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Top Tips for Traveling to the Virgin Islands

Go Sail Travel tipsWhat’s the best way to travel to the Virgin Islands? These strategies will make your travel to the Virgin Islands as seamless, cheap, and stress-free as possible. 

Flying into the US Virgin Islands

The USVI has two commercial airports. One in St. Croix and one in St. Thomas.

If you are setting sail in the USVI, you’ll likely want to fly into Cyril E. King Airport (STT) in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. It’s usually cheaper and has more flight options than the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport (STX) in Christiansted, St. Croix. Plus, St. Thomas is the island all Go Sail VI’s Learn to Sail trips depart from in the USVI. 

Flying into the British Virgin Islands

For BVI travel either book your flight to St. Thomas or fly into Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS) on Beef Island. The BVI also has airports on Anegada and Virgin Gorda but these are primarily to fly domestically between the islands. 

If you fly into St. Thomas you’ll catch a taxi to the public ferry (about 15 minutes) and then take a short ferry or water taxi to the island of Tortola from Charlotte Amalie.  You can book your ferry ride here

Getting the best Virgin Islands flight deals

 If you book your sailing trip 6 months in advance, you’ll not only get a discounted sailing trip with Go Sail Virgin Islands— you’ll likely also get cheaper flights. 

The more flexibility you have with your flight dates, the cheaper you’ll be able to find flights too. For example, May through December flights tend to be the cheaper months to fly to the Virgin Islands. 

Mistakes to avoid when booking flights to the VI

First of all, getting the cheapest flight price to the VI isn’t all it’s chalked up to be. Don’t book a cheap flight to the VI without first checking the connections, and the time you’ll take off and land. For example, getting a full night’s sleep in a comfortable bed may be worth at least a few hundred dollars. Try to keep this in mind when you see a cheap 5am departure or a flight with a layover over 3 hours. 

Secondly, it doesn’t usually make logistical sense to book a cheaper flight into the VI if you land somewhere where your adventure isn’t set to begin. The money you save on a flight will likely be a wash after the stress and cost of island hopping to your final destination.

Third, don’t book at the last minute! Either book your flights before you book your sailing trip or immediately thereafter to avoid yourself a headache down the road. 

Passport and visa requirements for VI travel

As a US citizen, you don’t need a passport or visa to visit the USVI. However you will need your passport to visit BVI, whether you arrive by ferry or airplane. Your passport needs an expiration date over 6 months out to get through customs and immigration.

While there is no visa requirements if you are staying in the BVI under 90 days, having $50 cash to pay any fees upon entry and departure is a great plan.

Traveling once you arrive in the VI

If you are going sailing in the VI, there isn’t much use in renting a car. Taxis in the VI are reasonably priced and easy to find. 

For example,  if you land in St. Thomas, you’ll find taxis in the airport arrival area. Expect to pay $15 per person +$2 per bag to get to the Compass Point Marina. Cash is best and the airport is 45 minutes from the marina.

If you land in the BVI, don’t worry about exchanging money before you hail a cab— the BVI runs on the US dollar! 

We recommend in the US Virgin Islands VI taxi 340.774.7457 if you need to call a cab other than the airport. When you call let them know where you would like to go and they will ask on the dispatch while you are on the phone. It’s old school but you’re on island time now. Just standby and they will let you know when a driver is headed your way. The license plate number is the cab number.

Ready to book your trip?

We’re ready to welcome you to the Virgin Islands! Book your flights, secure your spot on a Go Sail weeklong liveaboard course, and join us on the trip of a lifetime! We can’t wait to have you aboard.