Things you need to know before choosing gifts for Bahamians

Tips for Choosing Gifts for Bahamians

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Looking for the perfect gift for your Bahamian friends or hosts? This handy guide covers cultural customs, local favorites, and ideas any islander will appreciate. Let’s get started!

Culturally Conscious Gifting

While most Bahamians are pretty relaxed about gifts, it doesn’t hurt to bone up on some basic etiquette.

A small token for your host or hostess is expected if invited to one’s home for a meal. Just don’t go overboard or bring anything too lavish, as that could cause embarrassment.

If invited to dinner at someone’s house, bringing a bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers, or a simple dessert shows gratitude for their hospitality.

Can’t Go Wrong with Local Delicacies

They say the way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach, and bringing edible treats from your hometown is always appreciated.

For a unique taste of the Bahamas, try guava duff, banana bread, coconut candies, rum cake, or spicy jerk seasonings. Plus you can’t go wrong with the islands’ famed dark rum or tropical fruit jams.

Pro Tip: Ask first if gifting alcohol, as not all Bahamians imbibe.

Experience Gifts

For special occasions like birthdays or weddings, tickets to culturally-rich local events make wonderful gifts.

Consider passes to Junkanoo festivals, rake ‘n’ scrape concerts, or craft fairs to share some real Bahamian culture with recipients.

Or for nature lovers, a day pass for snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing or sailing allows them to enjoy the islands’ natural aquatic bounty. Can’t beat experiential gifts for memories that last!

Functional Beach & Bath Goodies

Living life to the fullest outdoors year-round means most islanders appreciate gear to support their active, sunny lifestyle.

For ladies, locally-made soaps, creams, and body scrubs infused with coconut, mango, aloe, and other tropics-inspired scents go over well.

And you can’t go wrong gifting guys high-quality sunglasses, lightweight hats, reusable water bottles or durable beach bags and towels. Useful gifts like these get put to use immediately on the islands!

Get Crafty with Straw & Shells

The Bahamas’ artisan culture offers no shortage of locally-crafted goods that make delightful gifts.

Skilled artisans create beautiful handbags, jewelry, picture frames, mirrors, lamps and vases encrusted with polished conch shells, starfish, coral, and sea glass.

And colorful hats, baskets, mats, and other decorative items woven from Bahamian palm fronds and straw display incredible workmanship.

Supporting local craftsmen with these special gifts benefits small businesses and offers recipients a true taste of the islands.

Kitschy Keepsakes

Cheesy as it may sound to tourists, most Bahamians secretly appreciate the cliché Caribbean souvenirs and kitsch that remind them of home.

An islander living abroad will smile receiving a keychain with their hometown’s name, fruity cocktail mix, a tropical-printed shirt or mug, or any little knick-knacks emblazoned with “Bahamas” or the national flag’s aquamarine, yellow, and black.

These small tokens of home let relocated or visiting Bahamians rep their island pride no matter where they roam!


Finding a meaningful gift for Bahamian friends or hosts is easier than enjoying a day lounging on Cable Beach. Stick to small tokens of appreciation, locally-made goods, experiences for making memories, or keepsakes spreading island cheer.

Most importantly, put some heart into choosing it and don’t fret too much – easygoing Bahamians tend to appreciate the thoughtfulness most.

Now pass the rum cake and let’s celebrate your awesome gift giving!


Is it ok to give white flowers or handkerchiefs?

Best to avoid white flowers or handkerchiefs, as white symbolizes death in Bahamian culture. Opt for bright, cheery colors instead.

What if I don’t know someone’s religious beliefs about alcohol?

When in doubt, give non-alcoholic gifts to avoid offending teetotalers until you know them better.

Can I wrap gifts in newspapers?

While eco-friendly, wrapping gifts in newspaper can be seen as cheap. Use festive paper or gift bags instead.

What if I show up empty handed when invited to dinner?

Even just a nice card is better than nothing. But picking up a small box of chocolates or bouquet shows you graciously appreciate their hospitality.

Do Bahamians open presents in front of guests?

Gifts are usually opened privately to avoid any embarrassment if the reaction isn’t positive. No need to worry they don’t like it!