3 Tips for Virgin Islanders Preparing to Visit Family for the Holidays

Winter Portrait of Young Woman Outdoor












Tis the season for family visits for Thanksgiving, Christmas / Hanukkah / Kwanzaa.  For many living on St. Croix, it is one of a couple of occasions each year to pack bags and prepare to face bitter cold visiting stateside relatives and friends.  Here are a few tips for Crucians preparing to venture off-island this holiday season:

1. Drop ship your gifts

Unless you’re bringing home a special island gift, consider drop shopping your holiday gifts directly from retailer to recipient.  Amazon.com and many other online retailers make this process painless (especially for amazon prime members).

If you’ve found special presents from one of the fantastic artisans on St. Croix, use United States Postal Service (USPS) Priority Mail to ship quickly at the lowest cost.  Grab your boxes now (early November), as island post offices often run out in December, especially of flat rate boxes.  The same is true for holiday stamps, which you should buy for your cards as soon as they become available.

2. Pack for the worst weather imaginable

Unless you’re lucky enough to visit family in Florida or southern California, be ready for brutal cold, snow and ice.  That means sweaters, socks, boots, etc.  Don’t forget your heavy coat and winter accessories like gloves, scarves and hats.  If you gave away all those things when you chose island life, or if yours have grown mold in the back of your humid closet, an unexpected place to find good replacements is the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center Flea Market.  Space Bags (or similar products) are your friend to fit all that crap into your carry-on.

3.  Consider putting your residence on Airbnb.com

The week between Christmas and the New Year is the most popular for tourists on St. Croix, with most hotels sold out far in advance.  So think about putting your home or condo up for a short-term rental.  Just be sure you consider the worst case scenario with your potential Water and Power Authority (WAPA) bill.

Ready to host Christmas in the Caribbean?  Chris Hanley was the top broker on St. Croix in 2014 and is the authority on Virgin Islands real estate.  Contact him today and download his free guide the 10 Best Reasons for Living on St. Croix.