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Harbour Island, Bahamas

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Jul 10, 2023

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in Harbour Island, Bahamas. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.

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What do I need to know before moving to Harbour Island?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Harbour Island, they said:

"Harbour Island, is known for its pink sand beaches, clear waters, and relaxed lifestyle. Before moving there, expats should be aware that the cost of living is high, with imported goods and groceries being particularly expensive. The island's currency is the Bahamian dollar, which is pegged to the US dollar, and both are accepted everywhere. English is the official language, but the local dialect can sometimes be difficult to understand. The island has a small population, so it's easy to get to know locals and become part of the community. However, it's important to respect local customs and traditions. Healthcare facilities on the island are limited, so expats may need to travel to Nassau or the US for serious medical issues. It's recommended to have comprehensive health insurance that covers medical evacuation. The climate is tropical, with a hurricane season that runs from June to November. Expats should be prepared for potential storms and have a plan in place. While the island is generally safe, petty crime can occur, so it's important to take standard precautions to protect personal belongings. The island's economy is heavily reliant on tourism, so job opportunities for expats may be limited to this industry. It's also worth noting that obtaining a work permit can be a lengthy and complex process. Public transportation is limited, so expats often choose to get around by golf cart, which is the island's primary mode of transport. Finally, while Harbour Island offers a laid-back lifestyle, entertainment options are limited, so it may not be the best fit for those seeking a vibrant nightlife or a wide range of cultural activities," said one expat in Harbour Island.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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