With winter in full swing, you more than deserve a reprieve from the cold front. Last month, I jetted off to the Turks and Caicos for a three-day escape. Since the Turks and Caicos is already such a popular destination, I rounded up a few ways that you can save money and maximize your time on property. Whether you’re planning to bum around the beach all week or hoping to figuratively hit your “reset” button, the Turks and Caicos is calling your name.
Do your research
I know, I know. This is the most boring part of any trip but it’s SO worth it. Since I was partnering with the Seven Stars Resort & Spa, I got off easy—they planned every detail for our group. That said, I did learn some helpful tips along the way.
First up is deciding when to go. If budget is an issue, consider avoiding high-season, which runs roughly from mid-December to mid-April in the Turks and Caicos. Also consider that winter is top season for North Americans to visit, because we all know how cold the East Coast gets.
Another important thing to consider is your comfort level. Will you be okay staying at a luxurious property like the Seven Stars Resort & Spa or would you rather opt for an inclusive property a bit out of the way? There are pros and cons to both, which I’ll delve into a little bit later. All in all, gaining a sense of your comfort level (and that of your travel partner) will ensure that you make the most of your time in paradise.
Location, location, location!
OK, here we go! When it comes to resorts in the Turks and Caicos, I learned that location is everything. In the case of SSR, guests experience 5-star service, from spa treatments to decadent dinners.
However, should you choose to wander off property for shopping and meals, you can do that without hailing a cab. This is important because taxis in the Turks and Caicos charge by the person; so, a five-minute taxi ride with a family of five will cost you $25. Now, just image if the nearest off-site restaurant was 20 minutes away.
Another perk of staying in a centrally located spot is that you can experience local life outside the property. On our first night at SSR, we went to a local bar and sang karaoke. On our last night, we went to a different watering hole and met people from all corners of the globe. This is where it’s crucial to fine-tune your travel style. Think about whether it’s important to meet locals or whether you prefer the complete seclusion of a resort far away from it all.
Bring a friend
Caribbean getaways are always better with two, and the Turks and Caicos is no exception. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with going solo, bringing along your partner in live (or crime) is a smart way to cut costs.
With its sunny skies, white sand and gorgeous vistas, it’s no surprise that many couples honeymoon here. There’s really no pressure to do anything besides lounge by the pool with a piña colada in hand. Besides weddings are stressful enough; a week away is exactly how you should spend your first week as a couple.
As romantic as the Seven Stars Resort is, I think I’d like to come here with a group of girlfriends. We’d spend our mornings being pampered at the spa, our days sipping cocktails by the pool and our nights feasting on all the food we tell ourselves not to eat in “the real world.” In terms of logistics, you could easily split a room, as suites are very spacious throughout the property. Choose among Junior, One Bedroom, Two Bedroom and Three Bedroom suites.
Learn a sport
Trust me, the Turks and Caicos isn’t just cocktails, candlelit massages and great views. There are lots of ways to get active in between decadent feasts, many of which are mere steps from your cabana.
At the SSR, guests have their pick of more than a dozen exclusions, from banana boat rides and bottom fishing to cave explorations and kayaking. If you’re eager to pick up a new sport, sign up for a kiteboarding lessons through the Kiteboarding School on Providenciales. Alternatively, take a one-on-one winding lesson with Windsurfing Provo.
Don’t want to get your hair wet? No problem! Sign up for an Undersea Semi-Submarine excursion that takes participants five feet below the waves and through the colorful inner reefs of Provo. No special equipment needed! For a bird’s eye view of the islands, opt for a helicopter tour. Tours can be booked for either 15-minute or 25-minute rides and are available hourly. Definitely bring your camera for this one.
Get rid of expectations
Personally, this is an art I still haven’t fully mastered. As an over-achieving traveler, I tend to want to see (and do!) it all, and that’s just not always possible.
One lesson I learned while at the Seven Stars Resort Hotel is that it’s more than okay to sit back, relax and enjoy the experience. Coming from a chilly New York, I was eager to swap my wool winter jacket for a bikini and coverup. Sometimes a change of scenery is really all we need to shift our focus back to the present moment.
Speaking of shifting your focus, there are several opportunities to do this during your trip. While I managed to sleep through it, Seven Stars Resort does offer Yoga classes throughout the week on the west deck overlooking Grace Bay Beach. I often find that a morning meditation is the perfect way to kickstart my day, optimize my energy levels and get rid of expectations. The Turks and Caicos is all about relaxing, so stop stressing about seeing and doing it all!
What’s the best travel tips you’ve learned on your travels? Tell me in the comments below!
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