Although I have traveled to many British, French, and Dutch Caribbean visiting Turks and Caicos has been on my vision board since 2014. I am a single, middle-income Brooklyn saver who is not willing to pay over $700 for any trip…EVER! I’m a believer in affordable island vacations and waited over 3 years for cheap flights in hopes to afford my dream vacation to Turks & Caicos to experience its beautiful beaches. Trust me when I say you can have an affordable vacation to Turks and Caicos too! What if I told you I spent under $400 in airfare, transportation, food, drinks, and affordable accommodation for 4 days and 3 nights in Turks and Caicos? Don’t believe me? Read my mini travel guide sharing how you can visit and enjoy the island of Providenciales Turks and Caicos on a budget.
About the Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos is a British Overseas Territory in the Atlantic Ocean, southeast of the Bahamas, east of Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and Haiti, and only 3 hours from New York City’s JFK airport. Although they are a British Territory, the accepted currency is U.S. Dollars (USD). I had leftover Euros from my trip to Italy last month and the exchange from Euros to USD during the time of our trip was $.83:$1. This was helpful for a saver like me. There was no currency exchange in the airport or most hotels, but you can exchange your local currency at First Caribbean National Bank if you’re staying in the Grace Bay area in Provo.
The islands of Turks and Caicos are mainly known to be a honeymoon destination, but they’re great for girl’s trips too. Turks & Caicos has some of the best beaches in the Caribbean with pearl white soft sand, crystal blue water, palm trees, and the perfect weather year-round. New York City had the longest winter that extended into spring 2018. We even had a snowstorm on the first day of spring and one or two in April. The sun and beach were the perfect antidotes to seasonal depression and free vitamin D.
Traveling to Providenciales from NYC
My first step in vacationing on a budget is getting a good deal on the flight. JetBlue offers nonstop flights from New York City (JFK) to Providenciales International Airport (PLS). After finding a flight deal, I used my JetBlue Points to pay for the flight. If you are a frequent flyer, I recommend applying for a JetBlue credit card to help build up points over time. There are no Annual fees, No blackout dates, and points do not expire.
Price: 11,400 JetBlue points + $92 in taxes OR $284 without JetBlue points
Getting Around Providenciales
Upon arrival, there were two options for getting around Providenciales: take a cab or get a rental car. If you can drive on the left side of the road, rental cars are around $30- $60 per day excluding gas. If you don’t feel confident please be safe and take a cab. Getting around Providenciales can get pricey. Cabs have standard rates from the airport of $16.50 per person to the Grace Bay Area. A cab from our hotel in Grace Bay to the famous Thursday night Fish fry was $8 per person going and $10 returning. If you are traveling in groups, cab fares can add up over time. My advice is to stay in an area close to everything and walk everywhere. We spent about $60 (per person) on cabs from Thursday- Sunday.
Price: Airport to/from the Grace Bay Area: $16.50 per person | Travel locally: $6-$8 per person
Where to Stay in Providenciales
Fulfilling my dream Turks and Caicos vacation almost failed because the hotels and resorts are expensive! Luckily, I found a great deal. Instead of staying at a luxury resort, we stayed at a boutique resort named Villa Del Mar. Villa Del Mar is a great place that gives you luxury for less without feeling cheated. It was also close to many local restaurants, bars, shops, and the beautiful Grace Bay Beach. If you’re a budget traveler, there are a number of cheap places to stay in Turks and Caicos. Search for budget-friendly all-inclusive resorts, use Airbnb, guest houses, or other types of vacation rentals within your budget at a reasonable price. If you want that “luxe feel”, you can get a day pass at an expensive resort.
When you first enter Villa Del Mar, the staff greets you with smiles and welcome rum punch. I reserved a Studio deluxe room, which was enough space for the three of us. The room was equipped with a shower, large tub, king-size bed, queen-sized pull-out couch, and balcony overlooking the outdoor swimming pool. There was also a full kitchen with a microwave, small fridge, coffee and tea, dishes, dishwashing liquid, and a washer and dryer. Complimentary breakfast was also included daily.
We also had direct access to the beach by walking through the Grace Bay Club. Due to the extreme heat, we took advantage of the complimentary bottled water, pool and jacuzzi areas, and water sports such as a catamaran ride to Donna Karen’s beachfront home, paddle boarding, and kayaking.
Resort Price: $531 – 4 days 3 nights Deluxe Studio. I got the deal on JetBlue.com for 50% off the rate as a TrueBlue member. 3 persons in a room = $177 per person.
Where to Eat in Providenciales
Even though breakfast is included, Villa del Mar does not have a restaurant on-site. I priced Grace Bay Club’s drinks around $18-$27 and $25- $30 for burgers and fries. Since Turks & Caicos gets imported goods, buying food from the grocery store can be expensive. To save money, you can bring snacks and food to microwave. Villa del Mar is also close to a supermarket, liquor store, bars, and other restaurants. If you do go out to eat, most restaurants in the area close their kitchen at 9 p.m. Below are the best places I recommend for food:
- The Patty Place – $3-8 for patties and $3 for a small ice cream
- Crackpot Kitchen – $5.50 Happy Hour drinks 5 p.m. -10 p.m. Food $15-$30
- Thursday Fish Fry (free entry and live music) – $6-$8 conch fritters. Thursday from 5 p.m. -10 p.m. The island is known for its conch and seafood and the Thursday Fish Fry has many great food vendors to choose from. I highly recommend taking food to go and trying a little bit of everything
- Coconut Grove – $15 Thai Coconut Shrimp with rice and peas
Nightlife in Providenciales
Villa del Mar is also 5-10 minutes walking distance to nightlife. Providenciales has 2 main clubs that are located across from each other: The Sandbar and Danny Buoy (Free Entry and you can bring your own drinks). We saved a lot of money by walking instead of taking a $6-$8 per person cab ride.
Turks and Caicos on a Budget – Final Cost
After returning and finishing calculations of my travel costs, the total price was $393. This included the Round trip Flight: $92 + Hotel: $177 + Food/Drinks: $64 +Cab: $60. If you like to travel without spending much money, visiting Turks and Caicos on a budget is absolutely possible! I hope these travel tips were helpful for your trip planning. Now, who is ready to book?
Check Out These Other Budget Travel Guides
A Guide to Visiting Cartagena in 4 Days
Travel for Cheap! How to Get a Flight Deal
25 thoughts on “Luxe for Less: Visiting Turks and Caicos on a Budget”
Great tips on doing T&C on a budget. It is expensive there. I love Turks and Caicos. My husband surprised me with a trip there for one of my birthdays. We stayed at the Sands at Grace Bay. Did you go to Bugaloos? They also have good food.
I didn’t but I will try that next time I visit. Providenciales was a beautiful island.
We need to come up with something fun and exciting for our anniversary next year. You’re making Turks & Caicos sound amazing. Of course, if we can do it for less that’s even better.
It’s a great destination for relaxing and adventure if you want to visit the other islands.
I love Turks and Caicos. I always go to Grand Turk when I travel with Carnival but i want to go without a cruise.
OMG I really want to get to the Turks and Caicos! I’m pinning this to save for when I find my flight deal!
Beautiful pictures! Makes me want to book a trip to Turks and Caicos.
Love this post!!! Definitely got me rethinking my vacation style!! More for less is the way to go!!
Great article! You make me want to go so bad! One day.
I want to start traveling more with my kids.I need to take your advice because so many of my family members and friends loved visiting Turks and Caicos.
I’m going to Turks and Caicos in October and it will be my first time. I love how you did it for under $400 (airfare). I’m going to cross my fingers for the same favor! The hotel was nice as well. Glad you had a great time.
The whole trip was under $400. It is definitely possible to get airfare lower than $300 if you book in advanced. Crossing fingers for favor with you!
Now that’s a Caribbean vacation on a budget. I love it. Definitely saving this one for when I plan my first Caribbean getaway. I hear the Turks are lovely and your post says so too.
Beautiful photos and write up. Makes me want to pack my bags and leave TODAY!
Krista this is incredible. I am so living through you. I have to go on vacation with you!!!
Awesome write up!
A family trip would be perfect. The King size bed was big enough for 3 persons and sofa bed was big enough for a an adult or 2 kids. I would suggest an update if you want a full kitchen if you want to prepare meals. There is also a BBQ grill on site at Villa Del Mar.
Anything on budget is right up my alley, so this was perfect for me! I know Turks and Caicos is super expensive so it’s great to see it’s possible to go there without breaking your wallet. Those photos are amazing!
Wow, that kinda savings is incredible! I am dying to travel around outside of the country but the cost just seemed too much for my family. This is great information to be able to make that dream come true!
So I’m sitting here on my couch jealous lol. Me and my husband have been talking about where to go to later this year. Let’s just say Turks and Caicos has been lifted to the top 3. Now I have points to your during our discussion lol. Thanks!
Wow! That’s amazing that you only spent $400 for this amazing trip. It is absolutely beautiful there!
I have to say, this is the most informative travel post I’ve read in a very long time. Thank you for including all of those important details.
I can’t wait to visit this destination!
Iman, some other budget saving tips are pack alcohol nips (make sue it’s under 4 oz in a zip lock bag), stock- up on healthy snacks (I packed some Fiber One Bars, nuts, and plenty snacks from my JetBlue flight including their water). Take advantage of the hotel fridge and microwave. Hope that was helpful 🙂
Wow!! This post is so informative! I can’t believe you went for $400! Definitely using these tips!! Looks so fun
Awesome post! Super informative! Def makes me want to go back!!