Whether you’re traveling to Saint John for the 1st time or for the 15th time, we’ve got some great tips to make your next trip just that much easier/smarter and all around better.
A few St. John tips for you:
Sunscreen– Let’s talk sunscreen for a minute. Most of you probably know that we do not allow spray sunscreen of any kind on our boat, but the lotion kind is honestly JUST as bad. The chemicals in sunscreen are toxic to the environment and are killing our coral reefs at an alarming rate. So the solution? Bring it with you from the states, but read the label! Just because it says reef safe, doesn’t mean it actually is. Avobenzone, OxyBenzone and many other harsh chemicals are the main ingredients in most sunscreens so you want to opt for the ones that are Zinc Oxide based like Badger, our favorite brand. Another really great option is to wear a SPF long sleeve shirt when snorkeling or in the sun. Hey, we know where you can get one of those!
Greeting– Can’t say it enough. Make sure you always say Good Morning, Good Afternoon,and Good Evening before speaking to anyone. Especially if you are asking that person for help/directions etc. It’s a cultural and politeness norm here and those few words go a looooong way!
Pack Light– Honestly, I bet that the airlines lose more luggage coming into St. Thomas than they do coming into any other destination. So if you can manage it, a carry on is your best bet. Some great coverups, lots of bikinis and sandals, and a few night time outfits are really all you need. Also, it’s hot here. Really hot. So carrying a giant bag up the steps (let’s be real, we have maybe 3 elevators on the entire island) to your villa might not be the easiest feat after a full day of travel.
Book Early– If you want to book a boat charter a specific day of your week, book early, especially for the holidays. If you want to get a table at your favorite restaurant, make a reservation now! If you want to make sure you have a jeep rented from a reputable car rental agency, book it early. We have legitimately seen the entire island devoid of rental cars during Christmas week before.
Come during an “off” time- I’m not just saying this because we’re headed into off season. There are some great “off” times to visit St. John and while now is one of them, the beginning of December is another great option. Rates go up on December 15th, so if you travel before then but after Thanksgiving, you’re getting better rates on just about everything, and it’s pretty quiet down here. Funny enough the week immediately before Christmas week is usually one of our slowest, at least for those of us in the boating industry.
Hope to see you down here soon!