US Virgin Islands Travel Guide

US Virgin Islands Travel Etiquette

You want to get the most enjoyment out of your US Virgin Islands travel; learning some simple etiquette guidelines will be a big help. Here are some tips to make the most of your USVI travel.

Good manners are highly prized in the Virgin Islands.

Greetings are a bit more formal in the USVI than on the U.S. mainland. "Good morning", "Good afternoon", and "Good night" (as a hello, not a goodbye) should preface every conversation.

Of course, the only proper response to such a greeting is to echo the words back to the other person. A sincere smile also goes a long way.

A few words of simple conversation (about the weather, for example, or an inquiry about how a person's day is going) is a courteous way for you to ease into the "meat" of your conversation.

In my experience, you'll get a better reception if you're not in too much of a hurry to state your agenda. Of course, this may not be appropriate with an immigration officer dealing with a long line of people, or a hotel clerk who's already asked how she can help you, but as a rule, it's a good habit when conversing with locals.

On the other hand, avoid being overly familiar. Questions about a person's marital status, job, children, and so on, are impolite and considered prying. Virgin Islanders prize their privacy. So until you become truly well acquainted with a person, avoid such inquiries.

U.S. Virgin Islands Travel:

More Etiquette Guidelines

Treat people with respect; avoid patronizing or condescending to locals. Too many brash tourists treat Virgin Islanders like servants or tourist attractions.

If you want to take someone's picture, politely ask permission first.

Bathing suits are fine while you're at the beach or the pool. They are not acceptable dress in town or when entering shops or other businesses. Short shorts and skimpy tops are considered disrespectful in such settings. The same is true of sloppy or dirty clothing (except when you're hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, or engaging in other such activities).

US Virgin Islands Travel:

"Island Time"

Generally, life moves at a slower pace in the islands.

This is a natural consequence of the warm climate, since a slower pace is a normal way to avoid overheating in the tropics. So don't rush things. Exercise patience. Allow people to accomplish things at their own pace.

This isn't just good manners; it's also an excellent way to enjoy a more relaxing experience during your US Virgin Islands travel.

After all, you are here to relax, aren't you?

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