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US Virgin Islands Travel Information

The Basics

Time

GMT -4.

Electricity

120 volts, 60Hz. Two-flat-pin plugs are standard.

Language

English is the official language. Spanish, Creole and some French are also spoken.

Travel Health

Health risks include hepatitis A and dengue fever. Only bottled water should be drunk outside the major towns. Medical facilities are of a high standard, but health insurance is vital as medical care is very expensive.

Tipping

Tipping of 15 to 20 percent is customary for good service. Some hotels and restaurants automatically add a service charge and room tax.

Safety Information

The US Virgin Islands are generally safe for travellers and the vast majority of visits are trouble-free; however, normal precautions against petty crime should be taken, especially in the back streets of towns at night. Don't leave valuables lying on the beach when snorkelling or swimming.

Local Customs

In the US Virgin Islands, politeness is important. Greet people before asking questions or requesting assistance. Greetings depend on the time of day, with good morning, good afternoon, and good evening being common. You may hear locals thanking 'jumbi' (spirits) for good luck, or blaming them for misfortune.

Business

The economy in the US Virgin Islands revolves primarily around tourism, though petroleum refining takes place off St. Croix. Like many other Caribbean countries things are pretty relaxed, and formal business attire is generally not considered necessary as the climate makes this quite uncomfortable. The people are friendly and polite and shaking hands is common upon introductions for men and women; business cards are handed out upon introduction. Business hours are typically 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday, with lunch breaks around 12pm.

Communications

The international country code for the US Virgin Islands is +1 340 and the code for dialling out internationally is 011 (followed by the relevant country code, for example 01144 for the United Kingdom). City/area codes are not required. The AT & T Wireless GSM mobile network covers the islands. Internet cafes are available in the main resorts.

Duty Free

Travellers to the Virgin Islands who are residents of the USA follow the same regulations that apply to the United States. Travellers over 21 years are allowed 1 US quart of alcoholic beverages; and perfumes, lotions and other goods for personal use. Travellers who are non-residents do not have to pay duty on the following items: 50 cigars or 200 cigarettes or 2kg tobacco, or a proportionate mix of these. Gifts and alcohol brought into the Virgin Islands by non-residents are not exempt from duty.

Become our US Virgin Islands Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our US Virgin Islands travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to US Virgin Islands or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.