Tired of sitting in the same living room, eating the same dang lunch? Book a trip to Turks and Caicos and have a reset week in the sun. In February, Trey and I made our way to Turks for our long awaited honeymoon and it was flat out perfect. That being said, I wanna talk about the highlights of our trip and some hecka fun things to do!
1. book a spa service at ocean club resort east
We stayed at Ocean Club Resort East and it was a blaaast. There was barely any kids, not too crowded, and in a more secluded area around Grace Bay. It's also a lot more affordable then other hotels and not too far of a walk to shopping.
The hotel's spa is nothing outrageous, but if you're looking for a simple treatment without leaving the resort, this is it. On day three, Trey and I were finally in the mood to do a little more than just sit on the beach. I emailed the spa and they were able to get us in two hours later! They only had one girl (Gail) working in there while we were there, so she booked us back to back.
I got a basic pedicure ($56 with tax) and it was amazing. Since I chose the basic one, I didn't expect much, but it was well worth the money and I'd definitely go back. Gail was so sweet too! Trey had a 35 minute Swedish massage and he said it was great! The massage cost around $75. It was so dope to spice up the day, but not have to leave the hotel. Book your spa treatment here now!
2. snag a cuban cigar at sai's
Sai Cuban Cigars is located at one season plaza, which is about a 15/20 min walk from Ocean Club. Now, this place looks awful ritzy on the outside, but I'm telling ya-- they got some affordable stuff. Trey found a mild cigar for $9.00 and I bought a coffee flavored one for $12.00. There were moments when we didn't understand everything the owner was saying, yet it was still a fun place to shop and everything was priced in us dollars. We never ran into a place that didn't accept us bills, so no need to convert any money.
TIP: Don't forget to snag a lighter while checking out, since you may have not brought one!
Want to see more gorgeous pics of Turks and Caicos? Head to my Instagram and start building a vision board ;)
3. hit up patty's place for ice cream
Craving ice cream? Patty's Place is not far from Sai Cigars and isn't too expensive. It was $10 for a huge dish of strawberry and $7 for three big scoops of chocolate mint in a waffle cone. These servings were big though, so I'd order even less than us! I probably only ate half of mine because I was full, lol.
Service was very friendly and they had cheap bottled water too. I say this because you hear a variety of things about the water. The tap water doesn't taste great, but once we boiled ours it tasted just fine and it made us feel better too, in case the quality wasn't great. That being said, we tried to snag bottled where we could. If you want to read about us getting crazy sick in Mexico, you can read that here LOL.
TIP: Be careful ordering water at nice restaurants. If you don't mind paying $8+ for it, order it! Trying to save $? Bring a water bottle with from your hotel or a disposable one filled with your boiled water. We learned this the hard way, lol.
4. ride a horse through longbay
If you've been around for awhile, you know I like to pick one thing I want to do on a trip and make it a priority. Provo Ponies was my top pick for this trip and it was such a good time. They pick you up at your hotel, so you don't need to arrange transportation. Once you get to the stables, you meet your horse and learn a few basic riding rules.
Then you're off on your ride! There was maybe six other riders with us... which was the perfect amount! I ended up being on the slowest horse and Trey was on the fastest, so we didn't see each other often, but I think this was a rare case, LOL. I loved it, but the horses could be a bit surprising at times. These are rescue horses, so I try to take that into consideration! I would totally go again though. You can book your horse tour here.
TIP: They have 60 and 90 minute group rides. [ 60 min = $119 per person, 90 min = $141] I opted for the hour one since it was cheaper, but it was still a good chunk of the day! It actually took around three hours to get there, learn a few things, and do the ride. I didn't think it felt short at all! Plus, if you've ridden a horse before, you know you get sore after awhile, so good time frame in my opinion. Also, try to take a little cash to tip your instructors!
Okie, so now y'all know my Turks and Caicos favorites! Which one are you excited to try?! They were all so fun and relaxing... Couldn't have asked for a better honeymoon. Let me know if you have more questions about Turks! Next, I'll be covering requirements for re-entering the United States and covid protocol info. A little more work to travel lately, but 100% worth it!
If you're ready to get planning, last month I wrote Best Advice for Traveling to Turks and Caicos During Covid. This post covers the first steps I took to book our trip!
Still nervous to head abroad during covid? Give yourself time to adjust and do a mini trip to somewhere in the US! I love Taos, New Mexico :) Here's a fun guide for it too!
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Need warm weather ASAP, but don't know what countries are open? For our honeymoon, Trey and I headed down to Turks and Caicos! You may be wondering, where in the heck is that? You can find Turks in the Caribbean to the east of Cuba and to the north of the Dominican Republic. It was such a good time, but did take some extra work on our end to get there. Since it is a weird time to be traveling... I wanted to give you insight on how we got to Turks and what we had to do to get in the country!
turks and caicos entry
Alright, so the first thing you're gonna wanna do is check the Turks and Caicos website to make sure they are still open to tourists. This is the site I used! It's important to do this because countries have been changing their status left and right. Our original plan was to go to Tahiti, but about two weeks before our trip, they closed their borders and we weren't aware of this for a few days.
Once that's done, it's time to find a great flight! I use the Hopper app to snag a good deal and then go to the airline with the deal, to book directly with them. Lately, I've only been booking flights directly with the airline to ensure I have valid insurance and a company to hold responsible in case something goes sour.
We flew with United down there and they were very helpful with the covid process, but honestly their seats are not comfy. On a one hour flight you might not notice but the four hour one had our butts hurting! American Airlines though has decent prices for flights in May for $464, so I'd try those. Our flights turned out being $445 each with insurance and then we checked one shared bag for $30.
covid requirements for turks
After you have your flight booked, you'll want to research your options for covid testing. Turks and Caicos requires a PCR test done five days or less prior to your arrival. Antigen tests are not being accepted at this time by Turks. So, let's say you're flying out on a Monday, then you will want to schedule your test for the Thursday before.
Now, a few days after we booked our flight with United they sent us an email about testing options. I was so relieved by this because I was having trouble finding a PCR testing site that would guarantee the result turnover time. We got our tests done at a CVS in the drive thru. They hand you the kit and you perform the test yourself in your car! It was pretty straightforward and went rather quick, which was nice.
The best part was that we could schedule our time slots online. It looks like you have to book each appointment separately, even if theres two people needing a test. I feel like they'd let you drive up in the same car too, if you book two time slots back to back though. Together, our tests cost $278. A little pricey, but I figured testing cost into our budget and we were able to save in some other areas!
TIP: Once its been a few days in Turks, you will want to schedule your second covid test. (If you are returning to the United States) The good news is the US is accepting multiple testing options. We opted for the antigen test and it was $50 each. I was so happy! When we checked in, our hotel had told us about testing options and we ended up walking to a nearby hotel. We went to Seven Stars for our test :)
buying insurance in case you're sick abroad
When your trip is five days away, you are now able to apply for entry to Turks and Caicos online. This process is done through TCI Assured. You will need a few things before you sit down and do this application however. Before starting, you must have a document of your negative covid test and know if your insurance covers covid expenses abroad.
I recommend doing this form in one sitting as well. I let mine sit a day or two and then I couldn't refresh certain questions, so make sure you're ready! To submit your test result, you will need an online copy. There are a list of items too that must be on your document, so try to find a copy with things like the test type and name of testing center. Your application will list out the items you must have on your covid result document.
Want to see more photos of our Turks trip? Head to my Instagram and follow for all my favorite travel pics :)
travel requirements for turks
I thought my insurance might cover the expenses, based on the overview of my benefits. Although it didn't and the TCI staff let me know within 20 minutes of submitting my application! That being said, it's possible to buy coverage for the time frame of your trip with TCI Safe.
Surprisingly, it was rather affordable. I imagined $200 or so each, but it turned out being around $78 per person. After I bought the insurance, I plugged the plan information into my application and it was accepted the next morning! WOO.
landing on turks and caicos islands
When they send you your TCI Assured certificate, you'll want to print out a few copies. Do this with your covid results as well. With United, they had a spot online where we could upload our documents a few days before the flight. This made checking in easy because they didn't need to see our paper copy results!
The paper copies will be important though when you land in Turks. As you walk into customs, they want to see a health form you were given on the plane, your covid results, and your TCI Assured certificate. We had no issues and I was so relieved!
YAY, you're ready to hit Turks and Caicos! It will be a blast, you won't believe it. Traveling abroad takes a little extra time right now, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible. The paperwork is 1000x worth it for this crazy blue water folks. Obviously I have a thousand more things to share with you about this trip, so keep your eyes peeled this spring!
I hope y'all have the best Easter. Thank you for reading, I love making content for you guys!! Tell me below what else you'd love to know about Turks :) Also, if you're ready to start planning your trip, you can read my Greatest Tips for Traveling on a Budget post and sketch out some finance goals for your Turks trip!
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