One of the best beaches I’ve ever visited was Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos. Miles of white sand along the most beautiful turquoise water I’ve ever seen. It was a place I never knew I had to see, but now that I have, I tell everyone that it needs to be on their bucket list. The only thing that would make it better is to visit Turks and Caicos on points and miles.
We had booked our trip to Beaches in Turks and Caicos prior to the whole COVID uproar. I had talked my husband into actually paying for it because I book so many trips for free with travel hacking. However, it is possible to travel hack and stay at Beaches. More on that later.
We flew United Airlines there and back, but American, Delta, and Jet Blue also fly there, so you definitely have some choices on what miles to use. Because I did not want to fly out at zero dark thirty, we took a flight that got us to Washington Dulles airport and then spent the night at a Marriott using a free hotel certificate. This was actually how the flight was set up-a big layover in Washington. This worked out really nicely for us as we arrived refreshed and enjoyed our first day after only a 3-hour flight from Washington. Here is our flight, shown on different days, though.
It cost 35K plus $93.15 a person. Because we both have status with United, we get economy plus seats. On our return flight, we were even upgraded to first class.
In the following example, you can see that flying American Airlines costs 65,000 AA miles roundtrip with taxes/fees of less than $100.
This example shows that the first flight is long, necessitating a stopover in another city. This is how my first flight to Turks went on United.
Sometimes, with award travel, it makes sense to reposition to get a shorter flight. In this instance, traveling out of Atlanta would cost the same, but finding a cheap flight to Atlanta might make it worthwhile. Flexibility and creative thinking are key to finding what will work for you. Often, just looking at different dates might find you a better flight.
I tried to fly seats out of Denver but was unable. However, if you live in the NYC area, LA area, or in this case, Phoenix, you can find cheap tickets to Turks.
There are no Marriott, Hilton, or IHG hotels in Turks and Caicos, so you can’t use those points for lodging. There is one option for using your Hyatt points (or Chase Ultimate Rewards that you transfer to Hyatt). Point Grace Resort and Spa is part of the Small Luxury Hotels program that has partnered with Hyatt. You can stay here for 40K points a night. When staying here, you won’t get any of the normal Hyatt benefits like free parking or any status benefits that you may have with Hyatt. There is also Sailrock Resort which also goes for 40K points a night, but we had a hard time finding availability here.
One place that is listed is The Venetian at Grace Bay. It would fit a family at about 50,000 Ultimate Rewards a night for a two-bedroom suite. It includes a kitchen so you could cook some meals too, making it more affordable.
An even cheaper choice is the Oasis at Grace Bay. Remember, Grace Bay is the beach you want to be on. We actually rented hydrofoils near this hotel, and the water and beach were every bit as lovely as near Beaches. I didn’t see the hotel, but we rented chairs there for a bit, and everyone that was staying near us was having a great time. It is definitely more affordable! The best part is that it has great reviews on Trip Advisor.
Another suggestion to book lodging is to use the Capital One Venture and virtually “erase” some of your costs by staying in one of the many AirBnb’s on the island. Read our review of the Capital One Venture here.
The number one thing to do is anything revolving around the beach. Snorkel, rent a catamaran, kayak, hydrofoil, deep-sea fishing, and even scuba certifying were things we did. To cut costs with these activities, you may use some bank account bonuses and save that money to cover activities.
Taxis are expensive in Turks. We paid $9 a person for a quick ride to town ($3 for those under 12). You could rent a car but be forewarned: traffic does not run in the same direction as we are used to in the US.
Because our resort was all-inclusive, we only ate out once. The prices where we ate were not that bad, though, and we noticed many cute restaurants.
However, you get there, a visit to Turks and Caicos is bound to be memorable wherever you stay. You can definitely cut costs by using points and miles for your Turks and Caicos vacation. Enjoy the white beaches and turquoise waters soon!
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