General Info

by Female Abroad

Heading to the US Virgin Islands (USVI) for a vacation or a leisurely getaway? You might be curious about what to expect upon arriving and the cultural norms of this beautiful Caribbean destination. In this blog post, we'll provide you with essential information to help you navigate your trip smoothly and appreciate the local culture. From language and climate to customs and shopping, let's dive into the vibrant world of the USVI.

Basic Information

Language: English is the primary language spoken in the USVI, making communication convenient for English speakers.

Time Zone: The USVI operates on Atlantic Time, and they do not observe daylight-saving time. Remember to adjust your schedule accordingly.

Caribbean Time: Embrace the relaxed atmosphere as the USVI operates on "Caribbean time." Things might move a bit slower, so take the opportunity to unwind and enjoy the laid-back lifestyle.

Drinking Water: To stay hydrated and healthy during your stay, it is recommended to drink bottled water. This precaution ensures that you avoid any potential discomfort from local water sources.

Electricity: The electricity supply in the USVI is the same as in the United States, utilizing 110 volts. You can conveniently use your electrical devices without the need for adapters.

Country Code: The country code for the USVI is 1, so make sure to include it when making international calls.

Cell Phone Reception: Keep in mind that cell phone reception may not be reliable throughout the entire island. It's a good idea to check with your service provider about coverage areas or consider purchasing a local SIM card if needed.


Hurricane Season: If you plan to visit between June and November, be aware that it falls during the hurricane season. The peak of hurricane activity usually occurs in September and October. Stay informed about weather updates and follow any guidelines or advisories from local authorities.

Seasonal Variation: November to February is considered the coldest period, while September to October tends to be the hottest. Pack appropriate clothing to match the seasonal variations and ensure your comfort throughout your trip.

Rainy Season: July to January experiences more rainfall compared to other months. Don't forget to pack a light rain jacket or umbrella to be prepared for occasional showers.


Politeness: Embrace the local custom of being pleasant and polite when interacting with locals. Start conversations or transactions with greetings such as "Morning! How are you?" to establish a friendly atmosphere.

Dress Code: While swimwear is acceptable at the beach or pool areas, it's preferable to wear T-shirts, dresses, shorts, and sandals when away from these locations. Show respect for the local culture by dressing appropriately in public spaces.

Tipping: In restaurants, it is customary to leave a tip ranging from 15% to 20% of the total bill. However, some establishments may include a service charge, so check your bill beforehand. It's always a good idea to show appreciation for excellent service.


  1. January: New Years Day, Three Kings Day, Martin Luther Kind's Birthday
  2. February: President's Day
  3. March: Transfer Day
  4. April: Virgin Islands Carnival, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, Easter Monday
  5. May: Children's Parade, Adult Parade, Memorial day
  6. June - July: St. John's month long celebration of the island
  7. June: Organic Act Day
  8. July: VI Emancipation Day, Independence Day, Hurricane Supplication Day September: Labor Day
  9. October: Columbus Day, Puerto Rico Friendship day, Hurricane Thanksgiving Day
  10. November: Liberty Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day
  11. December: Christmas Day, Boxing Day / Christmas Second Day


Duty-Free Allowances: US visitors are permitted to bring $1,200 worth of duty-free items back home within a 30-day period. However, if you plan to mail gifts internationally, the value cannot exceed $100 per day to the same address.

Tobacco and Alcohol: Travelers to the USVI can bring up to 5 cartons of cigarettes, 100 cigars, and 5 liters of liquor. However, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the current duty allowances, especially if you are returning to Canada, as they may differ. Refer to the Canadian Government's website for up-to-date information.

Activity Suggestion: Shop, See, & Splash
Combine shopping, sightseeing, and a beach excursion on this single tour in St. Thomas. With a guide in the lead, follow a curated itinerary to make sure you see the best of all of these facets of St. Thomas. Spend some time shopping in downtown Charlotte Amalie, then head out on a sightseeing tour that covers all of the island's highlights. End up at Megan's Bay, Coki Beach, or Sapphire Beach for some time to relax before heading back to your starting point.

As you prepare for your journey to the US Virgin Islands, understanding the general information, climate patterns, cultural customs, and shopping guidelines will greatly enhance your experience. Embrace the friendly local culture, savor the breathtaking scenery, and immerse yourself in the vibrant festivals and celebrations. Whether you're seeking relaxation or adventure, the USVI promises an unforgettable vacation filled with warm hospitality and tropical charm.