10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE BOOKING THE TURKS AND CAICOS
You won’t necessarily find these tips on brochures, but they’ll come in handy when booking your trip.
1. We speak English and we use the US dollar
The Turks and Caicos is easy and convenient for American travellers. English is the official language, the US Dollar is the exclusive currency, and electrical plugs are compatible with American voltages.
And if you stay with us, know that your hosts speak English, French and Italian.
2. All beaches are free
If you’re coming to an award-winning beach destination, chances are you’re a beach lover. You’ll be pleased to know that there are no private beaches in the Turks and Caicos. Sure, you won’t have access or parking on private land, but with so many public beach venues, you’ll enjoy plenty of sand, crystal clear waters, and sunny ocean-side moments to remember.
3. The airport is busy on weekends, but…
A few planes landing more less at the same time may increase the lines through immigration and customs, and can also affect taxis and car rental pickup times. Weekdays usually have much shorter waits.
We have rental vehicles for White Villas guests and if you book one in advance, you’ll waltz past the car rental agency line-ups, start the car and be on your way within a few minutes.
4. Taxis are expensive
Further to what we covered in the previous paragraph, taxi rates support the fact you should be renting your own vehicle. Here, cabs can be more expensive than what’s common in the USA. Because they charge per person, rather than per trip, it quickly adds up.
Know that with the exception of the Providenciales Airport, parking is free and easily available throughout the Turks and Caicos. Plus, it’ll be an adventure: we drive on the left side of the road and it’s not as stressful as it seems. Promise!
5. Specialties like conch, lobster or grouper are seasonal
The Caribbean spiny lobster and Nassau grouper are popular, locally caught seafood, but it’s important to know when they’re available. You see, outside specific seasons, restaurants can’t legally serve dishes made from fresh lobster or Nassau grouper.
Lobster season runs from mid-August to April. Nassau grouper can be enjoyed from March to November, and Conch season (for export) is from mid-October to mid-July. Conch is available on the islands all year round.
This said, there’s plenty of great food around. Please consult our restaurant ebook: https://whitevillas.net/restaurant-guide-tci/
6. Pack your kids favorite snacks
While being a remote location certainly has its perks, there’s also the cost of services and finding exactly what you want, when you want it. While trying new things is part of the allure when travelling, for parents it can get frustrating trying to appease our children’s cravings when resources are more expensive or simply not available. Our tip: bring a few snacks. Though we have plenty of restaurants and well stocked grocery stores, if you’d feel better bringing family favorites, please do. Just check what foods you can import, prior to departure.
And while we’re on the subject of packing, know that you won’t need much here. Swimsuits, flip flops, reef safe sunscreen, hats, glasses and a laid-back mindset will do just fine.
7. Grocery and Liquor Stores Can’t Sell Alcohol on Sunday
While we’re on the subject of food, it’s important to know that alcohol can’t be sold in shops on Sundays and on Easter Friday. It’s not a huge deal, but we feel it’s important to know in advance, depending on your arrival. To make sure our guests have everything they need, we offer a pre-stocking service that ensures every guest is ready to start the vacation on arrival.
Restaurants and bars do serve drinks on Sundays and the minimum drinking age in the Turks and Caicos is 18 years old.
Oh, and rest assured. Larger grocery stores, such as IGA Gourmet (5 minutes away from the villa) and IGA Graceway (10 min. away) offer a fine selection of beer, wine, and spirits.
8. The weather can’t be beat. All year-round.
While several destinations around the world have limited “beautiful weather” time, the Turks and Caicos are blessed: The weather here is amazing all year round!
Average ambient temperature ranges from 75° F to 95° (24° C to 35° C), averaging 85° (29° C). Water temperature is a little more consistent, with a low of 75° (24° C) in winter to 85° (29° C) in early fall. The Turks and Caicos simply don’t get much rain. And while this is bad for crops, it’s wonderful for beach enthusiasts.
9. We’re just a hop, skip and a jump from the USA
If you’re travelling from the United States, flights to TCI abound and many of them are direct from several major airports and cities, including Miami, New York, Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia. From Canada, Toronto and Montreal offer simple solutions as well. In many cases, within a few hours, you’ll be spotting the bluest ocean and brightest white sand.
10. Addressing the elephant in the room: Covid-19 entry requirements
All visitors 16 and over must be fully vaccinated, have submitted negative COVID-19 test results, be insured, and receive the TCI Assured Travel Authorization in order to enter the country.
Many countries, including the USA, require proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to reentry. These COVID-19 tests are available at many locations on the island of Providenciales, and are easy to obtain.
Though it may sound complex, the process runs smoothly and works for thousands of monthly travellers. Please visit this page of our site https://whitevillas.net/covid19-update/ and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
For information on family travel, activities, services, beaches and much, much more, please visit the White Villas Blog.
Simon, Pina and Max