At every stage of our lives we have friends, good friends, that we enjoy spending time with. Although it may be simpler when you’re in your twenties; there’s a growing trend for girlfriend getaways at all ages! Reuniting your college sisterhood? Perhaps your group is formed of the bonds of motherhood and parenting? Maybe you’re besties are celebrating the freedoms of the empty nest? Or perhaps one of your friends is celebrating a milestone birthday? Whatever brings you together we hope this guide will help you plan your girlfriend getaway on St John, US Virgin Islands.
1 year is ideal. Friends with families/kids/pets and/or hectic jobs will need every bit of 365 days to arrange their lives for a getaway. The foundation of successful trip planning is having plenty of time to bring each piece of the trip, together!
Throw the idea out there and see who’s interested. Throw it out again to see who is really interested ; )
There are lots of great destinations. From skiing in the winter to wine country in the Fall. But the most popular destinations are tropical. Our focus is on this tropical getaway. Somewhere exotic? Someplace warm? Someplace where a white sand beach is rimmed with coconut palms. A destination where the aqua blue water is your window onto brightly colored schools of Atlantic Blue Tangs, Queen Trigger Fish, adorable sea turtles and myriad of colorful hard and soft corals!
I’ll set aside the travel writer prose, for just a moment, in favor of these wow-me bullet points!
St John is not known for being an inexpensive destination. This tiny island imports much of what is consumed. From food, fruits and vegetables to clothing to gas/fuel. Nearly everything is shipped or flown in to the Virgin Islands. To help you establish a budget – here are some commonly required products and services and their local prices*.
Vacation Rentals: An average 4 bedroom villa with pool costs approx. $3,750-$5,500/wk during High Season ( save 30% during Low Season).
Taxi ride from Cyril King airport STT to Red Hook ferry to St John = $15 pp + $2/per bag.
Red Hook Ferry to Cruz Bay, St John = $8.15 pp + $4/per bag
Rental car/Jeep™ = $75-$90/day 4-6 passenger
Food – bananas = $0.65-$1.29/lb. Grapes = $8.19/lb. Starfish Market bakery/deli – Crusty Sourdough Bread = $5.99. Almond croissants = $1.90. Cheerios™ = $7.99. Pace chunky salsa = $4.89.
Massage: Avg $125/hr
Day Charter: St John snorkeling tours and trips into the BVIs run between $600 to $950.
Cruz Bay Landing: Blue Banana pancake breakfast = $11. Veggie omelet = $12.
The Lime Inn: Local grilled lobster $36/lb. Drunken Ribs = $23.
The Longboard: Happy Hour $6 Painkillers! Fried calamari = $16.
This really depends on your group. But here are the pros and cons for visiting St John during “High Season” and “Low Season”.
High Season typically runs from mid December to mid April. This coincides with winter for much of the continental United States. It’s also peek holiday season … including Christmas, New Years and Spring Break. The number one reason to visit during High Season has to be to escape the winter weather at home. Number two, celebrate a holiday(s) with family or friends. High Season visitors will find that beaches, restaurants and transportation are, as you might expect, at a premium. Vacation rental rates average about 30% higher; with some villas charging an additional 10%-20% during Holidays.
Low Season typically runs from mid April to mid December. Vacation rental and resort rates are typically about 30% less than High Season nightly/weekly rates. While you may not get the winter escape – you can enjoy the same great beaches, activities and weather at a significant savings!
Want more information on ways to save on your St John vacation? Check out our vacation planning guide.
Research and book air fare for your dates.
According to MentalFloss.com the best time to buy your tickets is 62 days in advance for the winter months, 90 days in advance for spring flights and 47 days in advance for summer travel. Which airlines have flights into St Thomas, US Virgin Islands? Airlines servicing STT
If you’re an AirBnB or VRBO user we’ve got news for you! The convenience of booking on those sites comes at a price. VRBO charges a “service fee”, aka Booking Fee, capped at $499. AirBnB also charges a “service fee”, no cap, at a rate of 0%-20% of your booking! That can add hundreds and hundreds ( in some cases thousands …) of dollars to the cost of your vacation rental. Luckily St John has a Book Direct with owners/managers web site! Search over 260 listings from adorable and romantic island cottages to charming B&Bs to St John Resorts and the entire spectrum of villa rentals. Rates start as low as $65/nt/low season and can go as high as $3,825/nt for a luxury villa during Holiday dates! You’ll also find exclusive discounts and a Villa by Name Directory. Happy browsing …. www.StJohn-VillaRentals.com
You know your group better than anybody else. So research some options for group activities. St John has some fantastic day sail and power boat charters. Full or 1/2 day snorkeling charters. Sunset sails. Kayak, hike and snorkel ecotours. National Park hiking trails.
Individual or twosie activities – spa/massage/yoga
You’ll be booking and using a variety of transportation including airport shuttles, ferry ( Red Hook/St Thomas to Cruz Bay/St John ), safari taxis, rental car(s). If your group is traveling together consider private airport transportation which can be booked online via CaribbaConnect. Ferry tickets are purchased at the ferry terminal ( extra charge for bags + tip). Safari taxis, located by the ferry dock, will take passengers to most of the popular North shore beaches.
Cruz Bay: Mongoose Junction: Lulee St John , Just Beach, Caravan Gallery, Portico, Freebird ( by the ferry dock). Coconut Coast Studios ( Frank Bay). St John Spice/Wharfside. Pink Papaya/Cruz Bay
Coral Bay: Isola Shops: Zemi, Jolly Dog Trading
Upscale: Cruz Bay: Extra Virgin Bistro, Morgan’s Mango, La Tapa
Casual<>Mid: Cruz Bay: Lime Inn, St John Brewers / Tap Room, The Longboard Cantina, Tap and Still. TBD Restaurant ( Coral Bay )
Cruz Bay: DRINK, The Beach Bar, St John Brewers/Tap Room
Coral Bay: Aqua Bistro, Rhumblines/Indigo Grill, TBD Restaurant
Hansen Bay / East End: Lime Out VI – floating taco bar!
Check out our article on the best St John Happy Hours