Bahamas & Exuma Family Trip
The Bahamas has been on my vacation bucket list for quite some time so when I was planning our spring break for this year it was definitely on my short list! I knew it would be a super fun family vacation.
WHERE WE STAYED
In all honesty, I wanted to go to Harbour Island but knew that Atlantis would be a great place to stay because the kids would have a blast and Dan and I wouldn't have to worry about keeping them occupied with everything there is to do there. We will save Harbour Island for our next trip down there ;)
Atlantis Paradise Island is a huge resort only about 30 mins from the international airport in Nassau. There is something for everyone there, including multiple pools, a huge water park with slides and a lazy river, several beaches, kids club activities and rope bridges (the kids thought these were fun). Atlantis is also home to the largest open-air marine habitat in the world... encompassing 14 lagoons, eight million gallons of ocean water and more than 50,000 aquatic animals representing over 250 marine species. The kids loved seeing all the aquatic animals and exploring the marine habitats as well as the underground aquarium.
I originally was skeptical as am typically not a huge fan of giant resorts but the convenience and endless amount of things to do for kids was unparalleled. I am so glad we stayed here!! Highly recommend for families with small kids. The resort was impeccably clean and although both of our children can swim it put us at ease knowing there were lifeguards at literally every turn.
There were so many water slides and pools to keep them entertained for hours and although they offer a myriad of experiences and activities, we had a blast just hanging out at the resort pools. There was a little "marina village" where you could find cute shops, a handful of restaurants and live music as well. One night they celebrated "Junkanoo" in the streets - a carnival style parade with elaborate costumes, music and dancing. It was so fun!
WHAT WE DID
I knew that I wanted to go to The Exumas while we were down there because it is the epitome of what the Bahamas are with the clear water and all the gorgeous islands and sandbars. We booked our full day tour through Staniel Cay Adventures and they were fantastic! We hopped a private charter flight over to Staniel Cay and were whisked away on a boat to all of our island destinations for the day. We stopped for lunch at Staniel Cay Yacht Club and it was just perfect.
While we were out on the boat we visited the famous swimming pigs, swam with the sharks at Compass Cay, fed some island iguanas on Iguana Island, dove into a secret cave at Thunderball Grotto, stopped for some snorkeling at a sunken plane wreck and chilled out on a gorgeous sandbar in the middle of the ocean. It was all so amazing!! Our captain and guide Captain Fishy (appropriately named because he was well versed in everything Exuma) was phenominal. When we set out he made sure we were the only visitors at each location which made it feel so personal and private which is exactly what we were looking for in our tour.
WHAT I PACKED
I typically keep packing to a minimum when we fly but for this trip I knew I'd need to bring quite a few extras (snacks, snorkel gear, goggles, sunscreen, etc) so we used a small suitcase for them. I decided to pack snacks for the kids to have on hand because I knew we wouldn't want to have to track down snacks for the hotel room/pool once we got there and that choices would be limited as we were on resort property. It was super convenient to have protein bars, jerky, pretzels, crackers, cereal, etc. (items that I know my kids like) on hand when the kids wanted a quick snack at the pool or for something to hold them over until we all were ready to grab something more substantial at a restaurant or poolside.
Both kids have their own snorkel gear and because I knew we'd be doing some snorkeling I decided to bring what they were comfortable with rather than relying on the tour companies to provide kids sized gear. And of course we brought all the pool necessities like goggles and lots of sunscreen. My favorite sunscreen for the family is Sun Bum because it works well and is made with good stuff. I love the smell and it doesn't make our skin greasy which is important too!
Here are some other items I packed!
You can check out more of our Bahamas trip on my Instagram @theeverydayexchange under my story highlights!