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Message for U.S. Citizens: Nassau (Bahamas), Spring Break 2014: Bahamas Travel Safety Tips

Western Hemisphere > Bahamas; Western Hemisphere > Bahamas > Nassau

While the U.S. Embassy in Nassau encourages all U.S. citizens traveling to The Bahamas for Spring Break to enjoy their vacation, it also advises those citizens to note the following important safety tips: 

•   Avoid underage and excessive alcohol consumption.  “Overdoing it” can lead to an arrest, accident, violent crime, or death.
o   In particular, do not rent or operate a scooter, moped, or jet ski while under the influence of alcohol.  If you do rent a scooter or jet ski, obey all safety instructions and stay in populated areas.  It is not advisable to take a scooter to remote, unfamiliar sections of the island far from Bay Street.
o   Be careful while walking back to your cruise ship or hotel from local night spots such as the Arawak Cay “Fish Fry.” Designate a member of your group to remain sober and ensure that everyone reaches their destination safely.
o   Be aware of the alcohol content of the drinks you are consuming; some local beverages contain a higher alcohol content than others, and consumption of large mixed drinks can lead to rapid and unintended intoxication.
•   Obey all local laws, and remember they may be different from our own.
o   Do not carry, use, or purchase drugs.  Marijuana is not legal in The Bahamas.  Buying, carrying, or using drugs such as marijuana can result in severe penalties including jail time.
o   Do not carry weapons.
•   Keep an eye on your belongings and avoid leaving valuables unattended, whether on the beach or elsewhere.
•   Be aware that certain beaches have strong undercurrents and rip tides.  Heed any posted signs warning of strong surf or currents.
•   In general, be careful at night. Travel in groups, take only necessary valuables, and be aware of your surroundings.  Beware of waterfront vendors selling tickets for boat/tourist excursions outside of the normal business hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Before you leave for your trip, learn as much as possible about your destination at our website dedicated to student travelers: studentsabroad.state.gov.  Here, you can find out about entry requirements, crime, health precautions, and road conditions.  Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  This program keeps students up-to-date with important safety and security announcements, such as Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and security messages.

Keep in touch with your parents.  If you will be without Internet or phone service for a few days, let them know.  We receive many calls from parents who fear the worst when they have not heard from their children. In most cases, their child is fine, but has been too busy to check in.

Please see the Department of State’s “Top Five Travel Tips For Spring Break 2014”.  If you are the victim of a crime abroad (including the loss or theft of a U.S. passport), you should immediately contact the local police (dial “911”).  Contact with the Embassy should be made as soon as possible thereafter.  

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for The Bahamas.  For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.  

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler App, available through iTunes and Google play, to have travel information at your fingertips.

In The Bahamas, the Embassy is located at 42 Queen Street in downtown Nassau, and can be reached at 242-322-1181.