- Cap or Hat
- Sunglasses with a Sunglasses Strap
- Lightweight Beach Bag
- Lightweight Beach Towels
- Waterproof Phone Bag
- Wireless Speaker
Getting prepared to go on a trip can be stressful, especially if it is out of the country and new to you. Often times you get there and think, wow, I should have prepared for this or brought that. But, after you are there it is often times too late for those things.
If you are like us, we get to where we are going and end up spending double the price on something that we already had at home. Doing that is no fun as it takes away from something else that you could have spent that money on while on your trip.
We have travelled to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos many times. Even now, we may get there and figure out something we should have brought. Yet, we are getting better and pretty much have our standard list of things that we MUST take.
First things first, there are some essential items that you must have to leave the country. These items include a plane ticket and a passport. Oh, and money of course. I know these are basic things but for people who do not travel, they may be unsure. You will get nowhere without these things.
Checklist for Turks and Caicos
About a week before we leave, we go to the grocery store and pick up some snacks. We typically buy some things for breakfast and items to snack on during the day. The groceries in Turks and Caicos are more expensive than what we have at home. Also, it is easy for us to just pack some mixed nuts, oatmeal, and breakfast bars. You want to pack things that are light and do not take up much space.
Also, you wouldn’t pack things that are going to spill or get busted. That would be a huge mess and nobody likes messes. We usually gather these items and put them in a zip lock bag. This helps ensure everything stays in place inside our luggage.
What Type of Luggage?
Every time we go we always have a debate on whether we are going to just take carry ons or if we are going to do checked luggage. The checked luggage always wins. We think we would spent extra money trying to buy enough travel size items to get us through our vacation. If you are only staying a few days this may work. But, if you are staying a week or more you will need to take a large suitcase.
We also like to take a cooler. We like ICEMULE. We can put things inside the cooler for travel. Then, when we get there we can use it for it is – a cooler. Then, on the way home, we utilize it for luggage.
What Clothing Do We Take?
My husband and I generally pack one large suitcase. Remember, you are going to the Caribbean where life is more laid back and everything is just simple and easy. You do not have to pack 100 outfits and 20 pairs of shoes. Believe me; I learned this the hard way. I use to always over pack because I never knew what I might want to wear and I always wanted options. Well, I quickly figured out that I did not wear half of what I was taking.
So, I suggest taking one outfit for each night you are there. Then, just swimsuits and cover-ups. After all, if you are like us, you will wake up and put on a swimsuit. That swimsuit is what you will stay in until you shower and go out to dinner that night. So, all those outfits and such will not get worn.
My favorite thing to take to the beach is dresses. I do take a pair of shorts and a casual shirt or two. But, for the most part, I prefer dresses. Dresses are light and do not take up a lot of room. Then, with your shoes, you can pack a couple of pair of shoes that will go with every outfit. I promise that you will not wear 10 pairs of shoes while you are there. You think you will but that will change when you get there. Also, do not pack 4 inch heels for the beach. I suggest some cute and comfortable flats.
For your guy, I suggest some khaki shorts, polo shirts, and t-shirts. You will not dress up every night so it is not necessary to take him all “nicer” type outfits. My husband ends up wearing a casual Southern Marsh t-shirt and khakis more than his nice polo shirts. He says they are cooler. He does also like to wear the golf type shirts while we are there because they are thinner.
Make sure you take some flip flops to wear to the beach. I buy the cheap kind from Old Navy for both of us. He loses his flip flips or leaves them at the beach so I do not spend a lot of money. As for me, I wear mine outside at home and they get dirty so I do not want to spend a fortune on some rubber flip flops. I want a pair that can go from the ocean to the garden and be fine. Then, if we lose them or something happens, we only have a couple bucks invested.
How Much Sunscreen?
We like to be overly prepared when it comes to sunscreen. I typically pack one large bottle of lotion sunscreen, a face sunscreen, and a couple bottles of spray sunscreen. We put the lotion on before headed to the beach each day then use the spray for the rest of the day. Also, when we come up for lunch we will reapply the lotion. I suffer from Melasma on my face so I always take a face sunscreen that contains a percentage of zinc.
The sun is hot and it bears down on you. If you do not wear sunscreen you will get burnt. I tan easily and I never go without sunscreen. You will still tan while wearing it, but you will be protected. I mean, you do not want to get down there and get so blistered that the rest of your trip is ruined. You want to be able to get in the water and lay by the beach every single second, hour, and day that you are there.
Hats – you need one. I suggest taking a hat. Both of us make sure we have at least a ball cap and a nicer type hat. I wear them both while there. Different activities call for different type hats. My husband always takes a cap and a fisherman type hat that I do not love. But, hey, he likes it so whatever.
There are several other items that we consider necessities while in Turks and Caicos. You will want to take a pair or two of sunglasses. I almost lost my brand new pair of Wildfox Sunglasses on my last trip. Thank goodness I had a back up pair. But, my brand new ones washed up about an hour later. You would not normally have to worry about losing your glasses but we were there during some bad weather and the water was rough.
My point, always have a second pair on hand because you need them. I always take at least two pairs so I am covered. Next thing, since that incident, I have decided to wear cheaper sunglasses on the beach. You can find sunglasses like Quay that are well under $100 but still offer good protection and style.
I suggest wearing cheaper sunglasses while at the beach. Save your others for the pool or when you are out and about. Also, always have a sunglasses strap while participating in water activities. My favorite sunglass strap is the Kate Spade. You can purchase it on Amazon for less than $20.
We love to listen to music while on the beach so we always take a wireless speaker. We like the JBL Charge 2 Plus. It is water resistant so it can withstand the splashing of water or rain showers that may pop up.
Beach Bag or Not
We like to take a lightweight beach bag. We usually just pack it in our suitcase. If you go on any excursions while you are in Turks and Caicos then you will find that a beach bag is helpful. We use it for our speaker as well as beach towels and snacks.
There are typically towels available for your use at the resorts. But, we prefer to always take our own. We bought two of the small, cheap towels at Wal-Mart a couple of years ago. These are our Turks and Caicos Towels. We use them not only while in Turks and Caicos, but also to put on top of our clothing inside our luggage. I always feel better when I have a towel covering the top of my luggage in case something spills or whatever. These towels are less than $10.
If you like to take your phone to the beach to take the 100s of photos that you will take, then I suggest a bag for your phone. They are waterproof and you can text and browse on your phone while it is in the bag.
I also suggest a waterproof camera. The water is so clear that it is fun taking underwater shots while just swimming or snorkeling.
Take a Float
Okay, so this is last but not least. I highly suggest buying a cheap pool float to take with you. I say cheap because you will not want to worry with deflating it and taking it back home. You can find them for under $10 at your local Walmart, Target, or even Amazon.
The water is so calm and pretty in Turks and Caicos. Lying on a float is one of my favorite things to do. Many resorts have floats. But, you have to share those with other guests. We like to take our own so that we have them to ourselves to use as long as we wish.
If you are not a “lay on a float” kind of person then you will not need one. If you like lying on a float in for as long as we do then you will need to take your own. When you vacation is up you can always just leave it or give it to another guest that is just arriving.
I hope our checklist helps you when planning your vacation to the wonderful Turks and Caicos. It is always better to be prepared rather not under prepared. Believe me; we have been in those situations where we had to spend extra on things we could have brough. Do not let that happen to you. Save all your spending money for fun things and not boring things that you already had but did not think to bring.