Less than two hours away from New York City (and many other cities on the East Coast), Bermuda is a convenient international beach getaway. Although it wasn’t previously on my travel wish list, I stumbled on an irresistible flight deal late last summer. After visiting Bermuda, I quickly changed my tune about the island. Despite it being an expensive travel destination, Bermuda is one of my favorite islands in the world. So much so that I’ve made it my annual vacation spot.
For less than $220 USD round-trip, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to jet off to the Atlantic. This trip was my last chance to soak up some summer sun and I invited my mom to join the fun. Mom and I spent most of our time at the beach swimming in Bermuda’s warm turquoise waters and laying on Bermuda’s picturesque white sand beaches – talk about total island bliss!
How much does a trip to Bermuda cost?
Although I don’t think that Bermuda will ever be cheap by any means, it can certainly be less expensive. It’s possible to vacation in Bermuda on a budget, but it won’t be easy. You’ll have to find creative ways to cut corners and stretch your dollar.
Now depending on your needs and interests, your Bermuda budget may look different, but use this spending plan as a guide. It’ll give you a better sense of how much money you’ll need to budget for your trip and perhaps where you can possibly save.
Before I get into the nitty-gritty of my Bermuda budget, here are the things you need to know before you go.
Planning For A Trip to Bermuda
What currency does Bermuda use?
Bermuda’s official currency is the Bermuda Dollar (BMD).
The Bermuda Dollar is on par with the US Dollar. You can use both currencies interchangeably on the island. This was super convenient because I did not have to worry about pesky exchange rate fees or currency devaluations.
You cannot use the British Pound, Canadian Dollar or Euro in Bermuda.
$1 BMD = $1 USD
Unless you want to keep your Bermuda Dollars as souvenirs, exchange your Bermuda Dollars for US Dollars before you leave.
You can use all major credit cards in Bermuda including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
If your bank or credit card company requires a travel notification, set your travel dates in advance so you don’t run into financial troubles abroad.
There are plenty of 24-hour ATMs in Bermuda. ATMs will give you Bermuda Dollars, so avoid over withdrawing funds and having to exchange them later. For more helpful money tips, check some more important financial things to know about Bermuda.
3 Day Bermuda Budget Spending
Round-trip Flights from NYC: $0 USD
I booked my flight with American Airlines two months before departure. I redeemed 21,246 points ($212.46 USD) with my Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. This meant that I spent $0 USD out of pocket on my flights – cheers to more savings on my Bermuda budget!
You can also book flights to Bermuda with JetBlue from New York City and WestJet from cities in Canada.
Arriving in Bermuda Tips
Bermuda has a new online Visitor Arrival Card which you can complete before you arrive in Bermuda to expedite your Bermuda arrival.
It’s easy, all you have to do is fill it out, print it and show it to the immigration officers along with your passport.
Pink paper arrival forms are also available on board your flight.
Why travel to Bermuda during the off-season?
October to March is considered off-season in Bermuda. This is a great time to find the best flight deals and cheaper lodging. Also, the weather ranges from 60°F to about 70°F – not too bad for Fall right!
Lodging: $232 – $502 USD per night
I stayed at the luxurious Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa in Hamilton Parish.
Grotto Bay Beach Resort is the only all-inclusive (optional) beach resort in Bermuda. The all-inclusive supplement gets added to your room charge and it includes daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It also includes unlimited drinks, non-motorized water sports, and an unlimited public transportation pass.
The all-inclusive supplement costs $109 USD a day with gratuity for adults and $79 USD a day for children.
I decided to skip the all-inclusive supplement because I didn’t think that I would spend $109 USD a day in Bermuda. Instead, I paid for everything out-of-pocket. I paid for the daily breakfast buffet, dinner and an hour kayak rental which totaled $276 USD for my 3-day trip.
Surprisingly this was only $51 USD cheaper than the all-inclusive supplement offered by the resort. If I had to do it again, I would probably pay the extra $51 USD for all the added perks. Yes, my Bermuda budget would take a small hit but the supplement’s added value would be worth it.
Transportation to/from NYC Airport: $73.82 USD
One-way Uber ride to JFK: $55.82 USD (split the bill ~$27.91 per person)
One-way NYC Airport Shuttle: $18 USD
Average Taxi to/from Bermuda Airport: $15 USD
Taxis are convenient but expensive in Bermuda.
A short 10-minute taxi ride (literally just crossing “the causeway”) to Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa cost ~$15 USD. Ouch, that’s $1.50 USD per minute!
With taxis being so expensive and buses infrequent, I decided to spend less time in transit and more time exploring the resort and its nearby surroundings.
I walked to Swizzle Inn (~5-minute walk) and hiked at the Blue Hole Park (~40-minute walk).
With limited time on the island, I don’t regret walking, but I would consider renting a moped next time I’m in town.
Update July 2017: During my second trip to Bermuda, I rented pedal bikes with WeRide Bermuda. This was a great way to see more of the island and explore the Bermuda Railway Trail.
Average Daily Food Cost: $51 USD
I ate most of my meals at Grotto Bay Beach Resort’s Hibiscus Room Restaurant and the Palm Court Restaurant.
I had a full breakfast buffet at the Hibiscus Restaurant for ~$27 USD per person. The buffet included unlimited fruits, oatmeal, juice, cereal, eggs, pancakes, french toast, and coffee service.
Having a hearty breakfast meant that I could skip lunch. At lunch, I enjoyed complimentary tea time at Palm Court Restaurant from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm. I munched on lots of sugar cookies and scones and I drank tea and coffee, all for free.
For dinner, I made reservations at the Palm Court Restaurant and I enjoyed Bermudian style bistro and wine.
Day 1 Food Total: $48.24 USD
- Lunch at Swizzle Inn: $22 USD
- Dinner at the Palm Court Restaurant: $26.24 USD (including 17% gratuity)
Swizzle Inn Sample Menu Prices:
10′ Cheese Pizza: $11 USD
Rum Swizzle glass: $8 USD
Rum Swizzle half jug: $17.50 (~4 glasses)
Cajun Calamari: $13.75 USD
The Swizzle Burger: $16 USD
Palm Court Sample Menu Prices:
Traditional Fish: $22.50 USD
Soup de Jour (Soup of the Day): $7.95 USD
Linguini Vongole: $17.95 USD
Fish & Chips: $18.95 USD
Tuna Wrap: $13.50 USD
A glass of Chardonnay: $8 USD
Day 2 Food Total: $48.08 USD
- Breakfast buffet: $26.33 USD (including 17% gratuity)
- Dinner at the Palm Court: $21.75 USD (including 17% gratuity)
Day 3 Food Total: $56.32 USD
- Breakfast buffet: $26.33 USD (including 17% gratuity)
- Dinner at the Palm Court: $29.99 USD (including 17% gratuity)
How much to tip in Bermuda?
Hotels and restaurants usually charge a 15% service charge. Grotto Bay Beach Resort charged 17%.
You can tip more if you like, but it’s not required. If a surcharge wasn’t added to your bill, you can leave the standard U.S. 15%-20% tip.
Activity Cost: $20 USD
Bermuda Activity Details
- 1-hour kayak rental from Blue Hole Water Sports: $20 USD
- Hiking: Free
- Swimming in Cathedral Cave: Free
I kept my activity costs low by enjoying many of Grotto Bay Beach Resort’s amenities. I swam in a crystal cave, read by the pool and spent lots of time on the property’s exclusive white sand beach.
The only activity that I paid for was the one-hour kayak rental.
Average Daily Alcohol Cost: $8 USD
- $8 USD for a glass of Chardonnay at Palm Court Restaurant
- $8 USD for a swizzle drink at Swizzle Inn
When I added up all of my expenses, I spent ~$1,100 during my 3-day trip to Bermuda. This short trip was a bit of a splurge, but it was worth every sun shining and rum sipping minute.
Since lodging was one of the most expensive things on my Bermuda budget, if you want to spend less on your trip, I recommend finding a cheaper place to stay.
Would I go back to Bermuda? Yes, you bet!
I’ll be back next summer so stay tuned for more Bermuda budget developments and money-saving tips!
Heading to Bermuda? Where will YOU save and splurge?