PLANNING A VACATION IN TURKS AND CAICOS WITH KIDS

Boy, did we need a vacation. Winter on the East Coast this year was brutal. When a last minute invitation came our way to vacation for a week in Turks and Caicos, my husband and I scrambled to make it happen. Our children are five and two, so hearing the words "last minute" and "vacation" together normally scares me.In addition, our youngest has a food allergy that requires an additional level of preparation and research before traveling outside of the country. It normally takes us several months, if not longer, to plan a vacation and navigate the logistics. But alas, we were desperate for the beach and warmer temps. Off we went to Turks and Caicos with kids.TRAVELING TO TURKS AND CAICOS WITH KIDS.Flying with kids, especially a five and a two-year-old is always an adventure, but the three hour flight from New York to Turks was actually pretty manageable. Upon arrival, the Providenciales Airport (PLS) is small, easy to navigate, and zero frills. We traveled through the week, arriving on a Wednesday and departing on a Monday, which definitely helped with the crowds.Renting a Car in Turks and Caicos.We decided to rent a car for the trip because we were staying at a house and with two car seats, taxis would have been a pain. The car rental shops are located near the airport and bus service is provided. Keep in mind that when renting a car in Turks and Caicos, the traffic lanes are reversed. My husband drove an American style car on the "wrong" side of the road for the entire week, bless his heart. The Best Beaches For Kids In Turks and Caicos.The beaches in Turks and Caicos are truly stunning and depending on where you go, amazingly kid friendly. The water is absolutely crystal clear, warm, and calm on a nice day. My five-year-old was comfortable wadding in the knee-deep water and could easily walk out to the sand bar. What surprised me most about the vacation was the ease of spending time at the beach versus the pool at the house. Managing two little ones by the pool was much more difficult than at the beach, who knew?One of the nicest features of Turks and Caicos is its American-like grocery stores. As a mom of a food allergy sufferer, Graceway Supermarkets made buying food really simple. The one caveat to an otherwise great setup is the price. Groceries in Turks are really (really) expensive. A large portion of the food is imported from the U.S. and the prices reflect that.Despite making several grocery store runs throughout the week, we did enjoy several meals out with the kids.Packing For Turks and Caicos With Kids.Packing for a beach vacation with kids always includes the basics; bathing suits, t-shirts, shorts, sun dresses, hats, and lots of sun screen. When traveling to Turks, I recommend tossing in these additional items.