Virgin Islands Boat Rental - 5 Tips To Make Your Virgin Islands Boat Tour Great!
Thinking about a Virgin Islands Boat Rental? It can be the best day of your vacation...IF you follow a few tips that will ensure your virgin islands boat rental, or BVI boat tour is nothing but smooth sailing!
Customs: You’ll need to clear customs if you’re traveling between the US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands. The customs offices charge a fee per person which can vary depending on the time of the year, but its usually $25.00 per person, so make sure you’ve got plenty of cash with you as they do not take credit cards or checks. You’ll need your passport and will have to complete customs declaration forms. Your boat captain should handle the check-in process for you, which usually takes about 15-20 minutes depending on the time of day. When you return to your departure point (whether U.S. or British), you are supposed to CHECK BACK IN through customs. A lot of people don’t know this, but you can be fined if you don’t check back in. Customs closes at 5pm, so if you plan to stay later than 5pm, that’s fine--just check back in the next day.
Enjoying the Sun: Did you know that the potential for sunburn is greatest when you’re actually in the water? It’s true, UV rays reflect off the water and bounce onto your face, shoulders--everything. They even penetrate the top few inches of the water and since you’re comfortably immersed in it, you don’t even feel the heat! Make sure that you use a waterproof suntan lotion or cream on your face and reapply it frequently. Coating yourself in 110 UV once doesn’t work...it wears away pretty quickly. The fastest way to ruin your vacation is a sunburn. If you’re on a boat, use suntan lotion--not spray! The spray gets all over the boat’s seats and not only makes them slippery--it ruins the boat’s upholstery and coats the windshield, which kills their visibility. A number of captains will ask you not to spray while you’re on the boat. Just wait until you’re at a dock and off the boat, so save yourself by using lotion!
Saving Money: Suntan lotion is a must, but on the island, its pretty expensive. I highly recommend that you hit up your hometown Wal-Mart and purchase at least one can/tube for each day you’ll be on island. If you’ve got multiple people, you’ll need more than one can/tube per day. Make sure you pack the suntan lotion in your CHECKED bags only--it gets confiscated at the airport TSA screening area. This is a big money saver!!
Weather Report: If you look at the forecast before you go, you’ll probably see a “chance of rain” everyday. Don’t worry--unless you’re under a tropical storm or hurricane warning, the rain comes and goes in about 5 minutes, and it can be a welcome relief from that strong Caribbean sun. Your vacation won’t be ruined by bad weather, but it does rain at some point almost everyday.
Cell Phone Use: While the USVI is a U.S. territory, the cost to use your cell phone can be really expensive. If you don’t have an unlimited data plan, be sure to put your phone on “Airplane mode” so you don’t incur incredibly high roaming charges. Calls can be as much as $2.00 per minute on some carriers, so check with your wireless provider before traveling. Be sure you tell your wireless carrier that you will be on an island, and NOT in the contiguous 48 states. When you get to the British Virgin Islands (BVI), you’ll get a text telling you that you are now in international waters and international rates apply. Pay attention to those rates, because it can be pretty shocking when the bill arrives!
The islands are beautiful and the people are friendly. Use these tips and have a great time on your Virgin Islands Boat Rental or BVI boat tour.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Grey Beard runs "Pirates Paradise Adventures," a powerboat charter company specializing in taking families and friends on fun and exciting day trips to the best beaches, beach bars and snorkeling sites of the USVI and BVI. www.PiratesParadiseAdventures.com.
Seeing the virgin islands by boat is the absolutely best way to see them, especially if you only have a short time! For more information, photos and videos about the U.S. Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands, go to www.PiratesParadiseAdventures.com.