Looking for a perfect vacation destination for adventure and relaxation? By traveling to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, you are sure to find what you came searching for. That’s because the low-key, easy going and fun loving nature of the people and places here is sure to fit in with your idea of a great time. Most importantly, you’ll be able to forget about all the stress that you left behind on the mainland, and give it all up to the tropics. But while St. John is just about as close as it gets to being the world’s perfect island getaway, there are still a few practical things that every traveler should know about. That’s why we’ve come up with the following list of important things to be aware of:
What time is it?
Once you’ve checked into your hotel or set up camp, it may seem that time is more or less irrelevant. Probably, you will be right most of the time. However, there are always a few things that knowing the time is still useful for. Whether it is planning to call family back home, or what time to catch your ferry, having your clock set right is important. Therefore, you should be aware that the time zone at St. John – known as U.S. Virgin Islands Time – is GMT-4. This means that when it is 4:00p.m. in St. John, it is 3:00p.m. in Miami, 12:00p.m. in Seattle and 8:00p.m. in London.
What type of currency is used on St. John?
If you are coming from the United States, don’t change your money. The only currency officially accepted throughout St. John and the U.S. Virgin Islands is the U.S. dollar.
How do I mail a postcard?
Because you are technically in the United States while visiting St. John or any of the other U.S. Virgin Islands, postcards and all forms of mail are handled by U.S. Postal Service.
How do I make a phone call?
If you want to make a quick call from a pay phone, dialing is relatively easy. Because you are in a U.S. territory, calling here works the same as anywhere else in the United States. For the best long distance telephone rates, be sure to pick up a calling card or discuss the best option with your hotel’s representative.
Is there electricity on the island?
Although St. John is a remote tropical paradise, seemingly disconnected from the rest of the world, electricity exists here just as it does anywhere else. Power outages are rare.
Where can I go to use the Internet?
Although St. John is the perfect place to get away from it all, you should not worry about being out of touch. That’s because there are various ways to get connected to the Internet all throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands. You don’t even have to settle for slow download speed because you are likely to find an establishment where high-speed wireless internet is already available.
What are the normal business hours at St. John?
To take care of your gift shopping, grocery shopping, going to the bank, and all other activities at St. John, normal business hours pretty typical of anywhere else in the United States. While shops open around 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and close around 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m, vacationers will find that banks open around the same time and close anywhere from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
No-see-ums are small biting flies (called sand flies, black gnats, biting midges, punkies, etc. depending on where encountered) that appear during the summer months. These tiny biting insects are barely visible to the naked eye, but their bites can be very painful and annoying. The bite usually starts as a small red welt (1/8” or so) or water-filled blister that itches. Once scratched, the welt can break open and bleed, but the itching usually continues. Allergic or sensitive individuals may develop long-lasting painful and itchy lesions. Generally repellents effective against mosquitoes are effective against no-see-ums as well.
- VERY important: when you’re in your villa at night, keep the windows closed… the little b@stards can fit through the holes in the screens
- Take unscented shampoo, deodorant, etc. with you
- If you’re going to be at the beach past around 3 or 4 pm, take bug repellent
- Benadryl and Benadryl Cream
- Avon’s Skin So Soft
- Sunscreen that contains deet
- B-complex vitamins
- Cactus Juice
- Cutter Deep Woods (30% DEET)
- Wear flea collars on your ankles… if it’s good for our soldiers it’s good for me!
See you on the Island,
John & Heidi Walsh
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