Last Updated: 01/05/19 | January 5th, 2019
When I was 12, my father took my sister and me to Bermuda to surprise my mom, who was there on a cruise with my grandmother. We spent four days sweltering in the heat, swimming at the beach, and eating at Henry VIII, a medieval-themed restaurant. I’m sure it wasn’t a cheap trip, even back in the 1990s.
And now, older (and not that much wiser), I wondered: could the land of rich people, celebrities, bankers, and tax-avoiding corporations really be enjoyed on a budget? Bermuda isn’t known as a cheap destination. Being the frugal traveler I am, I didn’t want to spend much money, but what’s the absolute minimum one needs while there?
As it turns out, a lot.
Is it possible to travel around Bermuda on a budget? The answer is a stark no. I can tell you that it’s nearly impossible to visit Bermuda on a budget. Realistically, you need at least $175 USD per day.
Why do you need so much money? There are two main reasons:
First, accommodation is stupidly expensive (there are no hostels on the island). The cheapest accommodation costs around 100 BMD for apartment rentals found via Airbnb, Vrbo, or Bermuda Rentals. If you book at least a month in advance or in the low season, or know someone, you might be able to find a room for as little as 80 BMD a night. (I booked last-minute, so ended up paying 125 BMD per night.)
Secondly, transportation around the island is difficult. The bus system, while cheap, is infrequent, and many routes stop around 7pm. If you aren’t staying in a central location, this can be problematic. Additionally, taxis are expensive: prices start at 7.90 BMD, and each subsequent mile costs 2.75 BMD (and there’s also a surcharge on Sundays). And if you’re visiting far-off beaches and attractions or coming back late at night, you’ll definitely need a taxi. You’re guaranteed to take at least one taxi ride a day.
How to Visit Bermuda for Less
However there are, in fact, some ways to spend less money on Bermuda, but it will take a lot more planning and some creativity. Here’s what you need to do:
Book early – If you want cheap accommodation, you’ll need to book rooms at least a month in advance. Avoid hotels and resorts and instead, stay at a bed and breakfast or home rental property. If you’re staying with a group, definitely rent a large apartment, as it’s far less per person than a hotel room.
Couchsurf – There are only 46 Couchsurfing hosts in Bermuda. Many of them have private rooms available, but again, if you want to succeed in reserving one, make sure you inquire really early in order to maximize your chances of success.
Rent a motorbike – Motorbikes are the most convenient and economical transportation on the island. Since buses are infrequent and taxis are expensive, having a motorcycle will give you more freedom to travel at a lower cost. Rentals begin at around $50 a day but get cheaper the longer you rent them. Two popular rental companies are Elbow Beach Cycles and Oleander Cycles. Mopeds are easy to rent; you can expect to pay around 50 BMD per day.
Stay central – While Hamilton is not set on a beautiful, pink-sand beach, it’s the center for all the buses and ferries leaving the city. If you rent an apartment and aren’t careful, you can end up somewhere far from a bus stop (which means more taxis). Staying in or near Hamilton will ensure you’re near all the bus lines and can avoid spending too much money on taxis.
Skip the fancy food – There’s good food on Bermuda, but it’s expensive. Avoid all the big, fancy restaurants and go for smaller stalls and local restaurants where prices, though still high, are more economical. My favorite place was Specialty Inn. Additionally, the café at Cambridge Resorts is reasonably priced despite being at a resort. Most meals cost 10–20 BMD. If you want a mid-range meal with drinks and dessert, you’re looking at closer to 75 BMD.
Cook – If you skipped the hotel and rented an apartment, you’ll have a kitchen. There’s an ever-growing local and organic foodie scene on the island. You can find a lot of cheap fruits, vegetables, and meats at markets and shops, which will help lower your costs dramatically.
Visit during the low season – Peak season in Bermuda is from May to October. The weather is perfect but prices are high. To save money, visit between March-April instead. Temperatures are pleasant, there are fewer crowds at all the attractions, and accommodation is cheaper.
But those are pretty much your only options. If you find a Couchsurfing host, you can probably do Bermuda for around 70–80 BMD per day. Otherwise, you’re looking at around 125-175 BMD per day — or more. There’s really no way around it.
Despite the drain on my wallet, my trip to Bermuda was amazing. As you can tell from the photos, everything you’ve ever heard about the island is true. This is truly a paradise, with warm, clear water lapping pink-sand beaches.
And Bermudians were always helpful, friendly, and welcoming. Everywhere I went, people were talkative and sincere. The woman in charge of our rented room fed us dinner and breakfast while her family described life in Bermuda (apparently, it’s not just for the newly rich or nearly dead anymore!). We met a nice guy at the bus stop who randomly ended up giving us a ride into Hamilton, and then there was the waiter who kept telling us to have a “Bermudaful day.” (Plus, countless other little things that made me fall in love with the place.)
So visit Bermuda and know, that while it won’t be cheap to visit, it will be beautiful, relaxing, and fun!
Book Your Trip to Bermuda: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner. It is my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the globe, so you always know no stone is being left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as it has the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com, as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancelations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything unexpected goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it, as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- Safety Wing (for everyone below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for those 70 and over)
- Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)
Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money too.
Want More Information on Bermuda?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Bermuda for even more planning tips!