Bermuda is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Chockablock with brightly colored buildings, pristine lawns, and some of the most stunning beaches ever, it's truly paradise. The caveat: This kind of beauty comes a price. Here, hotels can run upwards of $1,000 per night, high-end dinners can ring in at over $200 per couple, and a glass of wine often sets you back $20 at many of the island's luxury properties. But there are ways to save a few dollars without compromising your vacation. Here's how to have an affordable getaway in spendy Bermuda.
Indulge in local food and drink.
Sure, you can have a crazy good dinner at a high-end restaurant (we recommend splurging at Marcus' at the Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club), but there's plenty of local foods to sample that are often more affordable. First, you'll want to indulge in a fish sandwich -- a favorite among Bermudians. It's piled high with fried fish and often served with tartar sauce on slices of raisin bread (Bermudians love their sweet and savory). You can get one almost anywhere, but the best places are local hole-in-the-walls like Art Mel's Spicy Dicy. ($12)
Bermuda is a British island territory and afternoon tea can be found at a few hotels. The most beautiful and unique place to experience the tradition is at The Bermuda Perfumery where afternoon high tea includes finger sandwiches, petit fours, and scones with served with local honey, jam, and chantilly cream. Take it in the lush courtyard or historic perfumery, where one-of-a kind scents are still crafted and bottled today. ($30)
And one can't come to Bermuda without sipping on a Swizzle, the local boozy beverage of choice. Every restaurant has their own recipe, so it's advised to sample a few and choose your loyalities.
Rent a Twizzy.
Those traveling to Bermuda might find it surprising that you can't rent a car while on the island, and taxi rides can add up quickly. One option is to negotiate a driver for your stay, which can save a few dollars. But we recommend renting a Twizzy, an electric car that's incredibly fun to drive. The two-person Renault Twizzy is ideal for navigating Bermuda's narrow roads, and at $100 per day, it's an activity and transportation in one.
Another option is to take public transportation; the bus in Bermuda is inexpensive, reliable, and easy to navigate.
Visit in the off-season.
You can score fantastic deals by visiting Bermuda in their off-season, which runs from November to March. We came in Feburary and hotel rates at The Loren at Pink Beach, the islands newest hotel, plunged from an average rate of $900 per night to $450. Plus, there are fewer crowds and the weather is often a pleasant 75 degrees with bright sunny skies and zero humidity.
Take a tour.
One of the best ways to get a feel for the island is to take a tour -- and Bermuda offers a handful with locals so you can truly experience island's culture. Long Story Short, a charming bookstore/gift shop in St. George is owned by Kristin White, who custom curates tours including an East End Eats food tour, a bike tour on cruisers (which have baskets!) -- or the coolest of all -- Hula Hoop Parties.
There's also Island Tour Centre. The company offers kayak, segway, and and even reef fishing, but we chose the Bermuda Railway by Bike ($80). The 3.5-hour tour is led by a local guide and takes you along the old railway trail system -- with the option ocean to take a cooling post-ride ocean dip.
Hit the beach.
Bermuda has some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world, and you can visit them for free. The pink sand is ideal for picnics and sunbathing and the crystal-clear waters are made for afternoon swims. You'll find at least 18 public beaches on the island (and even more hidden coves), but don't miss Horseshoe Bay Beach, Elbow Beach, and Church Bay while on the island.