With direct flights from a number of cities and a unique blend of European and Caribbean-style charm, Bermuda beckons its fair share of visitors. Here's how to experience the destination on a budget.
Activities: Free activities abound throughout Bermuda, including the skirling ceremony performed by authentically-kilted bagpipers, hiking the Railway Trail, and guided walking tours of historic St. George. Saturdays are a steal at the Tucker's Point Golf Club, with $10 instructional tennis slots for children ages 5-7, and youngsters in the 4-6-year-old age group enjoying free half-hour introductory golf sessions, complete with refreshments. Availability for these lessons is limited however, so call ahead for full details.
Transportation: Cabs can be pricey for travelers with tight funds. Fortunately, budget options do exist. Scenic, one-way ferry rides are available for a maximum price of $5, with kiddos less than 5 years of age granted free passage. Children younger than 5 are also allowed cost-free rides on Bermuda's public bus system, with one-day pass rates of $12 and $6 for adults and older children, respectively. Pedal bikes are available to rent for a nominal fee at cycle liveries found throughout the country.
Food: Consider dining al fresco at one of Bermuda's picturesque parks, such as Fort Scuar, where the view comes with access to picnic tables. For affordable pub grub, try lunch at The Frog and Onion, located in the Royal Navy Dockyard. Beer is brewed on site, and it's walking distance from The Bermuda Rum Cake Company, where you can nosh on free samples as you shop for just the right flavor of souvenir. The Barracuda Grill in Hamilton offers mid-range dining in a chic atmosphere. Their $12 grilled fig salad is a personal fave. Fine dining enthusiasts will enjoy splurging on The Point restaurant's chocolate plate or the blue cheese souffle at the Fourways Inn.
Spas: A coconut body polish at La Serena Spa in The Reefs hotel includes a massage and a brief facial treatment, essentially providing three experiences for the price of one. Their waterfront relaxation area includes a complimentary tea bar and free access to the facility's cliff-top infinity pool. While private spa suites with granite tubs and rain showers are popular with patrons of The Spa at Elbow Beach, extra relaxation time comes at a premium of $40 per 15-minute increment. To save money, book treatments as a couple. While one person experiences their massage, the other can enjoy tub soaking and balcony lounging at no extra charge.
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 website for independent travelers. She also founded TheLessonMachine.com, a website for teachers.