Our trip to Beaches Turks & Caicos was nearly a year in the making. It all started when I tried to book a room during the kids’ Christmas break last year. I learned that these weeks are the part of the resort’s busy season, and sell out a year in advance! I figured a resort that sells out that far in advance was a place I needed to check out.
After talking to two other families we are good friends with, we decided to all check it out during the following fall school break. We figured the adults would have a great time hanging at the pool or beach, and with our kids so close in age, they would have a great time hanging out together. With plans set, each family booked 7 nights in the Caribbean section and the countdown started.
With the trip booked so far in advance it seemed like the day of our departure would never arrive. The final week was crazy with group texting of daily, half-day, and eventually hourly countdowns. The Count and Success Kid even got in on the action.
You could feel the excitement in the air at our departure gate, most if it coming from the adults. We were soon settled in our seats, ready for the 2.5-hour flight to Providenciales International Airport. As we descended toward the airport we caught our first glimpse of the turquoise water that we had been looking forward to for so many months.
The Providenciales airport is a typical, small Caribbean airport with a combined runway and taxiway. When the plane came to a complete stop after landing, it turned around and taxied back up the runway to the terminal. We even got to de-plane using an Arrested Development-style stair car. (I grabbed a quick photo of the stair car before I was told to put my camera away!)
Once inside the terminal we cleared immigration and proceeded to the baggage claim area. (If you are traveling with children, or fully enjoyed the “free” Comfort+ drinks on the flight down, there are restrooms inside the terminal before immigration.) Baggage claim consisted of one baggage carousel, and we noticed that bags only made one trip around. When bags reached the end of the line they were pulled off and lined up. If you don’t see your bags on the carousel, check the bags that have already been pulled off.
After our group of 11 had their bags, we breezed through customs and headed for the exit. The Beaches transportation counter is located to the left right outside the exit doors. When we reached the counter we simply gave them our name and they checked us off their list. We then moved to the van staging area where they quickly assembled the guests waiting into van-loads and sent them on their way. It was a little hectic feeling, but I would say that it was less then 10 minutes from when we exited the airport to when we were loaded on a van and on our way.
The van ride to Beaches Turks & Caicos only took about 15 or 20 minutes. Along the way, our driver highlighted several points of interest. Before we knew it we were pulling up at our lobby and unloading.
Beaches Tip. Beaches Turks & Caiscos is an all-inclusive resort. This includes tipping. While tipping is “allowed” at some all-inclusive resorts, Beaches makes a point to tell you not to tip. However, the van drivers do not work for Beaches. Plan to have some cash on hand to tip the driver when he drops you off. I tipped $20 for our family of four.
After unloading we headed to lobby to check-in. I was in a bit of hurry, and missed the welcome drinks to the right of the entranceway. When I realized this though I sent my wife out for a Rum Punch while I handled checking in!
The check-in process was interesting and, in my opinion, and bit frustrating. As we entered the lobby we were greeted and asked to have a seat on some sofas. The greeter then disappeared and came back a few minutes later with an iPad for each family. On the iPad I had to verify all of our contact information, and enter birthdays for each family member. As a final step, each family member had to sign a legal statement. I have no clue what we signed. I was on vacation. I read legal agreements when I am at work, not when I am on vacation!
It seems to me that all of this should be completed before we get there. Apparently there is a pre-arrival step that can be completed before you arrive that streamlines this process. However, you have to complete that step at least 4 days before you arrive. If you miss this 4-day-before window, you are out of luck. Plus, I never received any information about pre-arrival check-in, and they had my email address.
Regardless of the slightly frustrating process I was on vacation and enjoying a Rum Punch so I just got it done and moved on. After completing the iPad check-in I took the iPad to the check-in desk, gave them a credit card to have on file, and was given our room packet.
Beaches Tip. Beaches Turks & Caicos will place a $300 hold on the credit card you give them so have a credit card handy rather than a debit card.
With all of the “paperwork” taken care of it was now time to fully embrace vacation mode. After waiting for nearly a year for this vacation I planned on fully enjoying the sun, sand, and unlimited food & drinks for the next 6.5 days!