How to Decide What You Want for your Vacation in the USVI

Travel to the Virgin Islands requires a few important decisions first

Photo credit: © Ivan Cholakov |

When you're ready to start making decisions for your trip to the Virgin Islands, it's easy to be intimidated by all the information you'll have to consider. Following these guidelines, however, can help to make the decision-process manageable.

Having done some research on the Virgin Islands, you've probably got a pretty good idea of where you'd like to go. Is your mind set on the relaxing calm of the British Virgin Islands or do you prefer the upbeat geniality of their U.S owned counterparts, The differences in the islands are noteworthy so determining your vacation priorities will be an essential part of making wise decisions.

Narrow Your Search (Which island is best for me?)

If your vacation is centered around an activity such as yachting or biking, you may find that guidebooks or Web sites that focus on your interest are the best places to find information. Some Internet travel sellers also allow users to search by activity. Once you've learned the best island spots to accommodate your activity, you'll have a much easier time trying to make decisions.

The culture of the Virgin Islands must be considered, as well. Both were exposed to a wide range of cultural influences, but the major differences today lie in the British and U.S. government. The British Virgin Islands are definitely less "tourist-y" and provide plenty of opportunities for travelers hoping to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The U.S. Virgin Islands, on the other hand, tend to be more active, filled with outgoing people and locations that cater to travelers. Weigh the distinctive atmosphere of each before deciding which island or group of islands is right for you.

Arrivals (How will I get there?)

Although the U.S. Virgin Islands are internationally known for their yachting and boating, few of the travelers visiting the islands arrive on their own vessels. This is an option, of course, but the speed and convenience of direct flights seem to be much preferred. The British Virgin Islands do not receive direct flights, and so vacationers must transfer to smaller planes or ferries after arriving in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Cruises represent another viable alternative for seeing either island group and will prove an appealing choice to visitors who believe that getting there is half the fun. Regardless of what you ultimately decide on, however, you should explore all the options until you feel comfortable picking one that best suits your travel style.

On the Island (Where will I go on the island?)

Deciding how you will occupy your days on the island may seem like an unnecessary part of your planning, but bear in mind that many of the most popular activities and attractions may require that reservations be made in advance. Guided tours or boat charters, for instance, can be difficult to arrange at the last minute during the peak season. If you've designed your trip to accommodate your interest in a certain sport or activity, you should have no trouble finding ways to spend your time, but try to include a few trips or adventures that allow you to enjoy the most unique features of the Virgin Islands.

A major factor to keep in mind when budgeting your time is the travel interests of your vacation companions. If you are traveling with friends you may want to survey everyone to get a feel for their own priorities and inclinations. Parents visiting the Virgin Islands with young children, on the other hand, will be more concerned with finding kid-friendly accommodations and activities that will entertain the whole family. Many areas of the Virgin Islands pride themselves on being family-friendly and it won't be difficult to locate these spots when selecting a region to visit.

Once you've determined your priorities and done your research, you'll fully equipped to make sound travel decisions. Remember to weigh all your options, but then proceed with confidence: after all, no one is more capable of making good choices for your Virgin Island vacation than you are. With your decisions all made, you're more than halfway done. Here's hoping you're ready to enjoy the time of your life!


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