Long Island The Bahamas
Credit: Getty Images

Many forms of photo identification will be accepted by The Bahamian government, including enhanced driver’s licenses, passport books, and passport cards. In fact, the travel documents you bring with you on a trip to the Bahamas have less to do with where you’re going (swimming with pigs on the island of Exuma, maybe?) and more to do with how you’ll get back into your home country.

United States citizens, for example, can use a passport book or card, or an enhanced driver’s license to enter the Bahamas via sea border. While the same documents will allow you to re-enter the U.S. on a cruise, only a passport book will permit you to return on an airplane.

For this reason, U.S. travelers are encouraged to travel with a U.S. passport at all times. Even though a passport card or enhanced identification card will allow you to travel inexpensively to other countries, it can make it extremely difficult to return in the case of an emergency.

It’s also important to note that, at this time, only the states of Washington, Vermont, Michigan, and Minnesota offer drivers licenses with security features that are acceptable for international travel. With new regulations for domestic flights, however, that could soon change.

Even though at the end of the day, you really should apply for a U.S. passport book before taking a trip to the Bahamas, there’s good news for your wallet: unless your trip exceeds 90 days, no tourism visa is required.

Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.