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 a flight deal in hopes to afford my dream vacation. 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, hotel accommodations, transportation, food, and drinks 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 British Overseas Territory 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, their currency is in 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 soft pearl white sand, crystal blue gem-like waters and 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 was the perfect antidote 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 flies direct from New York City (JFK) to Providenciales Turks and Caicos (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 rent a 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) in 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 one of the all-inclusive resorts, we stayed at a boutique resort named Villa Del Mar. Villa Del Mar gives you luxury for less without feeling cheated. It was also close to many 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. You can search for budget-friendly all-inclusive resorts, use Airbnb, guest houses, or other types of vacation rentals.
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 pool area. There was also a kitchenette 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 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 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 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. 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. I recommend these places to eat:
- 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) – $6-$8 conch fritters. Thursday from 5 p.m. -10 p.m. The island is known for their conch and seafood and the Thursday Fish Fry has many 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 Buoys (Free Entry and you can bring your own drinks). We saved 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 my calculations, the total price was $393. This included Airfare: $92 + Hotel: $177 + Food/Drinks: $64 +Cab: $60. If you like to travel without spending a lot of 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?