Pink Sand. Turquoise water. Expensive. These attributes are often spoken in the same breath when describing Bermuda. Here’s how we saved big on our tropical hiatus:
- Travel Dates: November 19-23. We traveled off-season when flight and hotel prices drop dramatically, as well as the crowds. Often, we had the beach entirely to ourselves. We dodged tropical storms by going right after hurricane season, but still maximized sun and warmth (70-80F). Our trip was combined with Thanksgiving travel, which saved money with a multi-destination flight and was during a period when most coworkers were also traveling (thereby avoiding missing a busy week at work).
- Transportation: Only residents can drive cars on the island, taxis aren’t cheap ($6 base rate and >$1/mile), and few sidewalks exist. So, we rented a moped! This is by far the cheapest and best way to see the island. To save further, we rented a two-seater versus two single mopeds (Dumb and Dumber quotes, anyone?). We could still talk while riding, and I could take pictures. You definitely feel about 30 times cooler than you look! A word to the wise: Don’t ride at night!
- Food: Bermuda imports everything. Food is outrageously expensive everywhere on the island. For two people, you would be hard pressed to have a meal that costs less than $50. We found a grocery store and prepared all of our meals (except for pizza). Oatmeal for breakfast, sandwiches/fruit for lunch, pasta/soup/pizza for dinner. We brought our French press to guarantee good coffee.
- Location: Stay where your interests are to avoid transportation costs. We knew our primary objective was to be near the beach, so we chose to stay in Southampton. If you are more interested in nightlife than the beach, stay in Hamilton. We also have a connection with the Fairmont, and were able to stay for a dramatically reduced rate.
- Activities: We filled our days with low cost, high fun activities: reading on the beach, exploring the coves, and cruising around the island on the moped. We hiked to the different bays and climbed to the observation deck of Gibb’s lighthouse ($2.50/person!). We snorkeled. Although we had our own gear, it only costs $20 for an incredible experience (re: rainbow parrot fish). At night, we frequented the indoor pool and outdoor hot tubs at the hotel instead of the bar.
- Splurge Choice: Save elsewhere and splurge on your passion. Some drink, golf, or go to the spa. We dive ($135 for two air tanks). Read the post ‘Crisis Averted’.
Trip Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/travelingchicha/sets/72157628199648117/