What to Pack for Turks and Caicos in 2021 for Men & Women

Last Updated on November 2, 2021 by haveclotheswilltravel

Wondering what to wear/pack for your trip to Turks and Caicos? This post features must-bring items for both men and women in 2021. 

Turks and Caicos was an interesting destination to pack for. Not because the dress code is too crazy or anything –  it was just a place where I really didn’t want to have to buy anything I had forgotten pack. Everything is imported here and prices are about 3 times what you pay at home in the US (and prices are still allll in USD, so you won’t have any conversion rates going in your favor). This is the first vacation of my life I actually packed food in my luggage! I’ll explain more about that at the end of the post…

So, whether you’re the classic beach bum or you’re hoping to be a bit more active on your vacation, this post will help you decide what to pack for Turks and Caicos.

Turks and Caicos Packing List - swimwear and cover ups are a must
Bring your beachwear!

What to Pack for Turks & Caicos

Luggage

If you’re heading to a resort to lounge in the sun for a week – you could easily pack everything you need in a carry-on. We are fans of Standard Luggage’s carry-on, as we can use these bags on the small regional jets we have to fly, and we don’t have to gate check them!

Standard’s Carry on Backpack Review
Standard Luggage Carry on Backpack

However, because I was staying on Salt Cay for a week and then moving over to Grand Turk and then Provo to lounge on the beach. I took my American Tourister suitcase to check. (These are such great budget-friendly hard shell suitcases. I’ve used their checked bags for almost all of my travels around the world.) I checked a bag because we were also packing food, which was a new addition to my packing routine!

I also swear by Carry Courage’s sustainable luggage tags!

Review of the EXPLORER Keychain Luggage Tag
My Carry Courage sustainable luggage tag

Packing Cubes

After this trip, I 100% swear by using packing cubes. (I don’t know why I resisted for so long!) Here’s why… on our boat ride from Grand Turk to Salt Cay we had 2 humpback whales following alongside our boat. Our captain killed the engine and asked if we wanted to snorkel with them right then and there. OF COURSE, we wanted to!

Thanks to my packing cubes, it took me 2 minutes flat to quickly pull out the cube that had my swimsuits in it and change. I ended up seeing both whales, crystal clear, under the water! It was unreal!

I swear by packing cubes now! I was so much more organized and packed so much more efficiently for this trip to Turks and Caicos.

Bagail 6 Set Packing Cubes,3 Various Sizes Travel Luggage Packing Organizers
These are the packing cubes I use.

Carry-on Essentials for Turks and Caicos

Traveling in 2021 is a little different than it used to be, but honestly isn’t all that bad! A few key things you’ll want to make sure you have are:

  • You will need all of your COVID paperwork PRINTED – this is as important as bringing your Passport!
  • Masks  – Have at least 2 that are easily accessible. I liked to be able to change my mask after a few hours of wearing it.
  • Antibacterial wipes – While our plane was quite clean, the table we sat at in the airport was FILTHY, as were the bathrooms. (SO glad we had wipes.)
  • Travel-size hand sanitizer
  • Small snacks – not all airlines are doing food and beverage services. Having a granola bar or a little bag of chips/crackers is a good idea.
  • Headphones
  • Battery pack – especially if you’re planning to watch any shows on your phone!
  • Kindle or book/magazine

Pro tip: all of the things listed here are also good things to throw in your beach bag! 

Turks and Caicos Packing Essential for Women + What to Wear

1.) Dresses

Personally, I’m a big fan of dresses. I only wore lightweight dresses on this trip because they take up less room in my luggage and are SO comfy to wear in the warm weather. (Shorts are always riding up in places I’d rather they didn’t!)

Really, you would only need to pack a few casual and comfortable sundresses for a week-long trip to Turks and Caicos. I like to dress up a bit, though, so I also packed a couple “dressy” dresses. Below, are a few dresses I swear by for traveling (and wore on this trip).

Versatile Dresses – Can Go From Day to Night

  • Karina Dresses – I packed a few of these. They are wrinkle-free and SO breathable – they are my go-to travel dresses! (Full review, here.)
  • ScotteVest Dorothy Dress (use code HCWT for 15% off your order) – this is my favorite warm-weather flying dress as it has so many pockets. I can also wear it at night when paired with a belt and some jewelry. It also doubles as a beach coverup because it’s so lightweight and dries so quickly. (I wore this several times and washed it in the sink!) Size down if you buy this, though – mine is a bit big on me.

“Dressy” Dresses

Diane Von Furstenberg Wrap Dress worn in Turks and Caicos
Diane Von Furstenberg Wrap Dresses are great for vacation too!

2.) Not a fan of dresses? Here are other must-bring clothing items!

  • Shorts – any length goes! Wear whatever you are comfortable with. (I would pack 2 pairs, just to be safe.)
  • Lightweight T-shirts and tank tops
  • Pants or Capris – you may want 1 pair of lightweight capris or pants along. There were a couple of nights it was quite windy, and I was chilled wearing a dress. This may come in handy at night, too, if the bugs are unbearable or you get sunburnt. Also, I used pants + a travel top for my plane outfit to go home. (I live in Wisconsin and would freeze wearing a dress right now.) I, personally, used this travel shirt and these pants for this trip. 

3.) Swimsuits + Cover-ups!

If you only pack one thing for this trip, make sure it’s a cute swimsuit and a coverup! These are the most important clothing items you can bring to Turks and Caicos. I packed WAY too many swimsuits. You really only need to bring 2 (maybe 3) – just enough so one can be drying while you’re wearing one. If they start to get a little gross, wash them in the sink with these laundry soap sink packets. (I swear by these laundry soaps! They work great for handwashing delicate items too.)

4.) Cardigan or Lightweight Jacket

There will likely be a couple of nights where it feels a little chilly (or you’re eating inside somewhere where the AC is blasting). It’s a good idea to have a light jacket or cardigan.

Sandals to wear in Turks and Caicos

5.) Shoes

  • *MUST BRING* Flip flops – 1 pair of trusty Old Navy flip flops were my most used pair of shoes on this trip!
  • 1 pair of “nice” sandals – I always bring my Salt Water Sandals, as they go with everything and are a bit dressier than flip flops.
  • Sneakers – I wore these on the plane and had them along in case we decided to do any excursions that required closed-toe shoes.
  • Water socks – I didn’t bring these, but a lot of the locals recommend them.
A sun hat and swimsuits are the most important clothes to bring to Turks and Caicos!
A sun hat and swimsuits are the most important clothes to bring to Turks and Caicos!

6.) Accessories

Note: I know some people recommend bringing a beach towel. I would only do this if you are staying in a villa that, for some weird reason, doesn’t have towels. All hotels (and almost all villas should) have towels for you to use. They will likely just be the plain white ones, but it beats packing a big beach towel!

If you REALLY want to bring your own beach towel, then I recommend bringing a linen beach towel. These will be easier to pack and take up far less space in your bag.

Swim trunks doubled as shorts for my husband most days in Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos Packing Essential for Men + What to Wear

1.) Button-downs + T-shirts 

For during the day, my husband liked wearing short-sleeved button-down shirts. (Pictured above.)

2.) Shorts + Pants

This was for a dinner at our resort that had a dress code.

3.) Swim Trunks

During the day, he was usually wearing his swim trunks with one of the button-downs mentioned above. He packed 3 swim trunks for this 16-day trip, but says if we would have only been here a week he would have only have used 1, maybe 2 because they dried so fast.

When I let him dress himself on vacation...
When I let him dress himself on vacation…

Shoes

  • 1 pair of flip flops – he likes this pair
  • 1 pair of sandals – these were typically worn at night for dinner
  • 1 pair of boat shoes – he wore these for our dinners that had a dress code
  • 1 pair of sneakers – these were for the plane and because I made him bring them in case we decided to do any excursions that required closed-toe shoes. (He thinks he packed at least one pair too many.)
  • Water socks – he didn’t bring these, but a lot of the locals recommend them.

What to wear in Turks and Caicos for men

Accessories 

Review of the ADVENTURER Cosmetics Bag 
I also love using Carry Courage’s sustainable cosmetic bag to organize my cosmetics and toiletries when traveling.

What to Pack Toiletries & Medications

Note: the voltage and outlets are the same as they are in the US. If you are traveling from the US you can use your own straightener/hairdryer and whatnot here!

Snorkeling Equipment

Now, you can easily rent this once you get to Turks and Caicos. However, this is one of the things my husband and I regretted not packing. A lot of people had their own snorkel masks and fins. It’s much more sanitary, and it’s cost-effective if you plan to snorkel on more than one vacation in your life!

The snorkel masks I saw a lot of people using were the ones pictured above. Everyone seemed to love them!

Food I Packed for Salt Cay

So, food in Turks and Caicos is quite expensive (I have a whole post coming on this next week). If you are planning to cook for yourself or aren’t staying at a resort – try to pack some stuff in your bag! (Only bring packaged food… NOT meat, veggies, fruits, bread, etc.) We had a week staying in a vacation rental in Salt Cay and this is what I packed in my checked bag:

  • Granola bars
  • Coffee
  • Packaged sauces I like (like this one for enchiladas)
  • Popcorn
  • Oatmeal packets
  • Noodles
  • A few spices I planned to cook with
  • Dried fruit
  • Ziploc bags

Basically, bring any breakfast food, snack food, etc. that you like. This was the first vacation I had ever used my suitcase space to bring food with me!

Whale Gopro shot
My new whale friend from Salt Cay!

GoPro

You might also want a GoPro for underwater photos/videos. We have the GoPro HERO9 bundle. It worked really well for filming the whales we were swimming with on Salt Cay! I also used this dome lens to get some above/below water shots. (The photo with my sun hat in the water was used taking that lens.)

Using a VPN When Traveling to Turks and Caicos


VPN is short for “virtual private network.” A VPN (like IPVanish) sets up a private connection between your device and whatever network you are connected to – so, no one can see your browsing data. It is important to use a VPN anytime you are connected to public Wifi (such as at a restaurant, resort, hotel, cafe, airport, etc.). This is because when you connect to a public network no matter where you are, you run the risk of a hacker grabbing your unencrypted data. Trust me, speaking from experience here…this can put a real damper on your trip if your banking, phone or email get hacked while you’re traveling!

VPNs can also help you save on domestic flights, help you watch Netflix shows not available in the US and more! You can read more about using a VPN in my post “Why I Use a VPN When Traveling and at Home (And You Should Too).”

Need a housesitter while you are gone?


I, personally, recommend TrustedHouseSitters if you need to find a housesitter/someone to watch your pets while you are away.

How TrustedHousesitters works is they connect home and pet owners with trustworthy, verified sitters who won’t charge to look after your pets, in exchange for a unique place to stay. They have sitters and homes all over the world!

It’s a fantastic way to find trustworthy people to watch your home and pets while you are away. (And on the flipside, it’s a cool way to stay in different areas of the country and world without having to pay for accommodation! I have a friend who literally didn’t own or rent a home for years, and only used TrustedHouseSitters to find the next spot she was going to stay.) 

  • Click here for more information on TrustedHouseSitters.

Travel Insurance

As of 2021, many destinations (including Turks and Caicos) require having travel medical insurance that covers COVID-19. Squaremouth is the only site that currently lets you filter travel insurance policies for COVID-19 coverage. I, personally, use Squaremouth for finding the best insurance policies for my travels, and I have already used them for trips planned in 2021. (I also used them for this trip to Turks and Caicos.) They’re also recommended by Forbes! You can click here to get your free travel insurance quote.

*If anyone has any questions at all about what to wear or what to pack for Turks and Caicos, please reach out in the comments section at the end of this post!

What to wear in Turks and Caicos for both men and women

What to Pack for Turks and Caicos in 2021 for Men & Women

I appreciate each & every share. Thank you!

6 Comments

    1. Hi! Thank you so much! I did use the GoPro 9 for all water videos/photos and had zero issues. It’s super easy to use, and I love how our videos and photos turned out. It’s also waterproof up to 30 feet, so you don’t have to buy a special case for it or anything.

      Just note, not all photos in this post were taken with the GoPro 9 (GoPro pics are any in the water). The rest of the photos were taken with my Canon Mark III and a 50 mm lens or 24-105mm lens. The rest of my camera gear can be found, here: https://www.amazon.com/shop/havclothwiltrav?listId=1LJ4INTCYYK1G

  1. Lindsey,
    Thanks so much for the lovely travel inspo! I’m so excited to begin traveling again. I love the part about the whales! Packing cubes are so handy, especially if you’re disorganized like me. 🙂

  2. So much to comment on!!!
    1-I packed breakfast food when we went to Hawaii on our honeymoon, and my hubby thought I was crazy. Until we were over there and he saw the prices. Wait until I tell Rob you did this, LOL
    2-Packing cubes….OMG I was the same way. I couldn’t wrap my brain around how they could make a difference. But they do!!
    3-Water socks…we have them now that we water walk and I just love them. My feet used to get so sore from the bottom of the pool, and now my toenail polish seems to last a little longer.
    XOOX
    Jodie

    1. That’s right!! Hawaii is the same way. Haha, you best bet I’ll be packing food when I go to Hawaii one day too! I honestly think I ordered the same packing cubes as you too? I remember reading your blog post about them! I got some nasty blisters from our snorkel flippers, which seems like it would have been prevented by wearing aqua socks. I’ll be investing in a pair before our next trip!

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