Where is it?
Eleuthera is about 30 minutes south of Fort Lauderdale and 35 minutes east of Nassau. It’s one of what the Bahamians call the Family Islands.
So how do you get there?
Eleuthera has 3 airports. Down by the Seaside is in Tarpum Bay, located about 2/3rds of the way down the 110 mile island.
Option 1: Our closest airport is Rock Sound (RSD). It is about 10 minutes from the house. To get to RSD, fly into Nassau and then on to Rock Sound. Airline options are Bahamas Air, Pineapple or Southern. If you search one of the travel sites, only Bahamas Air will show up. But it is definitely worth it to look into a flight to Nassau and to add on a flight on Pineapple or Southern. Both have websites you can book a flight on, and you have to go through the same steps to clear customs and recheck your bag either way.
Option 2: Governor’s Harbour (GHB)
GHB is about 45 minutes from Down by the Seaside. It offers both direct and connecting flights. The airline to check for this airport is Silver. They only fly seasonally, but you can get a flight straight from Fort Lauderdale, and they run a lot of sales. GHB is the only airport to offer a mid day flight. Flights to here are more expensive, but shorter.
Option 3: North Eleuthera (ELH)
ELH offers both direct and connecting flights. It’s a good 2 hour drive from the house. The upshot is that you pass all the northern must see sites on the drive. The downside is that it’s a 2 hour drive, and if your afternoon flight is delayed, it’s a really long drive with few food options until you reach Governor’s Harbour. If you chose this option, make sure to get gas at the station by the airport.
When booking a flight to Nassau, be sure to allow at least an hour to clear customs and check into the next flight. For afternoon flights, that means you need to be on the ground in Nassau no later than 2:30.
Because you are going to one of the Family Islands, you get to skip the big line at Passport Control when you arrive in Nassau. So when you get off the plane, you walk to Passport Control, but do not get into the really long line. Instead go all the way to the left end of the room, where there is a sign for Residents and Family Island Connections. This will save you an immense amount of time. Then you walk downstairs, claim your luggage, clear customs and head over to the domestic fights terminal.
In the domestic terminal, you will check in again, give them your luggage and then go through TSA. Inside this terminal there is a Burger King. You can take food through TSA, but not drinks. There is a Dunkin Donuts is the waiting area, and a bar, but not really any other food, so you may want to grab something at Burger King.
Once in the waiting area, all the gates board through the same point, so just find a place to sit, grab a cocktail and wait for your plane to be announced.