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The Job Blog

Moving to the Cayman Islands: Top 5 Expat Tips

So it’s been nearly a year since my boyfriend and I made the big move to Grand Cayman, and even though it has been a pretty smooth transition, there were a few surprises. So here are my top tips on relocating to the Cayman Islands:

Have a monthly budget:

Be prepared for an expensive first few months, where outlay will be required on rental deposits, cars, and setting up utilities and their related deposits. It can really stretch your finances. Although salaries are tax-free here, the cost of living is high and can be likened to London. However, don’t let this put you, off once the first few months are over the saving can begin and having a monthly budget in place can really assist with this.:-)

Buy a car and have a mechanic check it first:
It’s easy to think that living on an Island that is only 22 miles long and 4 miles wide that having a car is not necessary. This is where you are wrong! Taxis can be pricey and the humidity is high in Summer months – meaning a ten minute walk can leave you looking more like you’ve been for a 10 minute swim :-)
Buying a car here on island however is like playing the lottery – if you don’t know what you’re doing. Because of the hot, humid climate and salt in the air cars have more issues here than most other places. Also, there are quite a few cars on the island that have been through Hurricane Ivan and can have electrical issues. This is where a $30-50 outlay on a mechanic before buying / agreeing on price can be money very well spent.

Also, it’s definitely a good idea to consider purchasing from a rental car agency (rather than an individual seller), as you can guarantee that they will be license and inspected, and so no nasty surprises.

Buy fresh produce only when needed:

Fresh fruit and vegetables can have a short shelf life here, mainly due to that fact that they have to be shipped in to Island from other countries. My tip – purchase frozen fruit and veg where possible – these will be fresher, more nutritious and usually have a better price point. When purchasing fresh produce, if you won’t be using it in the next 2-3 days, it’s a good idea to freeze it until you are using it – this will ensure minimal waste.

Join a club:

There are lots and lots of different sports clubs to join, such as Gaelic football, soccer, hockey, rugby, running clubs, and not forgetting Cross Fit….to name a few. Not only are these clubs a great way of staying in shape (especially as there is a big party culture here – balance is key! :-) ), they are also a great way of meeting new people! Many firm island friendships are made on the field and sports and social clubs are always open to new joiners of all levels.

Finally…just take the plunge and do it…..moving to the Cayman Islands might be one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever have to make, but it will also probably be one of the best ones!!! Come and find out why we were voted top of the “HSBC Friendliest Countries in the World” for yourself! :-)