If you’re heading down to Turks and Caicos, it’s likely because for one of three reasons: to snorkel in clear blue waters, to lounge on picture-perfect sands or to simply unwind in one of the most tranquil islands in the Caribbean.
Whatever the case, these tips will help ensure your stay is even more memorable.
What to pack for Turks and Caicos
When you visit Turks and Caicos, of course, you’ll want to pack the same things as you would for any other warm-weather vacation. But before you fill up your bag with shorts, bathing suits, flip flops and a just-in-case sweater, Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend you toss in lots of sunscreen and insect repellent.
Turks and Caicos has about 350 days of intense sunshine, so having plenty of protection is a necessity, especially in the summertime. You’ll find that plenty of mosquitoes and other pesky bugs seem omnipresent as well, so it’s best to be prepared.
The best shopping in Turks and Caicos
While high-end shopping isn’t the reason most come to Turks and Caicos, the islands do offer some great buys. There’s no sales or luxury tax here and at many locations, items like jewelry, cameras, perfumes, handbags, cigars and liquor are available to U.S. and Canadian residents duty-free.
Forbes Travel Guide editors say the best shopping is in the Grace Bay area of Providenciales. Check out Caicos Café Plaza, Ports of Call Plaza and The Regent Village shopping mall, but plan on spending most of your shopping time at The Salt Mills Plaza. The latter is an area favorite that’s the home to everything from designer handbags and shoes to locally made glasswork, ceramics, paintings and straw items.
The best way to get around Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos is a Caribbean nation of about 238 square miles, meaning if you just had to get somewhere around the country, a car, boat or an island hopper can get you there with relative ease.
Most people will land at Providenciales International Airport before heading to their resort along Grace Bay Beach. Cabs make the 10- to 20-minute drive to properties along the popular stretch of sand all of the time.
Of course, car rental brands such as Hertz, Budget and Avis have operations at the airport, too. If you plan on doing some exploring away from the resort, having your own vehicle is actually encouraged. Just be mindful that locals drive on the left side of the road here.
Currency in Turks and Caicos
Interestingly, while Turks and Caicos is a British Overseas Territory, the official currency is U.S. dollars.