Moving to Trinidad & Tobago
Last updated on Nov 27, 2021
Summary: Moving to Trinidad & Tobago: Expats, retirees and digital nomads talk about everything you need to know before moving to Trinidad & Tobago.
What do I need to know before moving to Trinidad & Tobago?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Trinidad & Tobago, they said:
"Laventille, Enterprise, Sea Lots, Blue Basin and some rural places are where you DON'T want to live. If you are brown, you will fit in anywhere. Try for higher ground because flooding is common on days of rain, but not where vegetation is missing because mudslides do happen," added another expat who made the move to Carenage.
"We were limited to what the realitor wanted to show us, mainly West Morings. My husband talked to people at work (other expats and locals) and they told us about different areas. We insisted in viewing the other areas we knew of. (Like the US, realitors are looking at their best interest; not yours. They want to show you where they have rental properties, need I say more...) Secondly, Drive to work and back during your work hours once you find the area you like. Adjust the hours or the location depending on your choice. Everyone complains about traffic, but Houston's traffic is the same if not worse with 6 lanes on every road," explained one expat living in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.
How do I find a place to live in Trinidad & Tobago?
We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:
"I looked everywhere and found a gorgeous home in a gated community with NO EXPATS and all upper crust Trinis," commented one expat who made the move to Carenage.
"We do not have children going to the international school, so that opened our options where to live. We chose Moka, Maraval by the golf course. It's green and mountainouse. It's a 10 minute drive to the city or a 15 minute drive to the Carribean, Maracus Beach. The houses are newer and larger. You get more for your money. **Fresh Fruit / Vegetable stands on corners. You won't find that in West Morings," remarked another expat in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.
What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Trinidad & Tobago?
"In a mansion basically - every bedroom is ensuite and has a veranda. Pool, jacuzzi and view of the sea. I didn't want to live with expats, I wanted to live with Trinis. There is a gate at the community entrance and I have gates at my house," remarked another expat in Carenage, Trinidad & Tobago.
"4 Bedroom / 3.5 Bath with a pool and small yard. Yes, there are also nice townhomes with plunge pools available in the area," said another expat in Port of Spain.
What is the average cost of housing in Trinidad & Tobago?
If you are thinking about moving to Trinidad & Tobago, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:
"Lower. If you want the false security of where expats live (and thus to me, a target for when SHTF) you are going to pay crazy high prices because Trinis rent these houses to corporations and get big money from them. If you live in a nice community without expats in Trinidad, it is much more reasonable. My house is $2,800US with 5 bedroom, 5 bath, all stainless kitchen, pool, jacuzzi, view and I'm right by Chaguaramus, beaches, and town. The one road in and out sucks but nothing is perfect. PS - my electric bill per month is the equivalent of $150US - I paid $350 a month in the summer to cool my ranch house in the US!!," remarked another expat who made the move to Carenage.
"Yes, the housing is double and maybe even triple in some areas. Average housing is $4000 US to $7000 US. Furnished housings go for more when available. **Utilities are cheaper than Houston. Cable / Internet and Electric are 1/4 the price we paid in the states," explained one expat living in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.
What should I pack when moving to Trinidad & Tobago?
We asked people living in Trinidad & Tobago to list three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They responded:
"WIFI Extender (homes are concrete), Hoodies, Sweaters, Jackets for indoors, Tech Gadgets," remarked another expat who made the move to Carenage.
"Originally we were supposed to have a furnished home... With that in mind we packed enough for 2 weeks to live in a hotel. There's not much we brought that we shouldn't have. Things that I wish I would have brought... 1) Bedding: If you like 1000 count sheets like I do, they are hard to find. If you find them they are expensive and not the quality as the ones in the states. Plus, bedding sets are hard to find and there is no variety. 2) Summer clothes: Clothes are expensive and everything looks the same. You pay about $50 US for a sun dress that you would buy for $15 - $20 US. 3) Spices: You are limited to local spices and seasonings. Some grocery stores sell imported items, but you are limited to what they provide," explained one expat living in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.
What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Trinidad & Tobago?
We asked people in Trinidad & Tobago if they could share any humorous cultural blunders they commited. For new expats, keep in mind that these incidents are an inevitable part of expat life. Learning to laugh about them is the key!:
"On many occasions did not understand what was being said, despite understanding English! Thought that "lime" referred to a fruit - not to party," said another expat in Port of Spain.
"Only that my housekeeper's accent was so strong, I could only understand her half the time. My daughter had to translate," added another expat who made the move to Port of Spain.
About the Author
Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.
- Trinidad & Tobago Guide
- Healthcare & Health Insurance in Trinidad & Tobago
- Real Estate in Trinidad & Tobago
- Guide to Real Estate in Trinidad & Tobago
- Cost of Living in Trinidad & Tobago
- International Schools in Trinidad and Tobago
- 2022 Guide to Living in Trinidad & Tobago