GETTING THERE: There are many direct flights from the US mainland, from cities such as Miami, New York, Houston, and San Francisco. From the east coast, flights are around 2.5 to 4 hours, and about 11 hours from the west coast. All the major airlines offer flights – Delta, American, United. There are 2 major airports: St. Thomas (STT) and St. Croix (STX). There is no airport in St. John, so visitors must fly into St. Thomas, and then take a ferry across.
HIGH SEASON: Most of the year is quite busy and popular. With steady average temperatures, no rainy season, and so many events, the USVI are in constant demand. The pandemic has greatly renewed interest in the USVI, as no passports are required, and the islands typically have the same testing requirements as the mainland. Due to high demand and low supply, it is most ideal to book 12 months in advance. The highest season is November to May, with May being the best time to visit USVI. The temperatures are perfect, and the winter/spring break crowds have usually dissipated. Another nice time to visit is October, toward the end of hurricane season, but before the busy holiday season begins.
LOW SEASON: August and September – the only months for a real chance of hurricanes, though still unlikely. These late summer/early fall months tend to be hottest and wettest but may offer slightly better deals and availability.
LANGUAGE: The primary language spoken in the USVI is English.
TIME ZONE: Atlantic Standard Time.
CLIMATE: Consistently mid 70s to mid 80s. Average temp is 77º F in the winter and 83º F in the summer. Water temperatures are between 79º F and 83º F. There isn’t an official “rainy season,” though they are in the hurricane belt.
MONEY/CURRENCY (CREDIT CARDS, DEBIT CARDS, TIPPING, ATMS): Since the US Virgin Islands are a US territory, the US dollar is their currency. All major credit cards are accepted, though we always suggest letting your banks know when and where you’re traveling. Even though most places accept credit cards, if purchasing things in small shops, cash is best. ATMs are easily found throughout the islands. As far as tipping, it is customary to tip waitstaff, porters, drivers, etc., just as you would at home. Tips are typically in the 10-20% range.
5 FAST FACTS
1. The USVI are the only US destination where you drive on the left— the steering wheel is still on the left, too!
2. St. John is two-thirds National Park.
3. The US purchased St. Thomas during WWI from Denmark for $25M in order to gain strategic naval positioning. 4. Charlotte Amalie, the capital, was originally called “Taphus” meaning “Tap House” because it was home to so many taverns.
5. There’s actually a fourth USVI: Water Island. During the age of piracy, this island was frequented by ships seeking to refill their fresh water supply, due to its abundant natural springs and ponds.