If you’re thinking of planning a girlfriends getaway, you should definitely consider the US Virgin Islands as your destination. Not only is it easy to get to, but US citizens don’t need a passport, which means none of your friends can make excuses about not being able to go. Tell them to pack their bag and get on the next flight to St. Thomas with you. From there you’re also able to visit St. John and St. Croix. What could be easier?
Before we continue, click on this video by Pressure, which is the official music video for “Virgin Islands Nice” to help you get in the mood.
Great song, right? Now play it again so you can hear it in the background while you continue reading. Trust me on this. I’m just trying to set the mood.
Whether you’re looking for a beach holiday, time to shop, water sports, hiking, sailing or all of the above, the US Virgin Islands has all of these and more and even some things you’ve probably never thought about doing while on vacation. We’ll divide up a stay in the US Virgin Islands first in St. Thomas and then in St. John into the following categories: Choosing a hotel, the beach, relaxation, activities, dining, and of course, the view.
Flying into St. Thomas, I took the above picture and even the water from a distance looks inviting. First we will fly into St. Thomas and Cyril E. King airport, a small airport, but still the busiest airport in the US Virgin Islands. From this airport passengers can fly back to the United States as well as to the British Virgin Islands, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, and Dominica. Look at my view from the plane on approach to the airport. A few planes had landed around the same time when I arrived and baggage claim was crowded, but wait until you see pictures from my Sunday departure!
TSG Tip: If you aren’t checking a bag with your airline, make sure you can carry because when it comes time to exit the plane, you’ll go down a flight of stairs with your bag. From here you’ll enter the terminal and you’ll arrive outside in less than 30 seconds. If you did check a bag, exit the airport, turn left and follow the signs to baggage claim. Then in a few minutes you can be on your way to your hotel to start your vacation.
I was staying at a non-traditional type of resort, a timeshare, for this trip, but depending on your budget, how many people are in your group, and how close everyone is will determine where you should stay. There are a few higher end or luxury properties on St. Thomas: The Ritz-Carlton and Marriott Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort as well as some other resorts including Secret Harbour Beach Resort, Sugar Bay Resort & Spa, and Bolongo Bay Beach Resort.
There are also several small inns and B&B’s on St. Thomas including Bellavista Bed & Breakfast, Mafolie Hotel, and Island View Guest House. If you want to splurge, you can always rent a villa and if you want to rough it, well there is even the Virgin Islands Campground located on Water Island.
It’s best to plan in advance and determine what the overall group wants out of the trip before you arrive on the island. Does the majority of people traveling want to spend time shopping and sunbathing at the beach? Is it more important to have a great view and stay at a high end property than to spend money elsewhere? Discuss these items with those planning on going and hammer out the details in advance. Maybe the idea of a few people sharing a room to cut back on accommodation expenses sounds good to you, which will then allow you to spend more money on shopping and dining. There’s no perfect vacation outline to follow because the only perfect vacation is the one you create.
Once you book your air and hotel, start planning your daily activities or try to at least get an idea of what it is that you want to do while on St. Thomas. If you have several people in your group – congratulations! You can break up into smaller groups so everyone has a chance to do what they want to do and so there are no hurt feelings. Nothing is a bigger buzz kill than having Debbie Downer in the corner pouting through dinner. Meet up for breakfast daily, go to your planned activities, regroup at the hotel by early afternoon, and go out for drinks and dinner, and see where the nightlife will take you.
TSG Tip: Right now if you book a stay on the US Virgin Islands with one of their participating travel partners you can save over $500 on your next USVI vacation. You’ll get your first-night hotel stay free, $300 in on island spending, and $200 instant credit.
Come back tomorrow for more about St. Thomas and your next girlfriends getaway!