4 Things You Need to Know Before Vacationing in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Going on vacation is a great way to leave the stress of being an adult behind for a while. Each year, 62 percent of the American population goes on a vacation away from home. Choosing a vacation destination should be your first concern when planning a trip.

If you are looking for a tropical paradise to visit, there is no better place than the St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Visiting this vacation destination will allow you to soak up some sun and enjoy lots of tourist attractions.

Here are some of the things you need to know before going on a trip to St. John in the United States Virgin Islands.

1. Be Sure to Bring Your Passport

While you won’t need a passport to get into the US Virgin Islands, you will need one if you want to venture into the British Virgin Islands. Most people want to go on an excursion to see the Baths of Virgin Gorda, or Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke, both of which are located in the BVIs.

Failing to bring along your passport will prohibit you from getting the most out of your vacation. The British Virgin Islands, including Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, Cooper Islands Necker Island, Norman Island, Anagada and more, are just a short boat ride away from St. John, which is why you need to make a point to visit them while on vacation. We are happy to help you plan your day trip to the BVI.

2. Do Your Homework Before Choosing a Vacation Rental

One of the most important decisions you will make when booking your trip to the US Virgin Islands is where you will stay. Luckily, there are a number of affordable vacation rentals in St. John. Before choosing a vacation rental, you need to look at a few different things.

The first factor to consider is whether you need a St. John vacation rental for a couple, or a villa for a family. Another major factor is of course the price of the rental in question. Location of the rental is also extremely important. Ideally, you want to choose a vacation rental with scenic views and a prime location. While you may have to pay a bit more for a premium Cruz Bay rental vs. a Coral Bay rental, it will be worth it. Remember everyone has to drive to the world class St. John beaches as they are protected by the National Park so no rentals are ON the beach.

3. Take It Easy On the First Day of Your Island Vacation

The main thing you need to focus on when arriving in the US Virgin Islands is pacing yourself. Some people get off of the plane and immediately head to the beach for a few drinks. Often times, this can lead to sunburn and/or dehydration. Plus to get to St. John, there are a few more steps after arriving to the airport including taxi, ferry and getting your rental jeep.

Taking the time to let your body acclimate to the change in temperature is crucial. Doing this will allow you to avoid problems during your vacation. Plus Island Abodes welcomes all guests with cold beer, drinking water and snacks on arrival.

4. Contact Your Cell Phone Service Provider

An adjustment for first-time visitors to the US Virgin Islands is the spotty cell phone service. Before you leave for your trip, contact your service provider to find out about the towers they have in this location. You will also need to get information on roaming charges and data overages. AT&T and Sprint work best. Learn more on our FAQ page.

Seeking Out Professional Help is a Good Idea

Planning a great vacation to the Virgin Islands can be a bit difficult. Working directly with the owner of your rental who has a deep knowledge of St. John can help you simplify this process and make your vacation more enjoyable.

First Time Visiting St. John? Tips and Pointers for First-Time Travelers

You’ve booked your St. John rental suite and you’re counting down the days – you’re on your way to come see us here at Island Abodes and you’re undoubtedly excited about your trip. However, if it’s your first time coming to the U.S. Virgin Islands, then you probably have a few questions about what to expect during your stay with us here. Many people understandably are a little bit uncertain about what the lifestyle and culture is like, which is why we’ve assembled this handy guide for first timers to St. John.

You Won’t Need Your Passport (But You Will Want It!)

If you’re an American citizen, you don’t need your passport to come visit St. John. Because it is a U.S. territory, your goverment issued ID such as a driver’s license or state identification card should work just fine. That said, many people like to carry a passport with them for a couple reasons. For starters, it’s one of the best types of identification and will make getting on and off the island a breeze. And secondly, with the British Virgin Islands just a short jaunt away, including Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke and the Baths on Virgin Gorda, you’ll definitely need your passport if you decide to visit them.

The Currency is the Same

There’s no need to worry about changing your money when you visit St. John. Your dollars are still good here! Of course, it’s probably a good idea to make sure you carry enough cash on you while you’re here. ATM surcharges can add up quickly, and cash is always the preferred method of tips and the only way to pay for things like the taxi.

Be Sure to Drive on the Correct Side of the Road

Here on St. John, we drive on the left side of the road. It’s extremely important to remember this to avoid any unwanted fender benders. Your driver’s license is perfectly fine here, though. Always make sure to buckle up when behind the wheel (this goes for all passengers) to avoid a hefty ticket (and for safety!), and hang up your cell phone when you’re driving. While almost anything goes on St. John, talking and driving is against the law.

Speak the Language of the Locals

The official language of St. John is English, so you shouldn’t expect any communication barriers holding you back when you’re staying with us. However, the English you hear may be spoken with a Caribbean lilt. It’s good form to greet others warmly when out and about. Here’s a fun tip: locals don’t say “good evening.” They actually say “good night” when meeting someone after dark! Be sure to always greet with a “Good Morning”, “Good Afternoon” (after 12noon) or “Good Night” (after the sun has set). If you are unsure, say “Good Day”.

Visiting St. John can be an awesome experience for you and your family, so be sure to arrive with an open mind and a strong sense of adventure. To learn more about what it’s like here, please be sure to check out our FAQs. Or, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We look forward to having you stay with us here at Island Abodes!

Lime Out – St. John’s New Floating Taco Bar is a Winner

There’s a new floating taco bar, Lime Out VI, on the Coral Bay side of St. John and it’s not to be missed. The Island Abodes team loves the delicious tacos and amazing craft cocktails in the beautiful setting of Round Bay on the East End. We highly recommend that you check it out during your next St. John vacation.

First let’s talk about the food offerings. It’s all tacos! But these aren’t any ordinary tacos…they are downright scrumptious. From Ceviche to Tuna to Surf and Turf (shrimp and short rib) and even a Vegan Taco, we’ve devoured them all. They are made-to-order with fresh ingredients wrapped in a soft tortilla. They are pretty big and we feel like you get a lot for $7-10 each.

You can’t eat tacos without a cold beverage, right? For libations Lime Out offers awesome craft cocktails, St. John Brewers beer on tap, and even bottles of bubbly if you really want to celebrate.

But the best thing about Lime Out is the location. You can either arrive by power boat, or swim/raft/kayak/paddleboard from Hanson Bay. If you’re going from shore there’s a swim up bar where you can comfortably hang out while enjoying the food, drinks and views.

Lime Out was started by the owners of the Lime Inn restaurant in Cruz Bay, which is one of our favorites. So they know good food. They are also a multi generational St. John family and have gone to great lengths to make Lime Out an environmentally responsible operation. Power comes from solar, they have only reusable cups, no straws, and they are very strict about collecting trash to make sure none ends up in the pristine surrounding waters.

How to get there? If you’re on a charter boat, just tell your captain it’s taco time! If driving, take Centerline Road to Coral Bay and turn left at the ball field. Go past Skinny Legs and keep on driving. Just past Haulover Bay is Hanson Bay where you can park. There’s a nice beach and other offerings for a small fee. Look out in the water and you can’t miss Lime Out!

Map Of Lime Out In St John USVI

4 Reasons to Get a Vacation Rental in St. John

If you’re planning a trip to the islands of the Caribbean, you’ve already made the first step toward an amazing vacation experience. St. John and the U.S. Virgin Islands are filled with fun attractions, delicious food, and beautiful beaches. To get the most out of Carribean vacation, you need to steer clear of the hotels and tourist traps. Here are four reasons why you should get a vacation rental from Island Abodes when you plan a trip to St. John.

Affordable Pricing

It may seem counterintuitive, but renting a home can be more affordable than staying at a hotel in St. John. When the cost of the vacation villa is split between party members, a vacation rental from Island Abodes is less expensive than staying at a hotel, especially for all of the amenities, the beachside view, and the private space you get from an Island Abodes vacation rental. We even have a Best Price Guarantee, so you know you’re getting a good deal. You will never find a lower rate on any of our villas somewhere else.

All the Comforts of Home

Staying in a hotel is one of the more frustrating parts of traveling because it’s so different from everyday life. You go from living in a private residence to sharing accommodations with hundreds of guests. You have a smaller bathroom and little access to a kitchen if any at all. Rentals from Island Abode give you all the comforts of home. You get large bedrooms and bathrooms, kitchens (some that are fully equipped), and more. All of our rentals except the Papaya Suite, even have private washers and dryers.

Enjoy a More Authentic Experience

When you stay in a vacation villa from Island Abodes, you get to enjoy a more authentic Caribbean vacation experience. Hotels and the areas around them become tourist traps. Since people know that tourists with money are in the area, merchants can raise prices or sell goods that are lower quality than what locals would accept. Since we live here, we know the restaurants, island activities, tour operators, and the beaches. We’ll make sure you always know the best places to go to fulfill your vacation dreams.

Takes the Middleman Out of Travel Plans

With Island Abodes, renting a vacation villa is fast and easy. You don’t have to go through a travel agent or a booking service. Not only do you get a fantastic place to stay, but you also save money on booking fees. You also don’t have to worry about any surprise issues that may arise once you reach your destination. We own and operate each villa on our website, so we can accurately answer any questions you have about the villa and its features. Plus, we are on the island if you need anything at all. Our personal approach ensures you have a great visit when you stay in one of our vacation villas.

Next time you plan a trip to the Caribbean, you should consider staying at an Island Abodes vacation rental. You will save money and have a better experience overall. It’s a win-win scenario. If you have any questions about renting a vacation rental, send us a message online.