Travel Talk: Turks and Caicos
I know I said it nearly every time but traveling doesn’t have to be limited to the privileged few. If anything, it can be integrated into your everyday life especially with smart planning. In an effort to get more people from my generation traveling, I’ve decided to share a bit of insight I’ve learned along the way. This week I’m shining my light on the beautiful island of Turks and Caicos. This little tropical oasis is a British Overseas Territory and the flight clocks in right under four hours if traveling from Newark airport.
The island is expensive.
I would love to say I research places I visit in-depth but sometimes I fall short. The island utilizes USD but to be honest, the prices don’t compare to what you may find at home. Most restaurants except for the super local ones have a government tax of nearly 12% on top of the regular service tax, which doesn’t always include tips. The food was delicious but I found myself easily spending more money than preferred…$30 dollars for snapper…on an island.
My advice: Stay somewhere that is all-inclusive where you can eat and drink until your heart’s content or purchase your own food. We didn’t discover our local grocery store until the end of our trip which left me with a bit of buyer’s remorse. If visiting, plan accordingly by possibly limiting your spending to just one meal a day or living like a local by discovering those hidden gems. All of these meals pictured below were well worth the calories and the money...trust me.
The island is a kid magnet.
I’ve been to only a handful of islands but this was the one that seemed most kid heavy. Note, I said kid heavy not necessarily kid friendly. While entering the island, the line to inspect passports was filled with kids throwing tantrums and those being pushed along by their parents eager for break. My plane ride back was the equivalent to someone’s Auntie running a sky-high day care that included laughter, occasional cries, and parents walking children up and down the aisles.
My advice: The beaches on the island seem endless so I wasn’t often bothered by the presence of kids. If you want to guarantee a kid free vacation then I would suggest a stay at Club Med which apparently is the last kid free resort on the island. Fun fact: Club Med has day passes that allows you to take advantage of their different activities while eating and drinking like king for less than $100.
T is for Transportation
We rented a car on our visit to Antigua which had a lot of pros like getting up and going as you pleased. It also had a few cons like our offline GPS taking us down a dirt path/mountain/hill and the learning curve of driving on the opposite side of the road(Relle rocked it!). We opted to just use local transportation this time around and it was the icing on the cake. We lucked up and landed a ride with Seabreeze Taxi and Tours from the airport which resulted in a weekend long connection. Our driver was not only friendly but he was hip and ensured we were at places that we would enjoy versus tourist traps. I knew it was a win once we found ourselves at the Conch Shack drinking rum punch and eating a seafood platter next to the water while still in our travel gear.
My advice: Find a transportation option that works best for you depending upon what your trip entails. If you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort then there may not be much need to leave but if you’re adventurous then a rental may be the way to go. You also have the option of hopping flight to elsewhere…the D.R. and Haiti apparently aren’t too far.
All in all, I would go back to Turks and Caicos tomorrow if possible. It is the perfect idea for a trip with your girls or a much needed baecation. Unlike Martinique, you don’t have to learn French or exchange your money though you are still able to enjoy all the culture it has to offer. Interested in going to Turks and Caicos or somewhere similar? Check out Thrifty Traveler so you’re always updated about great fares when you’re in the mood to get away!