One of the ways you can fully embrace the Grand Bahamas on a budget is by taking advantage of all the free public beaches! This is Sam on a swing on Fortune beach.

Visiting the Grand Bahamas on a Budget: Activities, Hotels & More!

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Have a trip planned to Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, and need to stay on a budget? I totally get it! Dylan and I were in the same spot in May 2024 after winning a Free Bahamas Vacation for 2 with Briar Travel. Luckily, there are things that you can do to make your vacation to the Grand Bahamas a little cheaper!

Dylan in Grand Bahamas with his backpack on Fortune Beach

The Grand Bahamas on a Budget: An Overview

The Bahamas is known to be a luxurious beach vacation in the Caribbean, and people often think that means it’s going to break the bank. However, Dylan and I know from first-hand experience that there are ways to make costly vacations more affordable.

We spent five days in Freeport without having to pinch pennies. Before going over all the ways you can vacation in the beautiful Grand Bahamas on a budget, here are all the things we’ll be covering:

Visiting the Grand Bahamas on a Budget

Nobody wants to go on vacation feeling like they have to be budget-conscious. The last thing you want to do on vacation is stress about money. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the island on a budget without missing out on the Grand Bahama experience! Let’s get into it!

Budget-Friendly Attractions

How you spend your time on the island will dictate where a chunk of your money will go. The good news is the things to do on Grand Bahama Island are reasonably cheap, and some are free! Here are three ways that you can experience the Grand Bahamas on a budget:

One of the ways you can fully embrace the Grand Bahamas on a budget is by taking advantage of all the free public beaches! This is Sam on a swing on Fortune beach.
  • Free Beaches

The Bahamas are known for their turquoise waters and white-sand sand beaches. The best part? The beaches in the Bahamas are public and free to use! One of the most budget-friendly things you can do is to grab your swimsuit, beach blanket, and towel and hit the beach to enjoy the sun and warm ocean waters.

There are two types of beaches on the island: activity and secluded. Activity beaches include water sports you can purchase, but if you want the cheapest option, hit up a secluded beach! Some public beaches you can enjoy in Freeport include:

  • Fortune Beach
  • Lucaya Beach
  • Taino Beach
  • Smith’s Point Beach
  • Barbary Beach
One of the ways you can do in the Grand Bahamas on a budget is visiting Lucayan National Park! It's only $12 a person and  it's easy to spend half a day there! This is Sam at the entrance.
  • Lucayan National Park

Next up is Lucayan National Park. If you’re looking for a cheap way to learn more about the island’s history, landscape, and wildlife, consider visiting Lucayan National Park! It only costs $12 a day for adults ($6 for kids and $9 for Seniors), and you can easily spend half a day exploring!

Lucayan National Park features the island’s underwater karst caves, including the famous Ben’s Cave and Lucayan Cave, where indigenous remains lay! It’s also home to Gold Rock Beach, where they filmed scenes from the Pirates of the Caribbean! For a small fee, you can spend your day learning about the island, walking through the five different biomes, checking out some underwater caves, and enjoying the pristine beach.

  • Travelers Tip: There is no seating at the beach (unless you want to rent beach chairs for $30/hr from a local), so I’d recommend bringing a sand-proof beach blanket to make the most of your time on the beach!
Sam snorkeling in Freeport, Grand Bahamas
  • Deadman’s Reef

If you’re looking for cheap water activities and sports, head to Deadman’s Reef (also known as Paradise Cove), where they offer affordable rentals and excursions. Water activities offered at Deadman’s Reef include snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, spearfishing, freediving, and more. They have a $25 Banana Boat ride and will offer a 10% discount if you bring your snorkeling gear!

If you want to try various water activities, Deadman’s Reef also offers combo packages where you can pick two different activities. Alternatively, you can purchase a day pass for the same price with Viva Fortuna by Wyndham to receive access to snorkeling, wind sailing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and more from 9 AM – 5 PM. You could also visit an activity beach and rent out gear there!

  • Travelers Tip: Buy your snorkel gear now to receive the 10% discount at Deadman’s Reef, or to go yourself on any public beach!
Drone image of Viva Fortuna by Wyndham All Inclusive Resort

Affordable Accommodations

Like any vacation, the accommodation you choose will be where the chunk of your vacation budget will go. There are many strategic ways to save money on your accommodation on Grand Bahama Island: through an all-inclusive resort, a cheaper hotel, or a VRBO. Each option has its pros and cons. We’ll cover all three of them today.

All-Inclusive Resort

An all-inclusive resort costs more money upfront but can be a great budget option overall because everything else is (mostly) included. All-inclusive resorts can be expensive, but on Grand Bahama Island, the prices are relatively affordable! Of course, this depends on the season (it’s cheapest to book between August and November), but compared to other tourist destinations, it’s a steal!

If you plan on spending most of your time at the beach and want great amenities like pools, hot tubs, and live entertainment, an all-inclusive is your best option. If you pay for an all-inclusive, your food and activities are paid for, so you’ll be less likely to pull out your wallet.

One of the ways you can embrace the Grand Bahamas on a budget is by booking an all-inclusive resort. We stayed at the Viva Fortuna by Wyndham and paid more upfront but didn't need to pay for food or entertainment!

Dylan and I stayed at the Viva Fortuna by Wyndham All-Inclusive Resort when we visited back in May of 2024 and loved it. For five days, we had unlimited access to water activities (windsurfing and sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boarding), live entertainment, and other activities (tennis, archery, and trapeze). For travelers who like to try a little bit of everything, it was worth it to stay here.

The resort had a pool, hot tub, volleyball court, and plenty of seating areas. They had a buffet, three on-site restaurants, a gift and convenience store, nightly live entertainment, a snack and coffee bar, and an ice cream stand. The staff was friendly, the food was decent, and there was always something to do.

I’ll admit I wasn’t thrilled with the cleanliness or comfort of our room, but we didn’t mind too much because we spent very little time there anyway. For a 3-star resort, it was worth the price!

>> Book your stay at Viva Fortuna by Wyndham Here! <<

Photo of the entrance to Grand Lucayan Resort

If you’re sold on the Resort option and want a 4-star all-inclusive instead, consider Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan. It’s another option closer to many of the area’s popular attractions. It’s within walking distance of Port Lucaya Marketplace, Lucaya Beach, and more. There is also a golf course on-site!

Some things included at Grand Lucayan include four restaurants and bars, weekly entertainment, unlimited golf, and direct access to the beach. The water sports Grand Lucayan Resort offers are snorkeling, wind sailing, windsurfing, and more! It’s a bit spendier than Viva Fortuna but has better reviews overall.

>> Book your stay at Grand Lucayan Resort Here! <<

Photo of the volleyball court at Viva Fortuna by Wyndham


A lower upfront accommodation option is to book a hotel on the island. Hotels are a good option because they offer a nice place to stay, sometimes with decent amenities. The only downside is that you have to eat out and pay for excursions and entertainment while on the island. We’ve highlighted two cheap hotels in Grand Bahamas that travelers on a budget have enjoyed staying at.

The Bell Channel Inn is a boutique hotel and scuba diving retreat in Freeport, loved for its low prices and hospitality. The hotel has an on-site seafood restaurant and bar called Upstairs on the Bay. It also has breakfast available for purchase, laundry facilities, and in-room kitchenette. The Bell Channel Inn is a great place to stay for something affordable with fantastic service!

>> Book your stay at Bell Channel Inn Here! <<

Sam looking at a pool in the Grand Bahamas

Next, Pelican Bay is another fantastic accommodation option in Freeport. This is technically a resort but has prices similar to a hotel. The resort is a good option if you’d like something between an all-inclusive and an affordable hotel. They have three outdoor pools, a playground, laundry facilities, breakfast for purchase, bike rentals, a swim-up bar, and a poolside bar. It’s close to the beach and has phenomenal reviews!

>> Book your stay at Pelican Bay Here! <<


Lastly, another affordable option is to rent a VRBO in Freeport! VRBOs are nice because you can often rent condos with similar amenities to a resort or hotel, and you get the option to cook! Buying your food and preparing it yourself can save a ton of money if you aren’t staying at an all-inclusive. Here are two VRBO options that travelers love:

Drone image overlooking the Caribbean on Grand Bahama Island

This condo is located on Coral Beach and has an outdoor private pool! The property features a fully stocked kitchen, a beautiful patio, and a barbecue grill. The VRBO offers water sports equipment and on-site bicycles and sleeps six! It is rated exceptional by travelers for its proximity to the ocean, cleanliness, and access to amenities!

>> Book your Oceanfront Condo stay at Coral Beach Here! <<

You can’t beat the price at this Condo near Taino Beach! This dainty, cute space is a perfect budget option for two travelers. It has an outdoor pool, grill, laundry facilities, a fully stocked kitchen, an on-site tennis court, a golf course, and water sports equipment. It’s rated highly and is one of the cheapest VRBOs in Freeport near the water!

>> Book your stay at the Bayview Condo at Taino Beach Here! <<

Cruise ship at West Palm Beach port

Low-Cost Transportation Options

Next up on the list is transportation. Getting to and from the island is another expense you’ll need to consider for your trip. Transportation will often be the most expensive after accommodations, so you’ll want to choose wisely! Look into every option because depending on where you are traveling from, one transportation option may be cheaper than the other.

Dylan and I flew into Ft. Lauderdale because it was the cheaper airport, took the TriRail to West Palm Beach station, and then took a bus to the West Palm cruise port. The transportation cost us less than $20 combined, which we considered a steal! We then took the Margaritaville overnight cruise to the island under the Briar Travel package.

Dylan and I went to the Grand Bahamas on a budget and took the Margaritaville Cruise Line!

Getting To The Island

There are currently three ways travelers can get to Grand Bahama Island: plane, ferry, or cruise. The cheapest option will depend on where you’re traveling from. However, if you’re in Florida, there are three places you can depart from: West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, or Miami.

West Palm Beach is where cruises typically depart. Both Ft. Lauderdale and Miami offer ferry and flight options. Ft. Lauderdale has shorter and cheaper ferries, while Miami has more affordable flights. Look into each to see which is more affordable for you.

Photo out of airplane window looking at cruise ships
  • By Plane

One of the ways to reach Freeport is by airplane. However, since there is less competition, flights can generally be expensive. The cheapest time to travel to the Grand Bahama Island is between August and November – If you’re looking to fly, book your vacation during those months. Our favorite booking app is Expedia to find the cheapest flights to any destination!

>> Check Flights to Freeport with Expedia <<

Dylan and I on a ferry with clear blue waters behind us
  • By Ferry

A ferry is a great option if you’re already in (or are flying into) Florida. There are two ferry options – out of Ft. Lauderdale or Miami. Since Ft. Lauderdale is closer, it is cheaper to ferry from there and often faster. You can hop on a ferry from Ft. Lauderdale and arrive in the Bahamas in a little over three hours, whereas if you leave from Miami, it takes closer to five.

Photo of Margaritaville at Sea Cruise ship at sunset
  • By Cruise

Lastly, you can arrive at the Grand Bahamas via cruise ship. Taking a cruise usually means that you’re only on the island for a short time for excursions. However, this means you also get to explore other destinations. A few cruise lines that travel to Grand Bahama Island are Celebration, Margaritaville at Sea, and Carnival.

  • Travelers Tip: Dylan and I took the Margaritaville at Sea overnight cruise to Freeport. We stayed for four nights and got picked up again under the Briar Travel cruise and stay special!
Dylan and I decided to rent a scooter in the Grand Bahamas such we were on a budget and taxis were expensive! This is us navigating the left side and taking a break on the sidewalk.

Transportation On The Island

Once on the island, you’ll have to think about how to get around. Unfortunately, transportation can be expensive in Freeport, and Dylan and I learned this the hard way. There are three ways to get around the island: taking taxis, renting a car or scooter, or taking public transportation.

  • Taxis

Taxis are the most common form of transportation on Grand Bahama Island, though expensive. When we visited the island in May 2024, gas prices were almost $6 per gallon. To take a taxi from the cruise port to our resort costs $35 one way. It isn’t a problem if you don’t plan on taking taxis often, but if you plan on exploring various places on the island, you might want to consider renting a car or scooter or navigating the bus system.

Dylan driving a scooter on the left side of the road in the Bahamas
  • Rent a Car/Scooter

If you want to see Grand Bahama Island on your own time, renting a car or scooter is the way to go. Prices to rent for a day are cheap and are worth it if you want to save money on transportation to see different parts of the island.

Dylan and I rented a scooter with Bullseye Car Rental for $45 daily. Renting a car was only slightly more expensive than that. We visited the Port Lucaya Marketplace, the Lucayan National Park, the Rand Nature Center, and Owl’s Hole. If you decide to rent, remember that they drive on the left side of the road – this was a learning curve for us!

  • Public Transportation

The last and cheapest option is to take public transportation via bus (they call them jitneys) around the island. Dylan and I tried to take a jitney from the port to our resort, but jitneys did not stop at the port – Learn from us and research routes beforehand. Because we never took one, I can’t account for how reliable they are, and I admit I never saw one around when we were on our scooter.

Dylan on a paddle board and Sam on a kayak in the Caribbean in Freeport

FAQs: Grand Bahamas on a Budget

Now that we’ve discussed a few ways to stay on budget in Freeport, we can cover commonly asked questions.

What is the cheapest way to get around the Bahamas?

The cheapest way to get around Grand Bahama Island is via their public transportation jitneys (bus). You can also take taxis at a fixed rate determined by distance. However, if you plan on exploring the island at various locations, we recommend renting a car or scooter.

How to stay on budget in the Bahamas?

The best way to stay on a budget in the Bahamas is to find cheap activities and excursions. Visiting a public beach is a great way to do this! Otherwise, you can pay more upfront at an all-inclusive resort to gain access to water sports for free!

What is the difference between the Bahamas and the Grand Bahamas?

The difference between the Bahamas and the Grand Bahamas is that the Bahamas accounts for various Caribbean islands, whereas the Grand Bahamas is a specific island in the Bahamas.

How many days in the Bahamas is enough?

Dylan and I spent five days in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, and thought it was the perfect amount of time! Depending on what island you’re visiting, we recommend spending between three days and a week there to get the most out of your time!

Dylan holding a coconut in front of the Freeport Harbour sign

Wrapping Up: Visiting Grand Bahamas on a Budget

There you have it – A few ways to visit the Grand Bahamas on a budget. After reading this article, I hope you understand how to save money on attractions, accommodations, and transportation during your time there!

We hope you enjoy your time! It was one of our favorite vacations ever!