Swimmers in the calm waters of Grace Bay Beach The unparalleled Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales.
Nothing found. Try changing your search terms.

What to Bring to the Turks and Caicos

JetBlue airliner approaching over Chalk Sound National Park
A JetBlue Airbus A320 on the approach over Chalk Sound, Providenciales.

You don’t need to bring much when visiting the Turks and Caicos. If you happen to forget something basic, you’ll probably be able to find a suitable replacement on Providenciales. Depending on what you’re looking for, the selection on the other islands in the country can be far more limited.

Here's what you ought to bring to the Turks and Caicos Islands (see Turks and Caicos Shopping and Providenciales Shopping for more information).

Valid Passport

All visitors to the Turks and Caicos should bring a valid passport with validity at least six months beyond the trip completion date.

If you are a U.S. national arriving by cruise ship, you can enter the country with an enhanced driver’s license. However, this is not recommended, as you will encounter problems and delays if you need to return by air (due to an emergency or if you miss your cruise).

Travel Insurance

It's highly recommended that you purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy that includes emergency and evacuation coverage before visiting the Turks and Caicos Islands.

There are two hospitals in the Turks and Caicos—one on Providenciales and one on Grand Turk—that treat tourists, as well as several private clinics, most of them on Providenciales. Good insurance can cover you for serious accidents and illnesses.

Some credit cards automatically include travel insurance for a destination once you pay for the flights on your card. Read your policy carefully to identify any gaps in coverage you may want to fill with another policy.

Tourists planning to scuba dive should purchase diving-specific insurance from a reputable provider before diving in the islands. This insurance covers medical treatment and repatriation in the event that the policyholder experiences a diving-related illness.


The Turks and Caicos has a spectacular marine environment, and there are plenty of photo and video opportunities.

If you’re looking to buy a new camera, consider an inherently waterproof camera, such as an Olympus Tough or GoPro. With a waterproof camera, you’ll be able to take snorkeling and water sports photos. More importantly, because these cameras are compact, waterproof, and durable, it's far more likely that you'll be carrying your camera during the most exciting moments of your vacation.

The islands offer great opportunities for drone photos and video, yet drone restrictions due to airports can be limiting.

The selection of camera equipment, batteries, and storage cards is quite limited in the Turks and Caicos, and prices tend to be very high for what is available.


Everyone knows to bring sunscreen, but few actually bring enough. You’ll probably require about twice as much as you’d initially expect. Many businesses here sell sunscreen, but at a higher cost.

Higher SPF (sun protection factor) sunscreens—such as SPF 50 or greater—are best, as are water-resistant lotions. Consider bringing your own sunburn relief lotion to avoid a trip to the shops.

Please use biodegradable and reef safe sunscreen, especially if you’re going into the ocean. Conventional sunscreens have been proven to cause long-lasting damage to the reefs and the environment.

Insect Repellent

You’ll want to bring insect repellent, as there can be mosquitoes and sand fleas (tiny biting insects, totally different from the common flea) at times, especially if it has rained recently. Insect repellent is essential if you plan on spending time on North and Middle Caicos, Pine Cay, or Parrot Cay.

Anti-itch cream is a good idea, too. If you forget to bring some, you can purchase it at most pharmacies on Providenciales.

Type A/B Travel Adapter

Visitors coming from countries outside of North America, or parts of South America and the Caribbean, will need a Type A/B plug adapter. You should purchase one before you arrive, as they can be difficult to locate on the island.

Specialty Food Items

Providenciales has several large and modern supermarkets and grocery stores. With this said, prices are often higher than most tourists are used to and the selection is smaller. You may not be able to find your favorite brands, so consider bringing packaged snacks, energy bars, coffee, tea, and other staples.

Formula and baby food are available for purchase at these supermarkets, though the selection is limited compared to what you'd find at home.

The other islands in the country have far fewer shops and items to choose from.

Generally, manufactured and store-bought food products can be imported without a problem. Home-packed meats are prohibited, along with most other types of home-packed food products (such as home-packed grains, dried fruit, and so on).

Each adult arriving in the country can bring in certain amounts of alcohol and tobacco products duty-free.

Snorkeling Equipment

Southern brown stingray (Dasyatis americana) and a snorkeler at Gibbs Cay in the Turks and Caicos
Snorkeling with the stingrays at Gibbs Cay.

Several of the Providenciales water sports shops carry a great selection of snorkeling equipment, but due to import, customs duty, and markup, prices are higher than what you would typically pay in the United States or Canada.

An inexpensive, one-size-fits-all kit with a mask, snorkel, and fins usually isn’t the best choice. Neither are full-face snorkel masks, which can be very dangerous for inexperienced snorkelers to use. Opt to visit an actual dive shop to get proper fitting and advice. If your hometown area doesn’t have such a shop, the next best choice is to shop with a reputable online retailer that carries a wide selection and also accepts returns in cases of poor fit.

Decent snorkel gear will provide years of good service, so long as you rinse it in fresh water after using it in the ocean and store it in a cool, dry place.

It is possible to rent equipment on Providenciales and Grand Turk from the local dive shops, but consider that the equipment may be well-used and that the cost over a few days will be close to the original purchase price of the equipment.

If you plan to snorkel on more remote reefs, consider bringing an inflatable diving float that signals your location to boaters in the area.


While the Turks and Caicos Islands is slowly moving towards a more cashless economy—most of your expenses, including accommodation, groceries, dining, vehicle rentals, and some excursions can be paid by card—it's important to carry cash with you, especially for making purchases at smaller establishments.

ATMs are not as common in the Turks and Caicos as they are in other destinations. It’s not difficult to find one on Providenciales, but some of the other islands may only have one, two, or none at all. Sometimes, all ATMs in the Grace Bay area are offline and out-of-service at the same time.

Reserve cash for taxi fares, crafts or souvenirs at small markets, tips for resort or villa staff, and certain water sports activities on the beach.

Hat and Sunglasses

Tandem kayak in the channels at Mangrove Cay
Polarized sunglasses cut down on reflections and make it much easier to see into the water below when kayaking and paddleboarding.

The sun is typically intense in the Turks and Caicos, so you’ll want to have a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

If you expect to spend much time on the water, polarized sunglasses are a great item to have, as they cut down on glare and reflections on the water’s surface. When stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking, polarized sunglasses make it much easier to spot wildlife in the water below.

Long-term salt water and sunscreen exposure can damage some sunglasses. Considering this and the chance of losing sunglasses during your vacation, it's best to purchase an inexpensive pair or one designed for marine use.


Although it’s possible to have prescriptions filled locally, to ensure that you have what you need and to avoid excess costs, bring any necessary medications.

Baggage delays do happen, so keep important medicines in your hand luggage, not a checked bag. If you are traveling with prescription drugs, make sure to bring your doctor’s prescription and store your medicine in its original packaging to avoid confusion at customs.

Over-the-counter medications like allergy pills, pain relievers, motion sickness pills, anti-itch creams, and cough medicine are readily available on Providenciales. Providenciales has several dispensing pharmacies and Grand Turk has one. The other islands don’t have any.


Some of the local pharmacies do stock makeup products, but the selection is very limited. Pack whatever makeup you think you will need for your trip. If you're staying in the Grace Bay area, Flamingo Pharmacy and Grace Bay Pharmacy have a small cosmetics section with foundations, mascaras, blushes, lipsticks, and a few other products available.


La Famille Express shipwreck and kiteboarder at Long Bay in the Turks and Caicos
Kiteboarder at the La Famille Express wreck off of Providenciales. Local water sports businesses will want proof of skill before renting certain equipment.

Generally, you should bring less clothing than you think you will need. Jackets, sweaters, or other cool-weather garments are typically never required.

Long-sleeve rash guards are great for any active water sport or activity. These shirts protect against sunburn—especially when snorkeling—don’t get bogged down with water, and prevent chaffing. If you plan to explore the hiking trails and remote sites of the Turks and Caicos Islands, pack a light-weight, long-sleeve shirt and pants that can protect you from mosquito bites.

Consider bringing water shoes as well. Several shore snorkeling sites on Providenciales, such as Smith's Reef and the reef off Babalua Beach, have rocky access points that are uncomfortable to traverse.

While there are many restaurants and establishments on Providenciales that accept casually-dressed patrons, some places have a dress code. Pack a few smart casual items, such as button-up shirts, sundresses, and sandals or loafers.

If you forget swimwear, there are many stores that sell it in the Grace Bay area, albeit for high prices. Note that basics—such as undergarments and socks—are very difficult to find in the tourist areas of Providenciales.

Inflatables and Beach Toys

Chances are that your local stores back home will have a wider selection and cheaper prices than what’s available locally. The excellent Building Materials Do It Center has the best selection of beach gear and toys on the island.

Swim Diapers

While regular diapers are readily available at most groceries and pharmacies, swim diapers are much harder to find. It's best to bring as many as you think your child will need for the duration of your trip.

Soft Cooler

Although not quite as functional as a proper hard insulated cooler, a collapsible soft cooler bag is great for the beach or day trips. So are insulated, reusable water bottles.

ID and Certification Cards

Last but not least, ensure that you have all the necessary IDs and certification cards you’ll need. This includes diving, kiteboarding, and other water sport certification cards.

Sparkling ocean water and white sand at Governor's Beach in the Turks and Caicos
The amazing Governor's Beach, Grand Turk.

What Not to Bring

Do not bring firearms or ammunition (including stray bullets) to the Turks and Caicos Islands. Posession of any of these items is taken very seriously and can result in a 12-year imprisonment sentence.

Controlled substances, including vapes that use cannabis oil and products with THC, are also prohibited. Bringing medical cannabis or medications containing THC or CBD, even with a doctor's note, is illegal, and persons who attempt to import drugs are subject to a five-year sentence and a fine of up to $75,000.

Fisherfolk and freedivers should note that spearfishing in the Turks and Caicos Islands is illegal (unless you are hunting lionfish, for which you will need to obtain a special fishing license). Do not bring Hawaiian slings or spear guns into the country.

Generally, it's best to not travel with expensive jewelry. While robberies are rare, the chance of losing jewelry on vacation is higher.

As previously mentioned, home-packed meats and most types of home-packed food products (such as home-packed grains, dried fruit, and so on) are prohibited.

Useful Links