30. May 2014

Maybe you’re almost ready for your Exuma vacation. You’ve figured out where to stay and what to do while you’re here—but what in the world should you bring? If you’re a first-time visitor to the Bahamas Out Islands, here are our suggestions for approaching that suitcase with serenity.

Dress for Simplicity, Rather than Success

We can’t advise on the resort-wear fashions of the local all-inclusive, but if you intend to enjoy an authentic, active Exuma getaway, leave behind the pressed pants and stiletto heels. Here, you’ll find yourself most comfortable if your attire is:

  • Casual. Lots of guests spend their time in bathing suits, which makes packing a snap. Even when dining out, dress codes lean toward relaxed and you’ll find the Bahamians and your fellow travellers decked out in shorts, T-shirts, sundresses, blowsy pants, cotton and linen button-downs, and other easy-wear items.
  • Walkable. Surfaces here can be uneven—you’ll be strolling sand beaches, rocky shores, planked decks, roughly paved roads, and maybe a bush path or two— so unstable footwear is to be avoided. Comfortable, flat shoes with rubber tread will help you keep going all day. At many of the restaurants and resorts, however, wide, smooth pathways make it possible to strut your stuff a few times while you’re here. And there’s always dancing to consider!
  • Cool. Daytime temperatures are in the 80s and 90s Fahrenheit (26 to 32 Celsius) in summer and winter respectively, so people from temperate climates almost always come loaded for “summer” weather. Depending on your complexion, you may need some loose, breathable protective gear to keep your cool while avoiding that giveaway tourist burn.
  • Layered. Weather is pretty reliable, but wintertime does bring some cold fronts and summertime brief afternoon rain. A light jacket or shirt is good throw on for the occasional brisk evening, and rain gear can be nice if you get stuck out when the skies open up.
  • Flexible. First time visitors will struggle to plan for everything they’ll be enticed to do, so the best bet is to focus on comfortable clothing that can take your from lounging to fishing to drinks out, if that’s what the day brings.

Of course, all the usual rules for tropical destinations apply: a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, bathing suit, beach cover up, and the like are worth the space. But don’t worry if you don’t have what you need (we know it’s tough to find beachwear in Calgary in February!), we’ve got shops right here: the Straw Market for great hats and t-shirts, several boutiques for resort fashions, markets with sunscreen and, yes, aloe sunburn lotion should you need it!

Electronics and Equipment

For vacation, everyone packs the camera (underwater if you’ve got the option), but what about other electronics?

At Hideaways Exuma, we offer local phones that repeat a WiFi signal wherever you go, supplying a lower cost Internet option than the roaming fees your provider will likely charge for connectivity. That makes your web-reliant gadgets, like smart phones and iPads, more enticing to bring along. (As if you’d leave them behind anyway!)

The Bahamas uses North American 110 A/C power, so depending on where you’re coming from, you may need to pack an adaptor. Also be advised, electronics stores here are not as comprehensively stocked as you may be accustomed to, so double-check your luggage for proprietary charging cables and other essentials before you leave, or you could find yourself rationing your Angry Birds time as your power bars dwindle.
Of course, kids will want to bring a few of their favorite toys, but Hideaways guests have access to the full array of Palm Bay Beach Club amenities. We suspect they’ll be in the pool, aboard the paddle boats, playing Kinnect, feeding the tame rays on Stocking Island, and doing so much else that you won’t need much “stuff” to keep them entertained.

As for adults, rest assured that our Fitness Room makes it easy to get in your regular workout without toting a lot of extra gear. We’ve got everything from yoga mats and balance balls to treadmills and elliptical machines, so with just a tank top and tennis shoes, you can get your sweat on.

Lighten Up!

Whatever you do, don’t stress about the packing! You won’t need much to enjoy Great Exuma. Everything required for the good life is right here. All that’s missing is you.