Turks & Caicos Islands is a group of 40 islands and cays which are flat in topography with coral soil. The islands are a British Overseas Territory.
The pros of living in Turks & Caicos are that the island has amazing beaches with great access to major international cities. Alternatively, the cons of living on the island are that it is small thus one has limited access to specialized products, no public transportation and no fast food chains.
Read on for further details and explanations on the pros and cons of living in the Turks & Caicos Islands.
Pros of Living In Turks & Caicos Islands
The Currency Is Stable
The official currency of the Turks & Caicos Islands is the US dollar.
Therefore, if you are moving to the island from the USA there is no need to worry about potential financial losses due to foreign currency conversion.
Easy Access To Major International Cities
The Turks & Caicos Islands have easy access to major international cities. There are direct flights to the islands.
These cities include New York, Atlanta, Boston, Montreal, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago and Dallas.
This makes travel to and from the islands seamless via Jet Blue, American Airlines, United, Delta and Air Canada.
British Airways offers flights from London Gatwick twice weekly. This flight has a layover in Antigua for about one hour.
Moderate Crime Rate
Generally the crime rate on the island moderate when compared to other Caribbean islands such as Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica.
According to US Department State, Overseas Advisory Council, the number of murders increased from 4 to 10 in 3 years.
One US citizen was among the victims in 2018 while two US citizens sustained serious injuries from shooting.
Visitors to the islands are in some cases advised to stay at resorts and hotels as they have on site security which is safer.
If you are planning to stay at a villa, exercise caution as robberies pertaining to villas is an area of concern.
These however are not very common. Do not leave valuables such as cameras, laptop and other electronic gadgets unattended and visible in cars.
Avoid walking in dark and secluded places at nights. Take only authorized taxis especially at nights.
When it comes to beaches in the Caribbean, Turks & Caicos Islands stands out.
Grace Bay Beach has won several awards regionally and internationally among other amazing beaches.
The water is crystal clear, blue and spans a magnificent 7 miles.
There are several water sporting activities that you can enjoy such as paddle boarding, kayaking, para sailing, windsurfing and jet skiing.
The islands are very small and which makes commuting extremely easy.
As an example, to drive from one end of the island of Providenciales to the other takes approximately 45 minutes.
On average daily, if you are working on the island your commute will be about 15 to 20 minutes.
There are also traffic lights on the road and driving is on the left hand side of the road.
The island is very flat thus making driving easy for a new comer when compared to other Caribbean islands which are more mountainous such as St Thomas, St Lucia, Dominica, St Vincent & The Grenadines or Grenada.
Bikes are a common form of transportation on the island.
One of the blessings of living in the Turks and Caicos is that the islands are tax free.
This means that there is no income tax, property tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax and corporation tax.
Therefore, residents on the islands live tax free.
Nevertheless, if you are bringing items to the islands there are duties will be levied on these items.
The Threat of Natural Disasters is Relatively Low
The hurricane season in the Caribbean runs from June 1 to November 30 annually.
Due to the location of the island, there is a threat of hurricanes even though it is low.
One of the greatest risks for the island is that of flooding due to the island being flat with no high elevation.
Turks and Caicos Islands have experienced devastating hurricanes in the past with the last catastrophic storm being hurricane Irma and hurricane Maria in 2017.
The island has since recovered from the effects of these two hurricanes.
Cons of Living In Turks & Caicos Islands
No Public Transportation
There are no buses available on the island. Therefore, for ease of moving around it is best to have a car.
However, there are Jitney cars and mini-buses which locals use to get around the island.
Tourists are usually advised to avoid these as visitors are usually charge higher prices and drivers tend to drive more aggressively.
Taxis on the island usually accept cash and very few accept credit card payments. There is no Uber or Lyft on the island.
However, there is a ride share company called Conch Cab which was launched in 2019.
High Cost of Living
Turks and Caicos Islands are expensive when compared to other islands in the Caribbean.
A lot of what is consumed on the island is not grown there and thus everyday produce is costly.
The costs of 2 tacos at a beach bar on the island will cost you about US$15 and a package of basic items such as potato chips will cost you around US$6.
The prices are very high for everyday products which are much cheaper in the USA and other Caribbean territories.
No Fast Food Chains
Honestly, I guess this one depends strictly on the reader, however there are none of the well-known fast food chains on the island such as KFC, Mc Donalds and Burger King which usually have a presence in most of the Caribbean islands.
Nevertheless, there are several places on the islands where you can grab fried chicken, sandwiches and pizza from local businesses.
Some of the popular places for fast food on the island include Sweet T’s, Mother’s Pizza, The Patty Place and Graceway IGA.
Limited Access To Products / Services
There is limited access to products and services on the island. There are no shopping malls in Turks & Caicos.
However, there are clothing stores in the city but expect the variety to be limited.
Therefore, if you are considering moving to the island and you are perhaps taller, prepare to carry what you need along with you.
There are express couriers on the island so it is easy to ship products from abroad. However, duties will be levied on these items coming in.
Shipping items to the island also takes time.
The pros of living in Turks and Caicos Islands are its moderate crime rate with a stable currency and a low threat of natural disasters. On the other hand, the cons of living on Turks and Caicos Islands are that the cost of living is high with limited access to specialized goods and services.
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