West Moorings, Trinidad & Tobago

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 24, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in West Moorings, Trinidad & Tobago: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

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What do I need to know before moving to West Moorings?

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When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to West Moorings, they said:

"Think about your daily life and plan accordingly. Are you willing to fight traffic to live up in the hills or nearer to the beach? We weren't after doing that in California, so we chose a location close to our school and my husband's office. He has about a 15 min commute. We did bring our pets, a dog and two cats. You have to fill out forms, get permits and inspections, etc., and they were in quarantine (2 for 1 month, 1 for 3 months). It was expensive, but worth it for us. In dealing with the animal authorities, customs, and various bureaucracies, just remember to keep your cool and pay the man what he says you owe. It does no good to get mad or fight it. There's no computerization and things seem inefficient, but it's really just that Trinis value living in the moment and fun rather than time-management. The government seems designed to employ the most amount of people rather than building efficient processes. Dealing with the ministries was the hardest part of the move, but now that we're through it (we've been here 5 months now), I truly like living in beautiful Trinidad and especially the friendly, family-oriented culture. My kids have settled in, I'm happy with the school, and I've learned my way around town. Life is good, you just have to cultivate the right attitude," said another person in West Moorings.

""drivers" and "housekeepers" are common in the expat community. Often, a driver is referred to as a security guard. The quality and selection of meats and produce is dismal. The prices of food will shock you ( I recently bought a table-size bottle of Balsamic Vinegar for the same amount of money as a housekeepers day rate). You may find comfort in " gourmet " shops, within the upper class neighbourhoods ( WestMoorings, Maraval, Fairways ). Word of mouth is everything... I've never heard of any other kind of networking here. Respect and manners are alive and well here; " Good morning", "Good afternoon", and "Good evening" are expected and delivered. I have been heckled for being " white ". If I could advise you on choosing a home, I'd suggest thinking of your first selection as temporary, and making arrangements as such if at all possible. Once the culture shock wears off, and you begin to feel you're getting the hang of things around here (and there's soo much to get the hang of, let me tell you! (when someone asks you "are you gettin' through?" -what they're asking is whether or not you would like their help finding something"). It is then that you're going to find a home that suits you," remarked another expat in West Moorings.

"Generally in the areas I mentioned above there is very little crime. Houses in those areas are more expensive, but you can negotiate! Also, look at more than a couple of houses don't be pressured into renting the first one you see because the agent has told you it's safe and you won't find any better! There is a lot of crime in Trinidad but when you read the papers or listen to the news it is Trinidadian people fighting / killing each other! Saying that... you need to have your wits about you and be more alert. For example, when deciding where to park your car when you go to the supermarket. Definitely do not leave anything visable in your car. Don't walk around with lots of cash on you. Make sure that nobody is watching / following you when you are at a cash point. These are basic things that I suppose you subconsciously do back home, but here it needs to be done more vigilantly. All in all, I really like living in Trinidad, and I am sure that there are a lot worse places you could go! You are probably thinking "I am never moving there," but the climate is great, there are some beautiful places to visit (boat trips round the smaller islands of Trinidad and Tobago), seeing leatherback turtles and liming (chilling out) on the beach. What I like the most is having quality time with my family -- and getting that time is very easy in Trinidad. Also the other Caribbean islands are very accessible and most hotels give a special caricom rates," explained one expat living in West Moorings.

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How do I find a place to live in West Moorings?

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We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"We chose Westmoorings since our kids attend the nearby International School - they can walk back and forth and I don't have to fight the traffic. Traffic can be ver congested, but it's usually at predictable times, so you can avoid it if you plan your travel accordingly. I do pick my kids up if they stay at school until dark, which is around 5:30 here every evening. Day length varies only about 20 min in the course of a year since we're so near the equator," explained one expat living in West Moorings.

"Researching prior to launch armed us with details on the neighbourhoods. Upon arrival we sought a realtor who confirmed that we belonged in the expat neighbourhood. It is crowded, and security is a common feature from the building, to the neighbourhood, to the grocery store, to the mall," said another expat in West Moorings.

"We were informed by an estate agent the areas where expats tend to live, the areas being West Moorings, Goodwood Park and Fairways Maraval. The Estate agents are very good although you will find that all agents know each other and tend to have the same properties on their listings," added another person living in West Moorings.

What is a typical expat home or apartment like in West Moorings?

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"We rent a house near the ocean - it's bigger than our house in California. We are assisted in the rent by my husband's company - this is typical of the company-sponsored ex-pats stationed here for a few years. The neighborhood is wealthy Trinis or ex-pats. We have an alarm and gates and decorative bars on the windows - everyone here does. I feel safe enough here, but you do still have to be aware and careful. But it's no different from living in a big city in the US - you have to pay attention and be smart about security," said another person in West Moorings.

"A furnished condo in the Towers at WestMoorings. I've met more expats in this compound than I have locals: and the locals who live here are well-to-do," remarked another expat in West Moorings.

"We live in a 4 bedroom house with a pool and a small garden which is ideal for the children. There is not much land and the houses are generally overlooked by other houses! Also, because of the high crime rate in Trinidad you will find that there are wrought iron bars on all windows and doors. Some do blend in with the houses and after a while you do tend to forget about them - but they are obviously there for a reason," explained one expat living in West Moorings.

What is the average cost of housing in West Moorings?

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If you are thinking about moving to West Moorings, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"Housing costs are relatively the same as the Bay Area where we came from. I understand that compared other parts of the US it seems steep, but it's very comparable to the housing costs we were used to near San Francisco. We kept our house in California and have rented it out, so this move has actually lessened our housing costs," explained one expat.

"The housing costs is astronomically higher than they are in my home country...considering what you get. In fact, it reminds me of a booming small town that can get away with such exploitations. As with so much else on this gorgeous island, the choices are limited. However, the price of admission demands a certain calibre of tenant - and for that, I'd say, we willingly hand over the money," said another person in West Moorings.

"Housing Costs here are much higher and are increasing all the time. The areas that are sought after by Expats range on average from 4000$us to 7000$us. This is for a typical 3/4 bedroom house with a pool and maybe a small grassed yard," remarked another expat in West Moorings.

What to Bring When Moving to West Moorings (and what to leave behind)

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When we asked expats living in Trinidad & Tobago what they wish they had brought when moving to Trinidad & Tobago and what they wish they had left at home, they replied:

"I wish we had brought more sheets, hangers, and rugs - things like that and dishes and towels are super expensive here. I didn't need to bring pharmacy items such as acid-reducers, shampoo, bath items - pharmacies here are very well stocked and you can get things more easily than in the US! I also wish I had brought more items for my pets - food and other items are hard to find and expensive," explained one expat.

"I wish I had brought more toys for my relatively housebound child - especially more to go around for when we are blessed with the company of other children. I wish I had brought linens: what our furnished condo is supplied with, is quite tattered and IF you can find decent linens, you'll pay an arm and a leg for it. I wish I had brought a few small, cheap, essential household tools - as I now have small fortune invested in a coffee maker, a blender, a decent vacuum. Because I came to investigate prior to the relocation; there's precious little I wish I had left at home. I've since realized that this is a relatively self-medicated society... where when one identifies a problem, one would proceed directly to the pharmacy and get whatever is needed. The pharmacist has dispensed the items I asked about, if they weren't already out on the shelves. I'm sure they weren't controlled substances. There's an exceptional selection of everything I've ever sought in a drugstore. I had put a tremendous amount of thought into potential health drama's and brought the appropriate OTC ( over the counter ) medicines with me...unneccessarily. I've struggled with finding a few items: a dandruff shampoo that contains 2.5% selenium sulfide (need this for the skin common skin condition that presents in warm, humid climates ), and sewing related stuff. I wish I had brought a souvenier or two from home, that's re-usable and sharable... such as a cookie cutter in the shape of my flag, or a video of my homeland, and I especially wish I had a map on my wall for the ever increasing occasion when I meet another expat from another part of the world. The essential items I brought and appreciate everyday are Starbucks coffee ( what's here is definitely ...different ), my everyday spices ( although spices are not difficult to find, I did not want to invest a fortune in a new collection ), and the child's stuff: kids shower curtain, bedding, and electronics ( there are NO box stores here... No wal-mart, No toys r us, No thrift/second-hand stores )," said another person in West Moorings.

"We are a family of 4 with 2 small children. I was pregnant when I first came to Trinidad, but went home to have my child. I would recommend bringing your own baby equipment as the standard out here is not very good and is very expensive. (Also, I did not find many places that sold actual baby clothes, fine from 2 years on and reasonably cheap). Food out here is very expensive and has increased quite a lot in the 18 months that we have been here, a tin of heinz beans is about one pound fifty!!! Also you would not be able to find gluten free products if you were a celiac. We brought furniture with us to furnish our house due to being quite expensive here, although there is a "courts" furniture store but generally the furniture is not good quality or is extremely good quality which carries an extremely high price tag," remarked another expat in West Moorings.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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West Moorings, Trinidad & TobagoGuide to Living in West Moorings, Trinidad & Tobago

West Moorings, Trinidad & Tobago: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in West Moorings

Trinidad & Tobago Forum Trinidad & Tobago Forum
Join our Trinidad & Tobago forum to meet other people living in West Moorings, Trinidad & Tobago.

ContributeContribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in West Moorings.

Healthcare in Trinidad & TobagoHealthcare in Trinidad & Tobago

Information about healthcare and hospitals in Trinidad & Tobago.

Real Estate West MooringsRentals in West Moorings

Rental listings in West Moorings. Plus, advice about renting and buying real estate in West Moorings

West Moorings, Trinidad & TobagoExpats Talk about Living in West Moorings

Expats talk about what it's like living in West Moorings, Trinidad & Tobago: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What Newcomers to West Moorings Should Know

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