi’s depend on your destination. The walk over the bridge is inadvisable with small children, elderly or those not in physical shape as it’s quite a climb in the heat of the Caribbean.

The Fish Fry for Less

Eating out is essential for vacationers that want to try the local fare. Just be warned that most restaurants at Atlantis are significantly more expensive for comparable food than in the U.S. The Fish Fry at Arawak Cay offers famous local restaurants and even one visited by Guy Fieri’s network television show (a seafood meal: $30 versus $65 at Atlantis).

Snacks & Drinks for the Beach

You have brought snacks and bought gallons of water and juice for the family so be sure to bring insulated metal drinking containers for each member of the family to keep your beverages cold and cut down on those surprise drink costs in the hot sun.

Take Advantage of the Events Calendar

Atlantis has a fantastic events calendar, available from the front desk with free activities for the whole family including bingo, a free movie theatre and tons of other activities. Of course, with Harborside, your waterpark access is also free. Special tours and water activities are best to book online and in advance, but nearly all will add significantly to your vacation budget.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions about Harborside Resort, Atlantis are looking for great accommodations in the Bahamas.

Tags: Atlantis Resort, Harborside Resort, Bahamas, beach vacation, family vacation, money saving tips