Electrical current in the Bahamas is 120 volts, 60Hz.
Two-pin flat blade plugs and flat blade plugs with round grounding,
are also standard.
English is the official language in the
Many hotels and restaurant bills in the Bahamas automatically
include a service charge of 15% to cover gratuities, otherwise a
10-15% tip is expected for most services, including taxi drivers.
Hotel staff usually receive US$1 per bag.
Most visits to the Bahamas are trouble-free though care should
be taken in the major cities of Nassau and Freeport. Visitors
should take sensible precautions and not carry large amounts of
cash or jewellery on their person or wander away from the main
tourist areas, especially after dark. In light of several fatal
accidents and serious injuries that have occurred using rented
watersports equipment, it is advisable that only those experienced
on jet skis consider renting them on New Providence and Paradise
Island. The watersports industry here is poorly regulated and
visitors should only rent equipment from reputable operators and
make sure that they have received adequate training before going
out onto the water. Hurricane season is from June to the end of
The British and African influences on the Bahamas are still
obvious, but the island's proximity to the US has resulted in a
somewhat Americanised culture. Some of the islands and resorts are
very upmarket and require a certain standard of dress. Beachwear
should be confined to the beach and smart-casual dress is usually
expected for the evening.
Nassau is the business centre of the Bahamas, whose economy is
heavily dependent of tourism and offshore banking. Business
protocol is fairly relaxed, although appropriate business attire is
expected. Meetings are usually held in conference rooms, they begin
punctually, and business cards are customarily exchanged.
Handshakes on introduction are the norm between both men and women;
women are treated as equals in the business environment. Office
hours are 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
The international access code for the Bahamas is +1, in common
with the US, Canada and most of the Caribbean, followed by 242. The
outgoing code is 011 followed by the relevant country code (e.g.
01144 for the United Kingdom). Calls from the Bahamas can be
expensive, so if possible use a calling card. VOIP services are a
much cheaper and more popular means of communication. A mobile
network operates on the GSM 1900 band. Internet cafes are widely
Travellers to the Bahamas over 18 years do not have to pay duty
on 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars or 454g of tobacco; 1 litre spirits
and 1 litre wine; and other goods to the value of US$100.
Prohibited items include firearms and ammunition without a police
permit. Pets and dogs from countries with rabies infections are
strictly prohibited from entering the country.