What to Know, Bring, and Leave at Home
Bahama Villa will have most of what you need to have an enjoyable stay. There are some things you need to know, however, for your stay to be even better. Bookmark this page and/or print it out to use as a planning and packing guide.

Table of Contents

What We Have Already

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What We Have Most of the Time

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What to Bring

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Things to Buy on the Island

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Your Host

Arthur Nixon will be your gracious host during your stay at Bahama Villa. He a graduate of the BahamaHost training school and is a rare combination of warmth, charm and efficiency. If you need anything during your stay, feel free to contact him at (242) 359-7879.

Mr. Nixon will meet you at the airport with your car or taxi and provide information on where to go and what to do during your stay. He also offers a CAR RENTAL DISCOUNT to Bahama Villa guests of $350/week (50/day) - normally $55-60/day. While his cars are not new models, they run well and have reliable air-conditioning - an important feature in the tropics! If you plan to go on the back roads and need a more rugged vehicle, Arthur can help you secure a jeep as well for around $65-70/day. You can reach him on his cell phone at (242) 359-7879 or tell us on your application that you want a rental car and send us a check for him. We will make sure Arthur gets both the check and your arrival instructions.

NOTICE: While we are happy to pass on information, we as the owners of Bahama Villa are not responsible for your dealings with Mr. Nixon or others about car rental fees or services. Please get a clear understanding up front about rates and terms so there is no misunderstandings later.

Warnings, Disclaimers and Fine Print

TRAVEL PREPARATIONS. Eleuthera is part of the Bahamas, a foreign country that requires you to show a passport (or birth certificate and official photo ID if from USA) and pay a $15 departure fee per person (cash, as of 2007). Because of its island status, some things are sometimes not as easy as in the USA or Europe. That means that a) prices are often higher, b) supplies are limited, c) conveniences and services are sometimes slow or lacking, and d) the people there are accustomed to this way of life.

Translation: Expect fantastic views, great swimming, snorkeling, beaches, lots of R&R . . . and a few inconveniences. For example, if you can't stand critters, bugs or heat, or suffer from acute allergies or medical problems that would keep you from enjoying the tropics in all its glory, you'd better stay home or stay indoors during the trip. (The latter shouldn't be much of a problem, however, because the AC is cool and the views are still teriffic!)

Also, if booking during the August-November hurricane season, we strongly recommend you purchase some inexpensive travel insurance in case you must cancel or cut short your visit. Check with the Trip Insurance Store for a rate comparison chart, or call them at 1-888-407-3854 for a free quote.

Check-in is at 3 p.m., but sometimes you can come earlier. If you are arriving on an early flight, say, from Nassau, check our availability calendar before you leave to make sure no one is leaving the same day you arrive (the online calendar will show a red-highlighted square the day before, meaning they have booked that night and should leave by 11 a.m. the next morning). If this is the case, you must check in at 3 p.m. to give our cleaning person a chance to get the villa ready. You can ask Arthur, however, if it would be OK for you to drop off your luggage at the house and come back later. Check-out time is 11 AM sharp or you may be charged for an extra night's stay. This shouldn't be a problem, however, as many guests must leave on BahamasAir, Lynx Air, or some other flight early in the morning.

TRANSPORTATION. Driving is on the LEFT in the Bahamas. If you rent a car there, be aware that most local insurance only covers damage to other drivers and their vehicles. It will not cover your personal injury or damage to the rental vehicle. You are again urged to contact your agent or for a quote on $5-10K add-on international driving coverage. If you are unsure about driving in the Bahamas, hire a taxi. You may also be able to rent bicycles in Governors Harbour, but we recommend staying off the main road. People drive quite fast on Queen's Highway!

CLEANING & SECURITY FEE. The house is cleaned and supplied before your arrive. While a cleaning fee of $55 is added for all visits, Mr. Nixon and our housekeeper always appreciates a small tip if they do extra work like delivering groceries, running errands, or performing some task around the house that is not part of their job. For example, all guests are responsible for leaving the house in good condition upon leaving such as broom sweeping, stacking used towels, returning rewinded videotapes, books, games and other items, cleaning the grill if used, washing your pots, utensils, and dishes, and bagging your garbage. If you want the housekeeper to do any of these things, make sure she understands you are paying her a separate fee for doing them. You will also be charged a minimum of $25 if check-out items are not done, or you leave wet bathing suits or clothes on the bedding or furniture. Follow the check-out list posted.

MISCELLANEOUS. Electricity is same as in the USA (120V), and the US dollar is accepted on par with the Bahamaian dollar. Bring extra cash as most places do not accept credit cards. Although the water is filtered and safe to drink, you may still prefer bottled water. When going barefoot, be careful to avoid jagged rocks! There are no poisonous snakes on Eleuthera, and swimming is safe. Even the stingrays are playful; just donít step on them or touch their tails! And be careful to avoid the few jellyfish that appear mostly in spring and early summer months.

Although our home is accessible to wheelchairs, the steps to the bay are not. Neither is it easy to make it on the beach unless you can walk. Air conditioning is available, both as central air and a unit in the master bedroom (plus fans) to use on those not-so-hot days. Although the full length of Ten Bay Beach can be viewed from your porch, the house is not directly ON it (few houses are); you have to walk about 100 yards. Power outages may happen on occasion, and water is sometimes scarce. When flushing the toilet, hold the handle down until the bowl empties. Also, please use the outside shower for washing off (then drying) after going to the beach or in the water. Too much sand in the tub drain will clog it up and cause problems.

Small scorpions can be seen on occasion, so check your shoes and in hidden areas before putting hands and feet there. They can sting if surprised, but their sting is never fatal and feels like an insect or small wasp sting. Mosquitoes and "No-See-Ums" (i.e., sand gnats) come out at dusk and can also cause discomfort. The BEST way to avoid these critters is to go indoors and shut all the doors and windows for an hour right around sunrise or sunset. Afterwards, it's safe to come out again. Should you be caught outdoors at that time, however, the simple fact is that some people never have trouble with no-see-ums and "skeeters" while others are bitten profusely. If you are in the latter group, prepare! Avoid wearing scented oils or make-up and use a repellent. The best one we recommend is AVON SKIN-SO-SOFT, but you can also try full-strength DEET repellent, OFF!, or take some "Allegra" or other allergy medication. If you have severe allergies to stings, be sure to bring your antidote!

Please don't be discouraged, however, if you are healthy and can stand a few island oddities. Eleuthera is a real joy to those who are able to look beyond the surface and savor island life as it really is!

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(c) Copyright 2000-2009 by Michael Craig
6050 Peachtree Pkwy, Ste 240-340, Norcross, GA 30092 USA Last Updated 12/10/09