I’m sharing tips for traveling to Turks and Caicos for those who are considering visiting this piece of heaven on earth.
After our trip to Italy last Fall, our friends started dreaming of our next vacation destination. I suggested Turks and Caicos as it has always been on my list of places to visit. Since Jennifer and I just turned 40, it was the perfect vacation to celebrate with our husbands and friends. A couple of the perks of vacationing in the Caribbean is that it’s only a couple of hours by plane and it’s the same time zone as Georgia. We highly recommend vacationing this part of the Caribbean so if you do, here are my tips for traveling to Turks and Caicos.
More than material items, we really value experiences. The same goes with our kids. We don’t buy them too many things but love for them gain experiences, take in culture and food and make memories. That’s why vacations are so important to us.
Tip 1: Use a travel agent
I shared this last year in my Italy post but I strongly encourage using a travel agent. Every time we tried researching the trip on our own, our travel agent came back with the best prices. We paid a small deposit when we decided on the trip and the rest was paid about a month or two before our trip. Our travel agent, Patti is super responsive and detailed so she has made every trip stress free. If you are interested in her info, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She even sent a bottle of local rum and rum cake to both Jennifer and me for our 40th birthdays.
Tip 2: Book at Seven Stars Resorts
Patti arranged for our transfer from the airport to our resort which was about a 15 min drive. Once we arrived, we were treated with ice cold wash cloths that felt so good on our hands and faces. We sipped on rum punch till we got checked in. I can not say enough good things about the level of service in this resort. We decided between two resorts and we were soooo glad we went with this one. The Seven Stars has 4 stars but felt like 7. Lol
It’s a family friendly resort and even though they were at about 70 capacity, it didn’t feel crowded. The facilities are all very clean and the landscaping and design details were all well thought out. They even have an adult pool if you want a more quiet experience. We actually enjoyed both pools very much.
None of this is sponsored. We paid every hard earned penny on this vacation and it was totally worth it!
Our room was spacious with a huge bathroom, gigantic shower, kitchenette and patio. There was even a bidet in the water closet and we wish we totally had one now. Cookies were waiting for us in the room. Some of my favorite little details in this resort is that they had complementary coffee using the expresso machine, Harry and Sons teas which are my absolute favorite brand and L’occitane toiletries.
Jimmy loved having his morning and afternoon expressos.
If you want to cook, this kitchenette is perfect. The only time we “cooked” was heating up water for some instant ramen and Korean food. #asianproblems They even had complementary water bottles so we never had to worry about buying it like you normally would in most hotels.
Housekeeping comes once to fix up the bed and clean but sometimes, they would come in the evening too and have turn down service. Another bonus was that the bed was actually very comfortable. We slept so well every single night.
We brought our Italy hotel slippers but the resort provided free ones too. Asians never go barefoot outside the home. Again, #asianproblems. They also have nice robes to use in their rooms.
I want to add that this resort also had large bottles of sunscreen in their pool area as well as swim diapers! I was so impressed by details like that. They also have a small store in their lobby but just remember, everything is super expensive there. They also let us bring pool towels to our boat excursion.
I also wanted to add that the resort only has salt water pools so this was really great for Jimmy who struggles with eczema. His skin doesn’t do well with excessive chlorine so the fact that we didn’t have to worry about that was a huge bonus.
Tip 3: Wear bug spray
Obviously, you need to bring sunscreen but you definitely need bug spray. Our resort had complementary bug spray everywhere. It’s fine during the day but you NEED it in the evenings especially if you are hanging out on or near the beach. Jimmy and I walked the beach one evening and we only sprayed our legs. Big mistake. Those buggers ate his arms up and even bit his face!! I’m still itching my bug bites now. Sadly, bug bites were the only souvenirs I brought back from the island. 🙁
I found a conch! You aren’t supposed to take any shells home since there are protected area laws.
This place is heaven on earth.
Tip 4: Hit the beach right after check-in
Some of our rooms weren’t ready so we got changed and hit the beach!
Bring an easy tote or bookbag to take down to the beach. We had our snorkel gear, water, snacks and a book in our bag.
I have a few of the Target suits from the Kona Sol line and I love their fit and prices. This tropical print suit is so comfortable and can be ordered online.
Tip 5: Book an excursion!
My friend, Jennifer researched boat excursions and found Island Vibes Tours with great reviews on Trip Advisor. We booked a 4 hour boat ride which took us to an abandoned ship for snorkeling and Iguana Island. The boat tour was around $115/person and we also brought cash to tip. They picked us up on the shore.
While we were there, the waters were super choppy and the waves were strong. Because of this, we couldn’t go to the reef to the normal snorkeling area. Instead, the boat drove us to the famous grounded shipwreck, La Famille Express.
We snorkeled there and people enjoyed jumping off the rusty ship.
The boat trip includes snacks, fresh conch salad, sandwiches and an open bar.
Since the waves were crazy, it made our boat ride so exciting. If you get sea sick, this may not be for you.
We dived off the boat and enjoyed the gorgeous weather.
The boat life is the good life.
Tip 6: Bring your own snorkel gear
Jimmy and I love snorkeling. We bought these from Amazon since our old ones were trashed. You do not want to borrow the ones on the boat because I’m not sure those ever get cleaned. Plus, you can get cheap ones online and they are clean! I think this is worth it if you know you’re going to snorkel. I got Jimmy this one and it came with a bag. Make sure it says that a bag is included because I bought the pink version thinking it came with a bag and it didn’t.
Tip 7: Bring cash to tip
It’s not always expected but our group always tipped every service person. In the mornings after breakfast, we tipped. We did this with every driver, boat crew, person who brought out drinks, hotel porter etc. We left a nice tip at the end of our stay in our room and made sure to give to the same housekeeping people. I think it’s a nice gesture and they deserve it considering how amazing they are at making your stay so wonderful. There is a service charge usually on your bills but again, I think this is a good habit. So bring cash and especially a lot of small bills!
Tip 8: Visit Iguana Island
We were able to make a stop at Iguana Island because of our boat excursion. You definitely want to see this for yourself. There are iguanas everywhere and they are so so cute. I kept thinking how much my kids would’ve loved it especially my JJ.
This is the latest issue of Sports Illustrated. 😀
Isn’t he cute?
Jimmy and walked to the other side of the island and it was a spectacular sight.
Photos could never do it justice.
This was easily one of my favorite parts of our vacation.
Tip 9: Don’t shop
Everything on the island is crazy expensive and there really isn’t any shopping to do. All the stores are also closed on Sundays for religious reasons. The airport is really crazy expensive. A long sleeve shirt is $60 and pretty ugly if you ask me. There is a grocery store but again because everything is imported, the prices are super high.
My very special husband.
Restaurants are also expensive but I think meals are worth it because ain’t nobody wanna cook on vacation! We did bring some instant ramen and Korean microwaveable rice to eat during card games late at night.
Tip 10: Hit the Fish Fry
Sadly, we found out about this fun event on the flight back home. No one told us about it but had we known, I would’ve totally gone! Every Thursday nights, local vendors come out and you can eat delicious seafood, enjoy live music and just hang out. From what I see, there are mixed reviews. Again, I think it would be fun to at least go and see what it’s all about. Just wear a lot of bug repellent!
This is where we went on Thursday night!
We walked over to Bella Luna and ate on the their patio. The guys all showed up wearing coral shirts. That wasn’t the funniest part. Every guy that walked in the restaurant showed up wearing an orange or coral shirt! Hilarious!! We were happy with all of our dishes and it was only fitting to remember our Italy trip from exactly one year prior.
Tip 11: Tap water is fine to drink
At our resort, they always provided water bottles. But the tap water is safe to drink. There is a bit of a taste to it which reminds me of Florida water but it’s totally fine to drink. Most restaurants will ask if you want tap or bottled water. Don’t be afraid to drink the tap water.
Turning 40 hasn’t been too shabby.
I brought these lime packets which are amazing and cheap! They make water taste delicious and it’s actual lime that is just crystallized. It’s perfect for water or mixed drinks.
Tip 12: Eat the delicious complementary buffet breakfast
The breakfast buffet in our resort was free and it had a large variety of hot and cold foods. There is an omelette station and some of the foods get rotated. Ie: Pancakes, waffles, french toast, repeat. Okay, so this is another BIG tip. The first day we ate, our waitress told us we were each allowed to take to-go boxes. We were dumfounded because breakfast normally costs $30 which again, was included in our package. Jimmy asked like 3 people that morning to make sure it was okay and they were like, “yeah go ahead!”
So we each took a to-go box AFTER our breakfast ate lunch down at the beach. The next morning, our waiter told us we could have one box per table. I’m not really sure what the rules on this are because it seemed to be different each day but if you are allowed to take a to-go box, I would highly recommend making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and taking it down to the beach. Most of the people are super laid back so I honestly don’t think they care that much. There is also service down at the beach and pool so you can also order food and drinks there as well.
Tip 13: Water Sports are free on the resort!
The resort offered kayaks and water boards for free. We took the kayaks for a ride and it was a fun morning activity in the ocean. They also have these really cool mats you can use at the pools and beach.
Tip 14: Take a walk to The Bight Reef (also known as Coral Gardens)
From our resort, some of us took a 40 minute walk down the beach to go snorkeling at The Bight Reef. I think this was Jimmy’s favorite part of the trip. If you love snorkeling, you will love this experience as the coral reefs are so close to the shore.
The morning we started snorkeling, there was a black flag and the waves were quite choppy. I would recommend wearing a life jacket. Jimmy went face to face with a barracuda and it totally made his day. We even saw a cute turtle near the shore bobbing his head in and out of the water.
Tip 15: RELAX!! You’re on vacation!
This trip couldn’t have come at a better time. Jimmy has been working so much and he really needed a break. We enforced no working while we were on vacation and I think that was the best decision ever. He was tempted to bring his laptop but I made him leave it at home. I didn’t look at my Ipad once and it stayed in the safe the entire time. #noregrets
I went to Turks with an Asian husband and returned with a new Caribbean man! I kept my hair natural the whole time because hello humidity!
Traveling with these guys who are like family is the best. So many stories, laughter and even tears were shed.
We had dinner at a fancy beachside restaurant called Infiniti. It’s part of a hotel and the design is absolutely gorgeous. I thought the food was okay but I loved that we were able to witness a wedding reception. You pay for being next to the beach and make sure again, you wear bug spray because some of us got eaten up!
It’s so fancy that their menus light up from the back.
I had the trout and it was pretty yummy. Our friends really enjoyed their tomahawk steaks. This is one of those places that don’t serve tap water. Ha!
Some other facts and tips
- Did you know that the Turks and Caicos Islands have the lowest crime rate in the Caribbean?
- They use American currency. Bring small bills!
- A few other fun things and tips are there is a local casino nearby if you want to gamble.
- There was a grocery store in walking distance but we didn’t need to go there since we ate out most of the time.
- You can borrow complementary bikes on the resort during the day for an outdoor adventure.
- We went to one ice cream store and boy was it expensive!! It cost nearly $10 for a cone. That was one of the few times I was happy I was lactose intolerant. Ha!!
- There is a spa inside the resort. We didn’t utilize it but I’m sure it’s lovely. They also have yoga classes on certain mornings.
- There is a kids camp that’s complimentary from 8AM-5PM daily. There are an array of supervised activity options for infants to pre-teens. That is crazy !! What an awesome bonus for parents to catch a break.
- Wear hats and lots of sunscreen!! The sun is quite strong.
- Pack some extra snacks like granola bars, nuts, chips, etc. We ate snacks at night when we played cards every night.
- There’s not much to do at night so bring a book, cards or games. We played games every night with our friends.
- You don’t need a converter since they use the same outlets and plugs as the US
Looking at these photos make me want to go back so badly! One day, we will have to return with our kids.
Kiss me, my dark loverboy.
Someone on the plane back to Atlanta asked if we were on our honeymoon. I’m taking that as a good sign. It did feel like another honeymoon because it was on one of the most beautiful places on earth.
So, is Turks and Caicos on your bucket list now? Next October, we are planning on Spain. I studied abroad there almost 16 years ago and it has been a dream to return.
Jimmy and I are so thankful that we experienced this trip and we are even more grateful for our families who watched our kids.
I hope you found these tips helpful. Lmk if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to answer them.
Let all that you do be done in Love. 1 Corinthians 16:14
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