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"Laying on my beach towel on Trunk Bay Beach-St John, US Virgin Islands  (with a cool drink and last night's leftovers)...Looking through the palm tree above me..Thanking God for a new day, while enjoying the ocean breezes, the sounds of the surf and no worries on a beautiful day...Now that's a vacation." 

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           TRAVEL INSIGHTS FROM A VIRGIN ISLANDS LOCAL


DEALING WITH THE NATIVES.
.
..If you are traveling to the Virgin Islands.. One important tip-It is very wise to always approach an island local with a friendly "Good Morning" or " Good Afternoon". I cannot over emphasize this simple courtesy.  The locals expect this and may not even recognize you if you forget to do this simple introduction .. The Virgin Islands locals are a generous and kind people, but remember that we are just visitors and guest to the local's  islands...Also, just relax, the locals take their time and you just have to be patient...If you are waiting to check your bags and your plane is ready to taxi..you will probably get a "no problem" response from the local check in agent..the locals take their time..Following this simple advice will help you have a pleasant trip to the islands .. (More Virgin Islands Advice and live webcam below -after ads)                                                                                                                                        

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                                               (Virgin Islands Advice continued) 

MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION ON THE VIRGIN ISLANDS ...  Once on the Virgin Islands, take time to explore the many sights and attractions of the Virgin Islands . If you are going to travel the long trip to the islands, you honestly need to spend some time going to the many beautiful beaches, quaint restaurants on the beach, historic sites, etc and just spend time just enjoying the island experience. Provided you are going to explore the Virgin Islands, you have several traveling choices.   RENT A CAR OR JEEP-You can rent a car or jeep (a car is fine on most roads), If I stay over a week, I will usually rent a car at least a couple of days. It will cost $50- $75 a day.  Consider renting from a local mom and pop shop. Their cars are fine, they deliver, they are cheaper and they will negotiate.    CALL A TAXI-You can rent a local taxi, but it's not cheap. Taxis can be found throughout the shopping districts on St John and St Thomas, or you can phone a taxi to pick you up anywhere. For two people to travel from one end of the island to the other it will cost $15-one way per person.. With a tip expect to pay around $10 for even a short ride.   TAKE THE SAFARI BUS-If you are traveling in close proximity to the major east/west highways on St Thomas, you can take the local shuttle bus, the "Safari". The "Safari" is a reliable open air shuttle bus the locals use and it cost just one dollar to go from side of St Thomas to the opposite side. (NOW THAT'S A TRAVEL DEAL)..A new bus arrives at numerous sites along the route about every ten minutes. The "Safari" bus is safe, interesting and amazingly fast..(Unfortunately, the "Safari" is not suitable for transporting luggage and the airport bus stop is about a mile from the airport terminal). ..RIDE THE FERRY- If you travel between St Thomas and St John  you will be traveling by ferry..The ferry ride To Cruz Bay, St John (the St John ferry dock)is a short twenty minute ride by ferry departing from (Red Hook) on the far east end of ST Thomas, and the cost is about five dollars per person..(Keep in mind, the one hour taxi ride to the east end (Red Hook) from the airport is about $15 per person).. Or you can take the forty-five minute ferry ride to St John from the shopping district dock in Charlotte Amalie on St Thomas, at a cost of $10 and just an $8 fifteen minute taxi ride from the airport to the ferry dock.. (See St Thomas Source below for ferry schedules/prices).. The east end (Red Hook) ferry runs well into the night and much more often..(and prices do fluctuate)..A ride on the either ferry is actually a nice way to relax after a long flight (and the ferries do run on schedule for the most part).   RENT A BOAT-Lastly, you can even rent a small motor boat for $400 a day from  several operators, and be your own captain and go from beach to beach...SEAPLANE- How most will travel between St Thomas and St Croix..

ST CROIX, ST THOMAS, ST JOHN OR WATER ISLAND... Anyone considering a trip to the Virgin Islands will need to decide which island or islands they plan to visit ..Having spent considerable time on all three islands, I can say with experience that each island has its own unique personality.  ST THOMAS-St Thomas has the duty free shopping, with some of the best duty free retail shops in the world to buy jewels, electronics, liquor, clothes, etc...      ST JOHN.. The best beaches/views..No other island in the world has a magnificent national park covering two-thirds of the island. While in St John, by all means rent a jeep and travel the north shore road to Coral Bay and have lunch at Ship Wreck Landing. The views are amazing..  ST CROIX  has everything the other two offer plus great golf courses...  WATER ISLAND...It is a lovely small island mostly known by the locals..I have vacationed there and it is a private oasis just a short boat ride from Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas. It has a couple of quaint tropical beaches and its almost like having an island to yourself.. There are no five-star resorts, but you will find private villas and a few guest houses that offer nice accommodations for your trip  . Water Island is just a short boat ride from St Thomas, but very private, as you can only get there on a small ferry....Water Island would be a great escape for a travelling celebrity wanting to relax in privacy, but still close to everything the islands have to offer.       

CONDO, PRIVATE HOME, A GUEST HOUSE, OR LUXURY RESORT/HOTEL....There are many various accommodations available on the Virgin Islands.. All three of the main islands have the five star mega resorts/hotels-that are pricey but with all the amenities.  Then there are the small more relatively modest hotels with most amenities, but considerably less expensive.  And there are guest houses with few amenities, but very nice and very reasonable in price. Many of the local workers on the islands often rent a room in a guest house on a weekly or monthly basis.  Many people, especially those traveling as a large group, will rent a luxury villa or condo. It's nice to rent a condo or villa and be able explore the islands in your rented jeep.  And by renting a condo or villa you will save a considerable amount over the cost a luxury hotel resort, including the cost of meals by cooking in your private kitchen in a very nice condo or villa. And they all have great ocean views..Then travel like a local and just hop in your rented jeep and beach hop every day..

THE MANY BEACHES OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS...All the islands have beautiful tropical beaches and I will only address just a few, and any of the many beaches on the islands are a nice beach.  St Thomas' most popular beach is probably Magens Bay. If you do not have a rental car the taxi fair to Magens Bay from most locations on St Thomas can be relatively costly.  Magens Bay is a long lovely beach with a respectable beach bar/cafe. A lot of the locals find their way to Lindberg Beach, which is located a very short distance from the St Thomas airport. Lindberg has two nice beach bar/cafes adjacent to two modest hotels. The surf at Lindberg is calm and gentle. You can actually catch the "Safari" to Lindberg, and walk about a quarter of a mile to the beach from the drop off point..If you enjoy snorkeling and spending a lot of time on the beach, I recommend St John..Even the locals on St Thomas go to St John on the weekends. St John has many lovely tropical beaches, most within the national park. The most notable being Trunk Bay, with its famous snorkeling trail. AS TO SNORKELING- (Actually, the best snorkeling on Trunk Bay is at the far western end of the Trunk Bay along the rocky cliffs next to shore, and not the marked trail crowded with all the tourist). If you go to Trunk Bay, go early morning before the cruise ships arrive and enjoy the beach by yourself. When the beach gets crowded with all the cruise patrons, the best advice is to just pack up and head back to town and set up on one of the locals favorite local beach, Hawks Nest..Bring your own cooler to Hawks Nest, as there are no concessions, but it is beautiful, and close to Cruz Bay and much more private..Just east of Hawks Nest is a small beach, Oppienhimer Beach, where you will find some of the best snorkeling on the island in shallow waters just off shore..And drop me an email I will pass on the name and location of a small cay where the snorkeling is unbelievable(lots of star fish and coral), and it also has a small sandy beach..You will probably be the only one on this small cay...Again, any Virgin Islands beach is great place to spend the day and I have only named a few..( See: Beaches St John:  A Guide and Photos of St John Beaches)

For traveling advice on the Virgin Islands (including ferry schedules)-See the St Thomas Source:  St Thomas Source  -The local virgin islands news site..(Just check the visitors center..)   Also, email us above for Virgin Islands trip advice..Ask Uncle Barnie

For special deals and latest happenings-see the web edition of The Island Trader at : Virgin Island Daily News

Live webcam above the Cruz Bay ferry dock (New photo every 30 seconds):

Cruz Bay,St John-USVI- Ferry Dock


BUT REMEMBER....... ASK LOCAL TRAVEL GUIDES about hidden local deals....And It's free....Locals can offer tips that will make your trip the best you ever had.....So get a locals free advice and create a great trip..

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Each day a new Bible verse is added to this site. Many times in our travels, we face dangerous surroundings and perilous circumstances. It is good to know that an All-knowing God is there to watch over us, guide and protect us from all harm. (Psalms-23)

Every sunrise offers a new beginning..Just click the photo below..(A ST THOMAS SUNRISE) ..And Thank God for a new day.........And be sure to share this site with a friend...A great place to start the day.

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