Booking your Trip to the USVI

Look into several booking options before buying your Virgin Islands vacation

Photo credit: © James Steidl |

You've taken the time to learn about the Virgin Islands, you've evaluated your priorities and made all the necessary decisions. Now the only thing between you and an amazing island getaway is one final choice: how will you purchase your vacation?

Like every other step involved in vacation planning, how you buy is a matter of preference. There are certainly many options available to travelers today and keeping track of them can be difficult. Here you can find out about the most popular ways to make your arrangements and figure out which one fits you best.

Most vacationers are looking for good rates and convenient services which are increasingly found on the Internet. Customers who purchase plane tickets and hotel rooms online may receive better prices, as many companies reserve deals for Internet customers. If you call the individual vendors, however, you will often find that they may not even be aware of the offers available online. Your research can really pay off here, as knowing what to reasonably expect in terms of a price range will help you identify a bargain when you find one.

A more conventional method may be booking your vacation with a travel agent. Some people are accustomed to letting a professional handle the details of the trip for them, but there are certain distinct disadvantages to this option. If your travel agent caters to business or internationals travelers, for example, they may not be as knowledgeable about your specific vacation spot. The Virgin Islands are incredibly varied: you learned this from your research, and it will generally take a great deal of independent research on the part of a travel agent before they become as familiar with the area as you already are. If you are able to find a Caribbean specialist, or you have a travel agent you know and trust, this may be a good choice. Otherwise, you should feel comfortable trusting your own research and can save the money you would have given your travel agent for an extra night in the islands.

A third alternative for travelers eager to get to the Virgin Islands would be Internet travel sellers. As with travel agents, there are many types and you should be choosy when selecting the one that best suits you. Large, worldwide vendors may be more well-known, but smaller companies that focus solely on Caribbean travel may prove more knowledgeable and reliable.

The variations between vendors shouldn't extend to pricing, however. This is because most travel sellers all receive the same discounted rates from the airlines, cruise lines, or hotels and all have similar overhead. Differences should never amount to more than a few dollars and if you see a much lower price advertised, do some homework. Often unusually-low advertised prices are simply the result of a Web site failing to be mention all the applicable taxes and fees.

Internet travel sellers are also able to combine the bargains found online with the protection that travelers are afforded by a travel agent. In the event of a dispute or if trouble should arise during your vacation, a third party vendor can take your side, ensuring that you get what you are entitled to. Some vendors may even refuse to do business with properties that do not treat their customers well. These measures can help to reassure you that your arrangements will be made with reputable businesses that you can trust.

Booking your vacation is a major step. Learn about your choices and then go with the method that makes you feel comfortable. Once you've purchased all the tickets and made the final reservations, you've got nothing left to do but sit back and anticipate your Virgin Island vacation.


Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.