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grace bay sunset turks and caicos

What to Pack for the Turks and Caicos: 27 Essentials

SmarterTravel

Whether you’re planning a week of relaxing on Grace Bay Beach or a series of outdoor adventures, you can use this comprehensive Turks and Caicos packing list to get prepared for your trip.

What to Pack for the Turks and Caicos: The Suitcase

  • AmazonBasics 21-Inch Softside Spinner Luggage: Shorts, bathing suits, and other Turks and Caicos clothing don’t take up much space, so most travelers can get by with this affordable 21-inch carry-on. It’s got multiple compartments and pockets to keep you organized.

What to Pack for the Turks and Caicos: The Beach Bag

  • Aruba Mesh Beach Tote: This brightly colored beach bag has plenty of useful features, such as a waterproof case for your cell phone, a pocket for sunscreen, and an insulated bottom compartment to keep food and drinks cool.

What to Pack for the Turks and Caicos: In-Flight Essentials

  • Earbuds or headphones: I prefer earbuds because they’re cheap and they take up minimal space in my carry-on, but many travelers swear by noise-canceling headphones. Either way, they’ll let you enjoy your tunes or audiobooks in flight.
  • E-reader or paperback books: Don’t leave home without a few good books, not only for the plane but also for those relaxing beach days.

What to Pack for the Turks and Caicos: Shoes

  • Flip-flops: You can easily spend your whole Turks and Caicos vacation in your favorite pair.
  • Sneakers: These are worth adding to your Turks and Caicos packing list if you’re planning to play tennis or golf, or to work out in your hotel gym.
  • Water shoes: The islands are renowned for watersports such as sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, and even kiteboarding—and water shoes are useful for many of these activities.

What to Pack for the Turks and Caicos: The Jacket

  • Lightweight jacket: Though the weather in the Turks and Caicos is reliably warm, evenings can be breezy. It’s worth throwing a windbreaker, such as one of these options for men and women, into your bag.

What to Pack for the Turks and Caicos: Clothing

  • Shorts: Bring a few pairs for activities such as sightseeing, sailing, or playing tennis.
  • T-shirts: Opt for T-shirts in light colors to keep you cool on hot sunny days. Lululemon has breathable options for women and men.
  • Chinos or khakis: Men may want a pair of these for nicer dinners.
  • Casual dress: Similarly, women might want to pack a dress or two for evenings out.
  • Bathing suits: This may be the single most important item on your Turks and Caicos packing list. Bring two so you’ve always got one dry and ready to go for swimming, snorkeling, and other watersports.
  • Beach cover-up: Don’t forget your favorite caftan or dress to wear over your suit.

What to Pack for the Turks and Caicos: Toiletries

  • Insect repellent: On my first night in the Turks and Caicos, I counted more than 100 bug bites across my shins after a lengthy beachfront dinner—and regretted having left my insect repellent back in my hotel room. The likelihood of being bitten depends on the season and the amount of rain the islands have gotten recently, but you don’t want to find yourself without bug spray when you need it. (Note that rain is most likely during hurricane season, which runs from June through November.)
  • Reef-safe sunblock: Protect both your skin and the delicate coral reefs surrounding the Turks and Caicos by opting for reef-safe sunscreen.
  • Aloe gel: This can soothe both sunscreen and itchy insect bites.
  • Travel-size shaving cream and razors: Pack travel sizes to avoid wasting too much suitcase space on these important items.
  • Over-the-counter medicines: Consider packing a pain reliever, an antihistamine, and a remedy for traveler’s diarrhea. If you’re planning on being out on the water, throw in a motion sickness remedy as well.

What to Pack for the Turks and Caicos: Gadgets

  • Solar phone charger: Put all that abundant Caribbean sunshine to work.
  • Fitness tracker: It’s easy to stay active in the Turks and Caicos, and wearing a fitness tracker lets you give yourself credit for it.

What to Pack for the Turks and Caicos: Accessories

  • Sunglasses: Don’t be without your favorite pair.
  • Sun hat: Protect your skin and eyes from the strong Caribbean sun.
  • Filtered water bottle: The water at most Turks and Caicos resorts is safe to drink, but many travelers aren’t fond of the taste. A reusable filtered water bottle allows you to avoid plastic waste while enjoying the taste of your drinking water.

What to Pack for the Turks and Caicos (That I Didn’t)

  • Anti-itch cream: I wish I’d had this for all those itchy bug bites.
  • Snorkel gear: While the use of masks and fins is included in just about every snorkel tour, you might want to bring your own if you’re concerned about germs or planning on spending the bulk of your vacation peering at the underwater world.

What Not to Pack for the Turks and Caicos

  • Jewelry, formal wear, and warm clothes: Unless you’re visiting the Turks and Caicos for a wedding or other special event, there’s no need to dress up; even nicer resort restaurants have a wonderfully laid-back vibe. Nor will you need warm clothes—temps rarely fall below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

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