Every country has it’s own pro’s and con’s of living. Before making a decision to move in a new country I always enjoy reading pro’s and con’s just so I can be prepared to certain life changes. Since we lived in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos for 1 year, I would like to list some pro’s and con’s of living in Turks and Caicos as per my own experience.
- Raising your kids on one of the most beautiful island in the world.
Turks and Caicos has one of the most beautiful and serene beaches in the world. When I was a kid I grew up in a country with no sea or ocean. So, you can imagine the joy of raising my child in an island with such an amazing and pristine beaches. So many times it happen to wake up in the morning, grab our coffee and head to the nearest beach for a morning walk. We would meet so many kids running around collecting sea shells and digging in the sand. The only thing a kid needs – they love to get wet and dirty.
- Spending every day like you are on a vacation
Literally. While living in Providenciales, I used to tell my husband every now and then that since we moved in here I feel every day like we are on vacation. The island is small, tourists are almost all year around present, and once you have tourists all the time around you, you kind of get in their vibe. You can have lunch on the beach in some super cute restaurant with Caribbean music playing in the background, while your kiddos are playing in the sand and shallow water, almost every day.
- Best social life I have ever experienced.
We have been living in few countries around the world, But I have never experienced social life as good as in Turks and Caicos. That, is still my most favourite thing about this island. We only lived there 1 year, but we made so many friends for life than what we have in other countries. Almost every weekend is a barbecue day at someone’s house. Providenciales has 23 769 (as of 2018) population. So more or less, everyone knows everyone. If on a weekend there is no one that hosts a barbecue party, there are always people that will call or text and ask you to join their group for a drink at a local bar or a restaurant, or for a swim on the beach. In Provo it’s just always about socializing.
- Dining in a restaurant on the beach
As I mentioned above, dining by the beach is a very normal thing for locals in Turks and Caicos. The island is packed with beautiful cosy local bars and restaurants right on the beach with AMAZING food. When my daughter was born I dreaded going to a restaurant full of people. Since restaurants are often small and there is no many places where you can walk around to calm your baby down. But, that is not the case in Turks and Caicos. The restaurants on the beach are great choice for parents with small kids. You can literally seat on a table and dip your toes in a very shallow water which is heaven for small kids.
- Warm weather all year around
Living in Turks and Caicos means NO COLD weather during the year. The island does get little bit chilly in the “winter” days – that is between December and February where the lowest temperature can be up to 20 degrees where you might need a pair of long sleeves blouse and pants. Most of the time you only get to wear summer clothes.
- Unable to spend money on unnecessary things – meaning you are able to save lot more
While we lived in Turks and Caicos I only wore cocktail dress once in 1 year. Rarely people get dressed up very formal unless it’s a wedding. That means you don’t get to spend money on clothes or other essentials very often. Another thing is that there are no many places where you can go and shop for new clothes. There are a few stores in Grace Bay area with few t-shirts and shorts with TCI prints on them. They are mostly meant for souvenirs for tourists.
- 1 million $ views from your balcony
Our apartment building in Providenciales was old, very small and not in a fancy neighbourhood, BUT the view was a million $ view! The island is fairly small and the ocean view is almost everywhere, all our friends had some kind of ocean view from their houses and no matter where you live – with the ocean view it feels like you are on vacation all the time.
- No malls or city centers.
Except supermarkets there are really no any malls or city centers. Grace bay area is actually counted as “city center” because most of the restaurants, bars, hotels, souvenir shops are located in that area.
- No reliable public transportation
When we were living in Provo I really struggled with transportation before I got my driving license sorted. There is no official taxi company that serves on a call. Usually the few taxi cars/vans that you see on the airport are mainly for tourists and they have deals between the hotels and them. It is not common ti call a taxi to take you from your house to the hospital or any other location. Having a driving license in Provo will help you a big time.
- Groceries are a bit overpriced compared to Dominican Republic, USA etc…
Since everything is imported from USA, groceries, medicines and other goods, the cost is much bigger. For example a single cucumber costs 4.99$ in IGA supermarket, one baguette costs 4.99$. We lived in Dubai before moving to Turks and Caicos, and these prices were a bit of a shock to me on the beginning.
Yep! They are savage in Turks and Caicos! My husband is allergic to mosquito bites and he is always 110% prepared with all kinds of stickers, sprays, creams wherever we go. But, I rarely get mosquito bites and never think of mosquito repellents. That changed once I arrived in Turks and Caicos. Before leaving for TCI, make sure that you get prepared as much as you can with all mosquito repellents that work for you and your family.
- No outdoor play area parks for kids on the island.
We’ve lived for 1 year on the island but I have never seen a public park or an outdoor play area for kids, like you find in another countries. However there is an indoor play area in Grace Bay (Regent Village) called PlayLand where you can leave your children while you enjoy a nice lunch or dinner around.
- Hotels are a bit overpriced compared to other Caribbean Islands.
Turks and Caicos is currently ranked as 2nd for most expensive hotels in the Caribbean. I remember we stayed at The Alexandra Resort on Grace Bay, for 1 night for our anniversary, and cost us 350$ with no meals included and it was an off season too. My recommendation is, if you ever are planning to stay in a hotel room type of place, there a lot of airbnb’s on the island that look amazing and offer more or less same services but for much lower price.
- Limited access to clothing stores.
This was another struggle of mine while we lived in TCI. As my daughter was growing, we had to buy more new clothes and shoes that will fit her. Providenciales had as per my knowledge at that time around 2 official baby stores. One was Sunset Home and Baby Department store in Alice and Alice Plaza, where you can get baby clothes 0-12 months. But, above that age, the clothing choice was more limited. At that time a friend of mine recommended Island Bargains. Island Bargains is basically a shipping company that can deliver your orders from the US. You can choose all the baby products you need from the store you will choose in the US, ship it to the Island Bargains address in Florida and they will deliver it to their main office in Providenciales, where you can later on pick your package up.