Budget Hat

We’re budget travelers. We save our pennies and nickels and dimes and…. You get the idea.

We saved for a trip to the Bahamas one year. Part of our budget had to go toward wardrobe.

The Bahamas are hot and humid. Hats are needed for protection from the relentless sunshine. We found the perfect inexpensive Panama hat for my husband at Walmart™.

My husband looked good in his Panama hat—stylish. And dare I say it? He looked like he had money to burn.

After taking a puddle jumper—the Pineapple Express—from Nassau, we arrived on the tiny island of Eleuthera, approximately 120 miles long and less than 5 miles wide.

A group of local men stood in a cluster on the other side of a gated fence. When our plane taxied near the only building, the men stood.

While we waited for our luggage to be unloaded, the man who seemed to be in charge of the group sized us all up. He pointed straight at my husband’s Panama hat.


The only other passenger hurried off with his one suitcase. We had no need of help either. But no matter. Two of the leader’s underlings rushed to our luggage. One man grabbed my suitcase.

At first, my husband tried to explain he could handle it. Nothing doing. The second man wrestled our other heavier suitcase out of my husband’s hands. It was clear they expected to be well-paid for helping us, whether we wanted help or not.

Our ride waited on the other side of the building. The driver opened his car trunk. While the men piled the bags into it, my husband quietly asked the driver, “How much is a standard tip for this?”

The driver shrugged his shoulders. “They just hang around the airport hoping to get a little from tourists. One dollar each is enough.”

Whew. Thank goodness. We had not planned to tip anyone.

My husband put a dollar bill in each man’s palm. They stared at it. We quickly piled in the car.

Those men thought we were wealthy tourists. And our budget vacation was almost spoiled.

All because of a cheap Panama hat . . . from Walmart™.

When have you been surprised by irony? Or the customs of another locality? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Until next time . . . Travel Light,

© 2023 SuZan Klassen. All Rights Reserved.

4 thoughts on “Budget Hat

  1. Its time to dust off that hat and come see us.  2.5 inches of rain today.  Thanks for your extra ordinarily good Easter blog!  You’re good with words!

    1. Why thank you for the invitation. And thank you for your kind words. Does all that rain just run off the island? Or does it stick around long enough to water all the vegetation?

      1. Most of the rain runs off but even this limestone rock absorbs quite a bit of water.  I just heard that Ft Lauderdale had a big storm.

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