Out There 2.0 – It’s Always Better in the Bahamas

The islands of the Bahamas have been a supremely popular destination with AAA members. With 16 diverse islands, 100,000 square miles of crystal blue oceans, bountiful relaxation, and adventure to be had, there is no shortage of reasons why the Bahamas make a great destination for travelers.

Recently, a group of AAA Travel team members got the chance to visit the Bahamas as a part of the new Out There 2.0 program. There, the team got to see what the Bahamas are all about in person, tour a variety of top-tier destinations like the all-inclusive Viva Wyndham Fortuna, and meet some of our partners.

Here is what one of those team members, Brooke Vergona, had to say about her visit.

Tell us a little about yourself! Please provide your name, and position at AAA, talk about your hobbies, interests, and anything else you would like us to know about yourself!

My name is Brooke Vergona and I am the Manager of Strategic Partnerships here at AAA Northeast.I grew up an avid beach goer. Any season, you can find me at the beach reading, running, or just listening to the water. Growing up along the Jersey shore I was spoiled with having the ocean less than 2 miles from my front door, which is what lead me to move to Rhode Island, the Ocean State!

What is your background in travel? How much experience do you have? What sorts of places have you been to? What kinds of trips – cruises, guided tours, self-guided etc.

Prior to working in the travel industry, I was not a huge traveler. Not because I didn’t want to be, I just never saw the need or never found the time. I had been on one cruise out of Florida and that was the extent of my travel experience growing up.

What type of traveler are you? Are you an adventure seeker or do you prefer to travel for relaxation? Are you a backpacker or theme park and resort-goer? Think about your past travel experiences, preferences, and habits.

In my current role at AAA I am lucky enough to be on the road an incredible amount. With an extremely weak travel background, I am still learning what type of traveler I am! I haven’t had a bad experience yet.

You recently went on a trip with one of our partners – please summarize the itinerary for us. What were the destinations? How long was the cruise? What kind of room did you stay in?

I recently went Out There with one of our destination partners, the Islands of the Bahamas! A group of AAA Travel employees and I made our way to Grand Bahama Island and stayed at a beautiful all-inclusive resort, the Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach.

We stayed on the island for about 5 days and did everything from relaxing by the pool to riding ATVs through the forest. It was an amazing experience and I truly stepped out of my comfort zone.

The best part about this trip was there was something to do for everyone. While I enjoyed the ATV rides and the swimming with sharks, my colleague enjoyed the pool and the foodie experience more!

In a few words, please characterize the type of experience this destination offered you. Was it:

  • Adventurous?
  • Relaxing?
  • Thrilling?
  • Outdoorsy?
  • Etc.

This trip was out of the ordinary; outdoorsy, adventurous, culinary!

What was it like to vacation with this partner? Please tell us more about…

  • The amenities available.
  • The activities available.
  • Excursions available.
  • And so on!

Traveling with the destination partner allows us to see things that may not be offered through some supplier partners we work with. We really got off the beaten path doing excursions that are more locally known, and even going to local restaurants where the community gathers and has dance-offs!

Compared to other cruises and vacation experiences you have been on, what would you say makes a vacation with this partner different?

Compared to other islands, I think Grand Bahama Island has a lot to offer because it isn’t as built up as some of the others. It is rustic, and you are truly immersed in the destination while you are there.

How was your experience traveling during COVID?

Easy. The Islands of the Bahamas had implemented a tool called their “Bahamas Travel Visa” and it is a simple form for gathering all of your vaccination and testing information for a seamless travel experience. I believe now you no longer need to use the travel visa!

What was your favorite part of your trip? What was your least favorite?

My favorite part of the trip was swimming with sharks on a remote island off the coast of Grand Bahama. These were wild lemon sharks and also present were huge stingrays! My least favorite part of the trip was not being able to stay longer 😉.

What surprised you the most?

It surprised me how welcoming the Bahamians were from the very first day. At the first dinner, they were all line dancing and made sure to teach all of us how to dance with them and cheered us on when we somewhat got the hang of it all!

Travel gives us a lot of opportunities to learn about the world, ourselves, and anything in between. What was one thing you learned on this trip?

I learned to always go out there with an open mind. Even if you are frightened to do something, take a step back and think to yourself “I may never have the opportunity to do this again” and just go for it!

What was something you wish you did differently?

I wish I saw the sunrise more each morning.

What was your favorite food, meal, dining experience, etc.?

My favorite dish on the island was the conch. I had everything conch – fried, grilled, raw! It was amazing.

Share some advice to future travelers, whether it be to this destination or any sort of travel. 

Try and get out there as often as possible. If there is one thing I learned from the pandemic, it’s that something as simple as travel can be taken away from you so easily. Never miss out on the opportunity to see the world and experience the way other people live their day-to-day lives.

And lastly, ALWAYS book with AAA Travel!