The United States Virgin Islands, located in the Caribbean, are an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States purchased from Denmark in 1917. The U.S. Virgin Islands are one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, and tourism plays a significant role in the islands’ economy. Visitors come for the climate, scenery, fishing and diving opportunities, and free-port status; Charlotte Amalie in particular is a common port for cruise ships. Natural attractions include six national parks and a collection of biodiverse reefs that are ideal for underwater wildlife viewing. If you’re considering a vacation to the U.S. Virgin Islands, make sure to purchase U.S. Virgin Islands visitors medical insurance or travel insurance in case your plans go awry.

Visitors Medical Insurance for Travelers in the US Virgin Islands – FAQs

As the US Virgin Islands are a US territory, visiting them is much like visiting the United States. If you are a non-US resident, you will want to have visitors medical insurance

Do I need visitors medical insurance for the US Virgin Islands?

Just as when visiting the United States, the US Virgin Islands only legally require you to have health insurance coverage if you are visiting on a J visa. As a tourist or business traveler, it is not mandated, but it is highly recommended.

Why buy visitors medical insurance before traveling to the US Virgin Islands?

As a non-US resident traveling abroad, it is essential to have medical insurance coverage when visiting a US territory. Without it, any illness or injury that requires treatment may result in a medical bill that you cannot afford to pay.

Standard benefits for visitors medical insurance usually include coverage of emergency medical evacuation/repatriation, return of mortal remains, accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D), and ancillary benefits like ID theft assistance, terrorism, and natural disaster relief. The exact coverage available will depend upon the plan you purchase, so make sure to read the details and compare several options on this website. 

Trip Cancellation Insurance for Travelers in the US Virgin Islands – FAQs

Whether you are traveling to the US Virgin Islands by plane or as part of a cruise, it is crucial to protect the nonrefundable portion of your prepaid trip expenses. With trip cancellation insurance, you can do just that; and get coverage for a lot more, as well.

Why should I get trip cancellation insurance for my US Virgin Islands travel?

If you suddenly become ill, have a family or personal emergency, or severe weather makes travel impossible, you may have no choice but to cancel your USVI trip. While this would be disappointing, it could also be a big financial headache.

Your major prepaid trip expenses, like cruise tickets, airfare, hotels/resorts, and tour packages, are often nonrefundable. Even if you have to cancel your trip, you’re still forced to pay for it. With trip cancellation insurance, you can be reimbursed for these expenses. This allows you to be prepared for unplanned setbacks when planning a vacation.

What can be covered by trip cancellation insurance for the US Virgin Islands?

Most US Virgin Islands travel insurance plans will cover circumstances that include trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel delay, loss of baggage, and emergency medical treatment. Depending upon the plan you choose, you may also receive ancillary benefits like emergency cash transfer or passport replacement.

As the trip cancellation component of travel insurance typically only covers cancellation for a covered reason, it is recommended that you look into cancel for any reason coverage if you think there’s a chance you may have to cancel your trip for reasons not covered by standard travel insurance.

The US Virgin Islands’ Most Popular Places for Travel

The U.S. Virgin Islands consist of three large islands—St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas—and about 50 smaller islands and keys. The capital and largest city, Charlotte Amalie, is located on the island of St. Thomas.

Though you could spend a year exploring the all of the USVI, here are the top five places we recommend you not miss out on during your visit.

St. Croix

St. Croix is the largest of the islands at 22.7 miles long and eight miles at its widest point. It’s best known as a destination for honeymooners, cultural tourism, and scuba divers. Featuring activities like beaches, fine dining options, casinos, and golf resorts, as well as cultural and historical sites in the towns of Christiansted and Frederiksted, the island is a tranquil, tropical paradise that is ideal for a relaxing getaway. The largest town is Christiansted, which boasts neoclassical architecture dating back to the island’s days as a Dutch colony.

St. John

St. John, the smallest of the U.S. Virgin Islands at about 9 miles long and 5 miles wide, is known for its largely untouched natural beauty. Virgin Islands National Park, established in 1956, covers about two-thirds of the island and features hiking trails, protected bays, beaches, underwater gardens, and petroglyphs (rock carvings) from the islands’ oldest inhabitants. The park and all of its attractions are free of charge to visitors; the only exception is Trunk Bay Beach, the most scenic spot on the island. Just off the coast lies the Trunk Bay Underwater Snorkeling Trail. Other popular beaches in the park include Cinnamon Bay, Hawksnest Bay, Honeymoon Beach, and Maho Bay.

St. Thomas

St. Thomas is a volcanic island about 40 miles east of Puerto Rico. It’s branded as the most cosmopolitan of the U.S. Virgin Islands, especially as the location of their capital, Charlotte Amalie.

One of the most popular cruise ports in the Caribbean, Charlotte Amalie offers a wide variety of restaurants, entertainment, boutiques, jewelry stores, and other shopping opportunities. Tourist attractions in the city include Coral World Ocean Park, an interactive marine exhibit featuring turtles, sea lions, stingrays, and a Sea Trek helmet dive; Blackbeard’s Castle, built in 1679; Fort Christian; and St. Thomas Synagogue, the second-oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. Also, don’t miss the 99 Steps, which actually consist of 103 steps and lead to wonderful, panoramic views of the city.

St. Croix Heritage Trail

The St. Croix Heritage Trail is a 72-mile driving tour that passes through many of the island’s historical and natural attractions. The route includes Hamm’s Bay in the west and Point Udall, the easternmost point in the U.S., and takes you through everything from tropical forests to cattle pastures. It also leads you to attractions like the Estate Whim Plantation Museum, St. George Village Botanical Garden, and Fort Frederik.

Buck Island

Buck Island, about 1.5 miles northeast of St. Croix, is one of the most popular attractions of the island. It’s the site of the protected Buck Island Reef, a must-visit scuba destination featuring elkhorn coral grottoes, blue tang fish, barracudas, shipwrecks, and more. U.S. President John F. Kennedy named the reef an underwater national monument in 1961. The island itself offers hiking trails, beaches, picnic sites, and plenty of cooking grills for an outdoor barbecue.

Key Guidelines for Travelers in the US Virgin Islands

Drive on the Left

The US Virgin Islands are the only US territory – or rather, the only US-governed jurisdiction in the world – where cars drive on the left-hand side of the road. If renting a car, this will obviously be unfamiliar to US drivers. Even visitors from Japan, India, and UK who are accustomed to driving on the left-hand side of the road will need some time to adjust, as nearly every car in the US Virgin Islands is imported from the US market, and is thus left-hand drive. Luckily, renting a car is far from necessary. Cabs and rideshare services can get you most anywhere you want to go on these small islands. 

Road Safety

If you do decide to drive or rent a scooter to get around the islands, keep in mind that many roads are steep and narrow, with sharp turns and bumpy pavement. Do not rent a scooter unless you are very experienced at riding one, and always wear appropriate safety equipment.

A COVID Test May Be Necessary

Though residents of the US and US territories are no longer subject to COVID testing requirements to enter the USVI, residents of some nations may be. It is recommended that you visit the USVI Travel Screening Portal when planning your trip so you are prepared to take the appropriate measures.

Watch Out for Petty Crime

The US Virgin Islands are a safe destination by any measure, but this does not mean that crime is nonexistent. Instances of pickpocketing and purse-snatching do occur, especially in busy tourist areas, such as around cruise ship ports. Keep all of your valuables and travel documents secure at all times. When exploring one of the islands, leave any unnecessary valuables for the day securely locked in the room at your hotel or resort.

Avoiding Diseases

Traveling to the Caribbean can put you at increased risk of contracting a food or water-borne disease like cholera, hepatitis, or typhoid, or an insect-borne disease such as zika, West Nile Virus, or dengue fever. Take care to only eat food that has been prepared hygienically, drink bottled water, and always wear insect repellent. Speaking to your healthcare professional about any necessary vaccinations prior to your trip is an excellent idea as well. 

Before You Travel to the US Virgin Islands – Do This

  • Bring your ID – Though US residents and residents of many other nations do not need a passport to visit the US Virgin Islands, make sure you have some sort of government-issued ID. 
  • Keep an eye on the weather – Like all Caribbean locations, the US Virgin Islands can be affected by hurricanes and tropical storms. Pay attention to Caribbean weather forecasts, and you’re your trip accordingly.
  • Don’t leave your financial security up to chance – Get US Virgin Islands visitors medical insurance or travel insurance and protect yourself.

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