Money & costs
No doubt about it, Bermuda is an expensive destination. The island's high cost of living is reflected in everything, including accommodations. Once service charges and taxes are added to the tariff, there are barely a handful of places to stay in Bermuda where travelers can squeak by for BD$100 a night. At the midrange there are several attractive choices hovering around BD$200, and opting for a cushy resort will easily run to twice that.
If you plan to stay seven days or less, look into package tours that include both airfare and hotel, as they often work out more cheaply than buying the airfare and paying for the hotel separately. Although it's not heavily advertised, many tour operators can also create individualized 'package tours' for stays of longer than seven days - so even if you're staying for a couple of weeks, this may be an option to explore.
Most of the food consumed in Bermuda is imported, and prices are generally about 50% higher than those in the USA. Travelers lunching at local eateries and self-preparing most other meals in their guesthouse kitchen might get by for around BD$35 a day, while those opting to eat at resorts should expect to average close to BD$100 a day for meals. Families traveling together will fare best by getting an apartment-style place with a full kitchen - lunch deals abound in Bermuda, so eating out in the day is economical but you'll save a bundle by having breakfast and dinner at home.
The usual restaurant tip is 15%, which most restaurants automatically add to the bill - if not, you should add the tip yourself. Hotels typically tag a 10% service charge onto your final room bill, which covers gratuities to hotel workers. For taxi drivers, a tip of about 10% is appropriate.
The Bank of Bermuda has 24-hour ATMs in nearly two dozen locations - including the airport, Hamilton, St George and Somerset - which will accept Cirrus and Plus system ATM cards and MasterCard and Visa credit cards.
The Bank of Butterfield also has a widely dispersed network of ATMs that accept the same ATM and credit cards as the Bank of Bermuda. Among the places you can find these ATMs are Bank of Butterfield branch offices, Marketplace grocery stores and larger shopping centers.
Major credit cards, such as Visa and MasterCard, are accepted by most shops and restaurants, and the American Express charge card is accepted by many as well. Hotels and guesthouses are more fickle when it comes to credit cards; the larger resort hotels accept them, but several of the smaller places do not. If you intend to pay off your room bill with a credit card, be sure to inquire at the time of booking your reservation as to whether it will be honored - surprisingly, even some of the high-end places don't accept them.
US dollar traveler's checks are widely accepted. Other foreign currencies, including the British pound sterling, will need to be exchanged at a bank.
The Bank of Bermuda, which has branches at the airport as well as near the cruise ship docks in Hamilton and St George, cashes traveler's checks that add up to a total value of US$500 in US dollar, Canadian dollar or British pound denominations, free of service charges. Expect to pay a 1% commission if you cash more than $500 in a single transaction. Although the bank does not accept other foreign traveler's checks, it will exchange cash in most other major currencies.