St John is the kind of place that forever holds the hearts of those who visit. Because of that our guests find themselves coming back year after year or more. Their vacation photos and videos get plastered to their social media accounts. A picture of the clear blue water decorates their desk at work. Their screen savers feature a sunset or a view of Trunk Bay, and their stories become dominant with that burned in memory of what this stunning island gives you.
All of this makes each St John visitor a little travel ad for all of the people they know. Its old school viral advertising and it works! People who would not otherwise come to St John or even know about it, suddenly find themselves staring at websites and facebook groups about St John and find their way to get here. A lot of times they tag along with previous guests. Sometimes past travelers plan weddings or big events on St John, bringing down 50-100 newbies. But, what happens next may be unexpected. Suddenly these people who may not have originally gravitated to travel to St John on their own are booked and coming. Most have a lot of questions. Some do a TON of research, join the rabid facebook groups, read every website they can find and of course, if they book with a good property manager, get to ask those questions to us.
But for those that need something quick to share with new guests or those that are just new themselves and might have some questions, here are the Basic things you need to know when planning your first trip to St John. Of course, we welcome you to call us at anytime during your planning with any questions that you may have, be it about the house, the island, what to do or how to make it work.
1. AIR TRAVEL – You will fly into St Thomas (STT). There are daily direct flights from New York, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Philidelphia and more. – We use googleflights. https://www.google.com/flights/ for a quick way to find the best deals on travel. As with all travel, prices change constantly
2. GROUND TRANSPORT– No Worries!!! Getting a taxi is easy, riding the ferry is easy. On St John you will be met at the dock and guided to your place by our greeters We can also easily arrange private ground and water transport if you would prefer.
3. CAR RENTAL - Rent your car early! – It may look from pictures that you can walk across the island in 5 minutes barefoot, but… you can’t. We recommend renting your vehicle on St John. Try www.courtesycarrental.com, www.coolbreezecarrental.com, www.rentajeepstjohn.com www.aquablucarrental.com
4. THE STORM (IRMA is a 4 letter word!, use it wisely) Yes, the island is recovered from the storm – as a first time visitor, I’d be surprised if you noticed. The beaches are stunning, The restaurants are open, the natural beauty never left. One thing you can count on is that we would not be open for business if we were not operating at 100%, and we’ve been back open since March 2018.
5. CASH OR CREDIT- The Island takes credit cards most places. Cash may be hard to get if ATM’s are down or not nearby bring both
6. GROCERIES - Its funny that some people ask if we have grocery stores, but we get the question all the time. There are many grocery stores on island and you can get most of the items you are used to getting in a typical Stateside store. We don’t reccomend that you travel with food unless you really need to eat that venison your brother got last fall on this trip. Food will not be hard to come by, and there are fantastic restaurants on island. We recommend having the home provisioned so that you do not have to shop after a long day of travel.
7. DON’T LOOK AT THE WEATHER! – its always beautiful. 70% chance of rain means that there is a 70% chance it will rain in that 24 hour period, probably briefly at night or early in the morning, possibly a passing squall. I would bet the the heat in the main server at weather.com from trying to process the variable weather data on St John is directly contributing to global warming. When boating in the Virgin Islands we always follow the rule to “never cancel on the weather”
8. PACKING - All of our homes provide beach towels, beach chairs and coolers. The bathrooms all have hairdryers. The Kitchens are all fully supplied. So PACK LIGHT. You will not need to dress up unless you are in a wedding or something. Island Casual means a light weight pretty dress for a lady with flip flops and for a man it means shorts or pants with a short sleeve button down shirt and flops. Typically though, you are going to dress really casual. Flip Flops are worn because you can easily take them off before you go in the house and help keep sand OUT which we will get to later.
9. SAND – No one asks about this, but we thought it would be helpful to share. When you leave the beach, take an empty water jug, fill it with saltwater and give yourself a rinse BEFORE you get in the car. Your rental car company will charge you for excessive sand. Your house may too, but ultimately, you’ll find it so much nicer at home not to walk on sandy floors inside.
10. WATER – your home may have UV filtered water which is safe to drink and ultimately any water you are served on island is safe to drink. Will you prefer the taste of bottled water? Possibly. Either way, DRINK A LOT OF IT.
Have more questions, we are happy to help with answers. Just give a call 340-626-8229 or email anytime to discuss.