Readers often share their reactions to Travel stories with us. Sometimes they give us tips that are so good that we wish we'd had them before we went.

Such is the case with e-mails I received after an article last month on Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas. (Read it at I pointed out that the place is wonderful -- and expensive.

"Yes, it was expensive," wrote Doug Williams of Chaska, "but it sounds like you did not go outside Atlantis."

That's true, and now I wish it weren't. Williams took a water taxi from Paradise Island to Prince George Wharf, where cruise ships dock when visiting Nassau. There, he bought snacks and soda at a grocery store and perused a mall with Bahamian crafts and souvenirs. All finds were reasonably priced. A block from Atlantis, Williams also discovered a cheap liquor store and a nice, inexpensive restaurant.

Taking a short trek to a $15 dinner makes sense. Just ask David White of Chaska.

White purchased a meal plan for a trip that his family took to Atlantis. His children ate from a restricted menu, during a particular window of time and only at certain restaurants, which were far from their hotel.

The take-away: Meal plans do ward off expensive surprises, but proceed with caution.

White, who also had issues at the front desk with unwarranted meal charges, summed up his experience this way: "The hotel and sea life, four stars; the rest, one star."

Send your questions or tips to travel editor Kerri Westenberg at, and follow her on twitter @kerriwestenberg.