My boyfriend and I are thinking about moving to the USVI in November for about 6 months to a year. I am wondering about a few things and hoping that you may be able to help.
1. Is having a car necessary?? Which island is most conducive to public transportation or biking?
2. What is the best way to go about locating jobs and furnished housing??
Lets start there and see if you can offer some good insight. More questions to follow!
I don't live in the VI ....yet, but if you read the rest of the site, all of your questions can be answered there as well. I'm sure it would be nice to hear from some locals though.... but I've been doing a ton of research myself over the past month and I found the info on the site to be really helpful.
On St Croix, you would be hard pressed without a car. You can order furniture or buy local, according to your price range. If your price range is yard sale, you can check the "East End K-mart" which is the dumpsters by the Fire Station. Lot of good stuff gets dumped there, but it gets picked out quck. LOL
On St. John you could get by without a car if you live close to where you work. Its too hilly for biking. Many people walk and hitchhike. Best way to look for jobs or furnished housing is to move here and check bulletin boards for postings. 90% of the jobs posted are for cooks, handymen, waiters, bartenders etc. .
If you enter the search terms "career vi" you will find a job listing website. It's www.careervi or something like that. Plus both Bucaneer and Divi hotels on St. Croix are really looking for staff, per their classified ads. You really should not rely on biking on St. Croix. Too dangerous with the roads, cars, and rain. Check the Classified portion if this site for housing.
In STT there are quite a few job opportunities for short term residents in the retail and service industry - you can find housing within walking distance if you have a job in town or Red Hook. There are some transportation options during the daytime but not much after dark using the dollar surrey buses. This forum has a lot of info - start reading some of the many posts about it and the tabs above.
It might be best to stay in a small guest house for a week or two while you figure out jobs and housing and get a lay of the land. STT is not particularly bikable and it is not a common way of getting around.
I'm going to be the dissenting voice and say, if your job and your home are both mid-island near public transportation (VITRAN and taxi bus both have set routes) then you should be able to get by OK for a while without a car on STX. The only major catch is, if you need to go anywhere after 6-7pm (or on Sundays or one of the VI's many holidays) and can't afford to call for a private taxi, you're pretty much SOL. I've got a combined total of a little over a year here without a car, and there have definitely been times when I've missed it, but it hasn't been too bad. You can get used to anything, you know? And a car really isn't in my budget. Biking, though...wouldn't advise it. The terrain is pretty rough, and the roads aren't all in good shape.
Nor the drivers, lol. I don't know what the mean average of blood alcohol level of all drivers combined at any given moment in time, but I would wager it is higher than anywhere stateside.