What you need to know before you go to St. Croix
Visiting St. Croix means experiencing one of the loveliest tropical destinations in the world. The island's beautiful beaches with opportunities for scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and sailing are good enough reason to go even without knowledge of the island’s fascinating history, showcased in guided tours of historic sites. Add in golfing, horseback riding, an active nightlife and richly colorful local culture and who wouldn’t want to visit? But do U.S. citizens need to bring their passports?
Do I need a passport to go to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands?
St. Croix seems like such an exotic locale, it’s easy to forget that it is a U.S. territory. That means flights from the United States to St. Croix are considered domestic, and U.S citizens are not required to show a passport to visit. But while it’s easy to fly into the U.S. Virgin Islands with only enough identification to please the airlines, it’s not a bad idea to bring your passport along. Getting back into the U. S. is a trickier business – travelers may need to prove their identity with various forms of identification unless they can present their passports. If bringing a passport is not an option, it’s a good idea to travel with a birth certificate, driver’s license and possibly another form of ID, like a Social Security card.
Where else can you go without a passport?
St. Croix is an exotic paradise that can be reached without benefit of a passport, but it’s not alone. The U.S. Virgin Islands of St. Thomas and St. John boast of this benefit as well, although they are not the only places where a passport is not required for entry. Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa claim the same perk because they are all territories of the United States.
Customs and duty-free rules in St. Croix
Duty-free shopping is a big draw in St. Croix, and no wonder. Any United States resident, including children, can bring home $1,600 worth of duty-free goods every 30 days. Shopping is bountiful all over the island, and travelers can use their duty-free allowance on a large variety of goods from unique jewelry and West Indian crafts and art to St. Croix’s world famous rum.
Before traveling to St. Croix or any other tropical destination, it’s imperative to see your doctor to make sure you're up to date with vaccinations. Note that the Zika virus has invaded the islands, and precautions must be taken to prevent exposure to this illness, especially by pregnant women.
Here’s a fun fact for travelers in 2017: The U.S. Virgin Islands is currently paying visitors to visit. Visiting the island for three consecutive nights will earn a traveler $300. Certain restrictions do apply to this bid to boost tourism, though. The stay must be booked by October for completion by the end of the year, and lodging is restricted to participating hotels.