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Cammel11's Profile Photo

Expensive?

by Cammel11 Online Now Sep 25, 2008 at 11:21 PM

Is St. John expensive? I know, I asked the stupid question. Is food and money you pay for other attractions pricey? Or would you say it is average for a vacation destination? I know it depends on your budget, but any replies would be greatly appreciated.

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3 Answers
  • vanderlust's Profile Photo

    Expensive?

    by vanderlust Online Now Sep 29, 2008 at 7:17 AM

    St. John can be expensive. If you do a little prep work you can make it as affordable as a trip to any other island destination in the caribbean.

    Airfare is the first major expense. If you keep your eyes open you can find reduced fares. Spirit airlines runs specials (http://www.spiritair.com/). My advice on any air ticket is to fly direct to STT from the US mainland instead of stopping in SJU. I like San Juan, but it adds time and expense to your trip.

    Next big expense is your accomodations. I prefer villas on StJ to the couple of luxury hotels on the island. You can find "deals" there also. During off season or shoulder season you can find a house to live in for less than100 per person per night for a couple. You have to have an idea of what you are looking for when deal shopping for a villa. I like the VRBO and HomeAway websites. Be cautious when dealing direct with an owner though. I have heard horror stories about last minute cancellations on the owners part. You can use a management company to find and book a villa but some will tack on as much as a 5% fee. Multiple camping options are available, sometimes camping costs can rival the per person cost for a villa though. With camping though, you get waterfront accomodations.

    Eating on StJ can be "expensive". If you dine out, you will find your food and drink bill equal to your villa bill. We bring some essentials with us and our first stop is at the Starfish Market for groceries and drinks. Expect to pay 10% - 40% more for groceries on island. Alcohol is about the only thing you will find a bargain on StJ. Rum can actually be cheaper than water.

    You can get by without a car rental if you planned your villa right. You will have to use public transport (ViTran) which is not altogether reliable, hitchhike (which is common) or just walk. Jeep rental is of comparable cost to the mainland ~$360 per week off season.

    My last trip to StJ cost about700 per person per week. (two couples sharing some expenses.) I have been shopping for another trip for my wife and I and it breaks down to about1000 per person per week.
    No matter what I end up paying, I have never regretted a trip to St. John.

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  • Re: does not have to be

    by aeleland Online Now Oct 13, 2008 at 7:38 AM

    Hi,
    St. John does not have to be expensive. You can find a small room to rent, or camp at the campground. Food is expensive in the grocery stores, but if you plan well and have a place to cook, you will be ok.
    Getting around the island is easy, you can hitchhike to north shore beaches, or take the bus from one end to the other.
    I live on St. John most of the year, in Fishbay on the south side of the island. Email me directly if you want more info.
    Andrea (aeleland@yahoo.com)

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  • vanderlust's Profile Photo

    Re: Expensive?

    by vanderlust Online Now Aug 31, 2009 at 8:21 AM

    So Cammell, I am curious, did you make it to StJ and how did you like it?

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