A vacation to a new destination is an exciting time, one full of adventure and new experiences sure to make lasting memories. I have visited 11 countries and love planning new trips to unknown destinations! These trips always come with surprises in store, but here are 5 tips I have learned over the years that help manage new places and experiences. I have also applied each tip specifically to travel in Turks & Caicos.
MAP IT OUT I have had a fascination with maps since I was a child riding in my grandfather’s truck with a giant highway map! Many people no longer use maps as they assume GPS on their phones will always guide them, but I really feel that looking at maps around the location of your accommodation and the city/island is a great exercise. Not only does it give you a rough idea of where you’re going and proximity to nearby amenities, its also great to get an idea of geography and nearby attractions. We have great maps on each villa page which demonstrate the villa location in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.
TRANSPORTATION Each destination has different transportation options and best practices, so its worth while to do a bit of research before you go. For example in Turks and Caicos, there is no public transportation or Uber options. There are taxis, but they tend to be costly and a bit unreliable. I highly recommend for guests to rent a car for their trip to avoid feeling frustration when they call for a taxi and the driver is napping or doesn’t answer (it’s a small island!)
DAY to DAY ESSENTIALS Other than transportation, currency and Passport/Visa Requirements are necessary planning. Make sure all members of your party have valid Passports (that will not expire within 6 months!) and you know the currency of where you’re going. Turks and Caicos uses the US Dollar and a valid Passport is required, but not a visa for most countries. (No visa is required for Citizens of USA, Canada, UK and many other countries.)
QUIRKS Many times a new destination may have a quirky difference from your home. In Turks and Caicos, driving on the left or British side of the road can throw some of our guests for a loop. As I say to them on the phone all the time, “If I can do it, you can do it!” It’s really easy and sometimes fun to deal with quirks of a new place as long as your attitude is set for a positive experience. One should apply a sense of adventure and curiosity rather than a harsh judgement or sentiment of “Why can’t they do things like we do?”
PACK the BASICS I believe many guest’s trouble with packing is generally packing too much! The day of traveling too and fro should not be miserable because you packed a suitcase that weighs 2 tons. I once went on a trip with my mother to Europe where she packed 9 pairs of shoes! When I asked her why, she said she couldn’t decide which she should bring so she brought them all 🙂 We struggled with that amount of luggage and she only wore a few of the pairs of shoes. Basically, plan your trip with realistic amounts of clothing and shoes. You will thank me on the travel days! In Turks I highly recommend a long sleeved swim shirt. or as the surfers call them “rash guards.” These are great for long days in the sun and snorkeling!