Preparing for your Trip
- What do I need to bring / pack when I visit Forfar?
You can find our packing list here, this document covers in detail what you will want to bring with you on your trip.
- Will I need a passport to travel to the Bahamas or can I use another form of identification?
You must use a valid government issued passport book to enter the Bahamas; Birth certificates and other forms of identification will not be accepted. Passport cards only work for land and seaport entries, not for international flights. As a general rule, passports should have at least six months of validity when traveling internationally. Most countries will not permit a traveler to enter their country unless the passport is set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel.
Non-US citizens may need to acquire a visa to enter the Bahamas. Please see this document for more information.
- Is medical insurance required?
Yes, we require that all participants have valid medical insurance. Please contact your provider to make sure your current plan provides international coverage and medical evacuation. If you don't have medical insurance please visit this link for more information.
- Should I purchase travel insurance?
We strongly encourage that all participants purchase travel insurance before participating in any of our programs.
We suggest insurance that will cover natural disasters, flight delays, and more. For more information about travel and medical insurance please visit this link.
- Do I need to exchange US currency (USD) to Bahamian dollars (BSD)?
No, USD and BSD currency are freely interchangeable on the island.
USD and BSD are considered equal to each other in the Bahamas. It is not necessary to change USD to BSD to visit the island.
There are 2 ATM’s on the island. There is a charge to use them which is typically $3 to $5 for each withdrawal. Please be aware that it will be necessary for you to notify your bank that you will be in the Bahamas. There may be additional charges by your bank to use your credit cards abroad.
Please bring currency in smaller dominations ($50, $20, $10, $5 and $1 bills are fine). Most airports will be able to exchange any Bahamian currency you may acquire while you are on the island. Credit Cards and Checks are usually not accepted on Andros (Do not plan on using your credit card while on Andros). Stores are cash only.
- How much money should I bring?
This will depend on what you anticipate spending money on during your trip and what your group leader recommends. We suggest a minimum of $20 per student to cover the cost of "Cooks Night Off" on Thursdays. Dinner out on Thursdays will cost $15 to $20 a person and you will have to provide your own food while travelling to and from Andros / Forfar.
We will visit various places during your stay, potential souvenirs and prices are: Androsia Batik factory $15 to $100; Hand-crafted baskets $10 to $30, Woodcarvings $25 to $100, Forfar Field Station rash guard $40, snacks/ ice creams from the various stores can be a $1 upwards, basket weaving class costs $10 a person.
We also have a scholarship fund which helps our local community further their studies. All proceeds of selling Androsia Batik t-shirts, bags and handcrafted mugs goes to this. Shirts and bags are $20 and mugs are $25.
- Do I need to apply for a research permit?
Please visit this site for more information. If you have additional questions you can call the office at (614) 268-9930.
- What time do I need to arrive and depart from Nassau?
Your flight should arrive in Nassau no later than 1:00pm. Your flight should depart Nassau after 12pm.
- Do you have recommendations for finding group flights to Nassau?
We've put together an article that explains the steps you should take when booking a group flight. If you have additional questions please contact our office.
- Is there a weight limit on the flight between Nassau and Andros?
Try to keep the weight of your luggage under 40 lbs. You are allowed one carry-on bag weighing 10 lbs or less, and it must abide by baggage size regulations, 12''H x 6''W x 14''L. All carry-on baggage must have a Western Air carry-on baggage tag.
Baggage that exceeds 40 lbs will be subject to overweight charges of $1 per additional pound, and any excess/oversized/overweight bags will be sent on the next available flight.
Life at Forfar Station
- How will my money and passport be protected while staying at Forfar Field Station?
We have a safe on site that can be used to store those important items securely. Passports, Money, Cell phones and other important documents or valuables can be stored securely. We will gather all items at the beginning of the week that need to be stored in a container for each group. This can be accessed as needed by your group.
- What type of housing do you provide?
Forfar Field Station provides rustic cabin-style lodging along the beach. The field station has a 56 bed capacity divided among 8 cabins. Cabins 1-4 are split by a wall and each side of the cabins have 2 sets of bunk beds. Cabins 5-8 have an open layout and each unit has 3 sets of bunk beds. All of our cabins have electricity, fans, mosquito bug nets, and a bathroom with shower in each cabin/unit.
- Is there clean drinking water available?
Absolutely. Forfar is on Andros municipal supply. Andros has great water and sells the water to many other islands. We also filter the water again, coming into the lodge area. We always carry plenty of water coolers on all trips so guests can fill water bottles. Staying hydrated is very important in our environment!
- Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?
Yes, we are able to accommodate common dietary needs such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and lactose intolerant diets. Please note that Forfar's access to food is limited since most of it is shipped in from the US and this may cause a lack of variety for certain diets. If you have specific questions, you can contact the IFS office before your trip.
- Are there biting insects at the field station?
Yes, we do not spray any insecticides at the field station and there are mosquitos, sand flies (biting midges/no-see-ums), and seasonal horseflies. The mosquitos are most active after the sunsets and are generally not an issue during the day. Sand flies are present throughout the day but they are most active during periods of low wind. The seasonal horseflies (doctorflies) are most active during the summer months.
- Is there Wi‐Fi available at the station?
While we do have WiFi at the station, it is very limited in use. We run our office on this limited connection; so it may be restricted to our guests when needed by the staff. We often have a very weak connection, especially during bad weather and the evenings. We allow access to the internet to Group Leaders and Chaperones for limited use. We do not give students access to the internet.
- Is there cell phone service on the island?
Yes, there is cell phone service. However, these services are usually very expensive, so please be cautious of this. Using a cellphone in the Bahamas will incur international text/ call fees, so you will want to make sure you check with your provider on plans or subsequent fees for international use.
- Is there a clinic or doctor on the island?
Yes, we have several clinics on the island. There is also a doctor that lives on Andros, who is often travelling between clinics on the island. We typically use either the clinics that are North (1hr travel time) and South (45 minutes travel time) from Forfar, when needed.
In any medical emergency, please alert a Forfar staff member. We will always have First‐Aid available both on the station and when out on trips.