Phones, Email, and Texting in the US Virgin Islands

Here’s a quick post and my two cents about phones, email, and texting in the US Virgin Islands for those of you who are like me and can’t leave home without a smartphone. With my trusted iPhone in hand, I ventured down to the US Virgin Islands anticipating a hefty international cell phone bill. Luckily, AT&T informed me that the USVI is actually not considered international and it would be like any other call, text, or data sent as if I were at home. Could life get any better? While on St. Thomas I didn’t have any issues with service and all of my texts, emails, and data (apps) went through as per usual. I am now in St. John and service is a little less reliable unfortunately. I am connecting through the hotel’s WiFi to send texts so that is great and the phone network is sporadic at best and seems to come and go at will. Sometimes I can make phone calls and the next minute I am having problems sending texts. When I was inside the Virgin Islands National Park in St. John today, I received a text message saying that international rates would now become effective so I immediately switched my phone to airplane mode.

My travel tip for the day is to always check with your cell phone carrier before leaving home to find out the rates for where you are traveling and plan accordingly. Worse case scenario is that you end up using the WiFi connection in your hotel lobby or at a Starbucks, but then you won’t end up with an enormous and unnecessary cell phone bill. Even better, you can always choose to spend your vacation in the US Virgin Islands and use your cell phone without the international charges. I’m just saying…

3 thoughts on “Phones, Email, and Texting in the US Virgin Islands

  1. I was in St. John last year camping at Maho Bay. I did a lot of trail running all over the island and wanted my phone with me for safety reasons. It frequently went into international roaming because of the proximity of BVI. I called AT&T and told them I was on St. John. They said to keep using the phone and call them again when I returned to DC and they would take care of any charges. I did and they deleted all international charges from my bill. I think a heads up call to any provider would have a similar result. Thanks for the blog and enjoy the island! I hope to be back in April.

  2. Thanks Katie! I did notice that when I was on Bay Reef Trail in St. John that my phone switched to international roaming. I switched it off, but I never thought to call and talk to them so thanks for mentioning that great tip! Please update us on your trip in April, too.

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