In my last newsletter, I told you that I was putting my money where my mouth was and braving it out into the international realm for the first time since COVID impacted the world so devastatingly. I traveled to and am still in, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and as I promised, I want to share with you my experience leading up to travel day, the actual flying experience, and most importantly what it’s like on the ground in a foreign place.
Mind you, Turks and Caicos is not a million miles away, nor is it a completely foreign culture; nevertheless, a trip here requires more effort than my only other travels in the last 14-months which required a 630-mile drive through four southern states. To travel anywhere outside of the U.S. right now has at least one thing in common, which is proof of a negative antigen test taken within 3-days of your return flight home to the U.S. But in the case of Turks and Caicos (let’s call it TCI for the remainder of this newsletter), visitors are required to: a) provide a negative PCR test result within 5-days of entry into TCI; b) provide proof of travel insurance which covers COVID-19 medical costs and full hospitalization, doctors’ visits, prescriptions, and air ambulance; and c) a completed online health screening questionnaire. Once all documentation is uploaded to a web portal (and it is pretty detailed), you’ll receive authorization to proceed with your travel plans. Importantly, you should print all of the necessary forms and carry them with you into the Customs and Immigration arrival hall. With everything in order, you're now ready to enjoy your stay at your approved and TCI Assured-compliant accommodations (villa, resort or house rental unit).
I’d like to also say something about my actual airport and flight experience. I flew Delta via Atlanta (of course!) and was able to enjoy a now-gone benefit of middle seats being blocked. Even so, my 6am flight was a good bit less than full, and my connecting flight into TCI was even less full. I worried about being masked for hours on end from entry into the MSY airport until arriving at my resort about 8 hours later. But in fact, it was much less in actuality than I had worried myself into. After all, it was one of the tickets into paradise! Before mentioning the resorts I stayed in and others that I toured, let me just say that the taxis I experienced in TCI were all clean, comfortable, and much newer vehicles than I expected, but the government imposed pricing scheme makes them pretty costly.
So, with moderate work required (testing, applications and authorizations), and good, on-time flight and in-airport experiences, and a quick, comfortable taxi ride under my belt, let me tell you where I stayed this past week. If you’d like to know the intimate details of resorts and my impressions, please give me a call. My first stay was at one of the 5 Virtuoso-preferred resorts on the main island of Providenciales (Provo). First up was The Palms on famed Grace Bay, followed by its sister property, The Shore Club, another Virtuoso-preferred resort, but The Shore Club is located on Long Bay Beach. And lastly 3 nights back on Grace Bay at charming and small Point Grace Resort. Each was unique from the other. Additionally, I toured 3 other Virtuoso-preferred resorts on Provo. These included the very secluded and super-luxe Amanyara on the Westernmost tip of Provo, and chic-modern Wyamara Resort and Villas, and the expansive Grace Bay Club in the heart of the 12-mile stretch of Grace Bay on the island’s north-facing coast. On the luxury scale, there are different aspects of each resort that will appeal to a variety of tastes and requirements. And as with all that I write about in my newsletters, I kindly ask you to consider speaking with me about how I can assist you and the value I can bring to your travels as a travel advisor, rather than taking the information here and booking a resort on your own. As always, my consultation calls are complimentary, and I invite you to give me a try.
In summary, I admit that I was a tad nervous about my first international trip during you-know-what, but my experience leading up to and now being on the ground has been 100% worth the effort. Susan and I had our secret hopes dashed that our conveniently scheduled antigen tests yesterday at the resort would come back negative and that we’d have to quarantine here and postpone our reuniting with Andrew and Daisy as originally scheduled. Semi-sadly our tests came back, “COVID Not-Detected”!
If planned properly, TCI can be a fantastic travel experience for you too, and I really would love to be the resource who can make it happen for you!
Recommendation: Grace’s Cottage (Point Grace Resort) for lovely outdoor dining in a lush garden setting.
Thanks once again for reading and taking in my perspectives on travel, especially my TCI experience. Please stay tuned for another newsletter coming to you this week as I unfold a new opportunity for us together. This time it will be “Come Sail with Me”! And, literally, I mean, come sail with me.
“Take only memories, leave only footprints”
Chief Seattle, Suquamish and Duwamish Native American chief, died 1866