Experiences: Dinner guests at Graycliff — an antique Bahamian mansion that's played host to the likes of Winston Churchill and Aristotle Onassis — enjoy free viewing tours of the on-site cigar factory and the Graycliff's award-winning wine cellar, which boasts one of the largest private wine collections in the world. Reservations in the cellar's private dining room ring in at roughly $1,000, but five-star entree prices at the restaurant begin at less than $50, providing a comparable — if slightly less private — experience. Western Esplanade Beach is free to access, and strolling through Straw Market in Nassau will score you affordable souvenirs. Hiking the 18th-century limestone steps of the Queen's Staircase will take you to historic Fort Fincastle, which is accessible for only a buck.
Transportation: Cab costs can be significant in Nassau. Fortunately, a number of cultural attractions are easily accessible on foot. For those that aren't, public busses — known as jitneys — run from the hotels to downtown Nassau several times per day for a one-way cost of $1.25. Also of note are the ferry boats, which will take you from Nassau to Paradise Island proper. The roughly $6 ride will take approximately 10 minutes, and includes a waterfront view of Nassau's harbor. Hotels offering free shuttle service are an additional avenue to savings. For example, guests of the Atlantis resorts can access no-cost passenger vans between venues, and travelers staying at Paradise Island's One and Only Ocean Club receive complimentary transportation via private vehicle to a number of nearby casino and restaurant venues.
Theriault is the best-selling co-author of the book "10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget," and founder of TrekHound.com, a web site for independent travelers. She also founded TheLessonMachine.com, a website for teachers.