9 things I wished I knew before moving to the Cayman Islands

9 things I wished I knew before moving to the Cayman Islands

Updated by Tanesha Simpson

5 August 2019

Last updated: 5 August, 2019

Moving is never easy, but planning in advance can ease the stress of all the things you need to tackle. There are many resources to turn to for advice on living in the Cayman Islands, but here is our list to get you moving (pun intended!):

  • You can set up a phone and Internet service instantly! You might worry about how quickly you can get connected once you arrive in the Cayman Islands – have no fear. With telecommunications companies such as Digicel, it’s easy to quickly connect without continuing to experience roaming charges from the country you just left. It’s also important to get internet at home as soon as you can – we can’t last without Netflix, after all! (And that house search and car search is easier to do with a proper connection to the World Wide Web.) Digicel offers routers that you can pick up and take home to get instantly connected, as well as several bundle plans, pay-as-you-go or postpaid mobile plans and a variety of devices for you to choose from. It’s your one-stop shop to get you connected fast and it is located right here in Camana Bay on Market Street.
  • Set up an appointment with a new dentist before you arrive. Even better, set up an appointment with a new dentist that offers speciality services. You never know when emergency dental work may be needed, and it’s easy to stay with the same clinic when your teenager needs braces. Find a clinic that offers multiple services, such as Cayman Dental, which has visiting orthodontic specialists and dental surgeons as well as a full-time staff of dentists and dental hygienists. As a bonus, White Swan Aesthetics is based out of their office also, offering Botox, non-surgical facelifts and other aesthetic services. If you want to ensure you have an appointment booked, you can reach out to them to reserve your spot before you even leave your home country. Just contact caymandentalservices@gmail.com.
  • Rely on local experts when conducting your home search. Most companies offer temporary accommodation for their new hires arriving from overseas, or perhaps you are footing the bill to stay in a hotel while you get settled. In any case, you sometimes only have a couple of weeks, or at most a month, to find a permanent home. Consult the sales specialists at Provenance Properties Cayman Islands who have a robust roster of real estate listings to help find you a property that suits your needs, boasts the view of your dreams and shows off the many benefits of living in the Cayman Islands. If you are looking to buy, be sure to ask about OLEA, Camana Bay’s first residential for-sale neighbourhood. The condos and duplexes of OLEA will be steps away from Camana Bay’s many amenities and Seven Mile Beach and will also boast Cayman’s first lazy river flowing into a resort-style pool. If you are planning on renting, check out The Terraces at Camana Bay, for-lease apartments centrally located in the heart of the Seven Mile Beach strip. Once you’re ready to decorate your new home, many people find it useful to shop overseas and ship to the island. However, we encourage shopping local, which also reduces the financial stress of paying duty and shipping fees. Within Camana Bay, there are many shops to consider for finding the perfect décor and statement pieces for your home. Try Design Studio, Bon Vivant, Bedside Manor or Books & Books for all your home needs.
  • There are many choices for cars, so be prepared for some test drives! While you’re driving around, getting to know the island and its roads, you probably don’t want to pay for a rental car forever. Browse used car listings or stop by Audi Cayman Islands to allow their sales team to offer you test drives in some of the latest Audi models. With everything from the sporty compact A1 to the roominess of the Q7 family SUV, there’ll be something to fit your lifestyle. ZÜN, a convenient car sharing programme exclusive to Camana Bay residents and tenants, is perfect if you're running a few errands on your lunch break or need a short-term rental until you settle in.
  • Contact schools as early as possible to register your child. This may be one of the most important things to know before arriving – enrol your child in school! Many schools have waiting lists so the earlier you can register, the better. Cayman International School has world-class facilities and an international baccalaureate programme offering education for students aged two years old through to Grade 12. With the school’s recent expansion of a newly developed early childhood facility, CIS has even more amenities for your little ones, including a nursery, pre-K classrooms, an updated library and a music and movement room to help develop children’s motor skills. The Early Childhood Facility is expected to be completed at the end of August 2019, in time for the new school year. With its central location in Camana Bay, it makes drop-offs and pick-ups a seamless part of life for those parents living and working in and around the George Town and Seven Mile Beach area.
  • Try a one-stop shop when it comes to a family doctor. A medical clinic such as TrinCay Medical Clinic & Urgent Care is ideal, as it offers not just after-hours care in case of emergencies, but an on-site pharmacy and laboratory, so it is easy to see a doctor, get bloodwork completed and pick up prescriptions all in one place.
  • U.S. mailbox services are available so you don’t have to miss out on any of your favourite mail. While mail has become a reliable stream of bills and bank notices, many still enjoy getting magazine subscriptions or online orders from their favourite e-retailers. Believe it or not, this is all still possible on a Caribbean island! Mail Boxes Etc. not only offers local mailboxes for you to set up a Cayman Islands mailing address, it also offers U.S. mailbox services. This provides you with a U.S. address to update your magazine subscriptions and place your favourite online orders, and Mail Boxes Etc. will import the items to Grand Cayman for you.
  • Don’t forget your fur babies, the Cayman Islands welcomes them too! With a name like Must Love Dogs you know this shop, located in Camana Bay on Market Street, will love and care for your dog like it’s their own. They cater to your pet’s every need, offering exceptional spa days if you’re looking to keep your pet occupied throughout the day, plenty of play time, pet accessories and more. They can also help you navigate the process of transporting your animals to and from the Cayman Islands.
  • Opening a bank account is made easy with a selection of banks conveniently located throughout Camana Bay. Cayman National Bank and Scotiabank both have retail bank locations and ATMs in Camana Bay. With Butterfield opening in late 2019, these full-service banking centres can help with all your financial needs. Contact them before you arrive on island to ensure you have all the documentation you will need to access your money right away.

About the author

Tanesha Simpson is a Senior Administrative Assistant supporting members of the executive team in the real estate division at Dart. Tanesha has lived, worked and played in the Cayman Islands for over 30 years. An avid traveller, she would like to experience every culture in the world and loves that she can experience so many here in the Cayman Islands.

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