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Ndbrown
(@Ndbrown)
Active Member

Hello all! My husband and I plan to make the jump to St Croix this spring/early summer. We both have fantastic jobs and all, but we want to live a simpler lifestyle. We plan to come with 10-15k in savings in hopes to find a rental and look for jobs once we're there (though we are doing our best to apply ahead of time). I have two main concerns: 1. We have pets, one large dog and two cats. 2. Would we be able to obtain a rental with our savings (maybe pay a few months advance?) And no current proof of income? I'm hoping my expectations are realistic here. Any advice is appreciated!

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Posted : February 15, 2018 9:57 pm
Gumbo
(@Gumbo)
Advanced Member

Yes

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Posted : February 15, 2018 10:06 pm
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

We both have fantastic jobs and all, but we want to live a simpler lifestyle.

We certainly have a different lifestyle on STX but most folks would not characterize it as simpler.

10-15K is a good chunk of change to start with but may not last as long as you might think. Airlines will not transport pets in cargo after a certain date into summer due to heat so better compare that to your schedule.

Lots of advice on older threads in this forum on making the move. Have you been to STX before? A PMV is always a wise investment to check things out and start lining up details like housing and maybe even some job interviews.

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Posted : February 16, 2018 12:06 am
Ndbrown
(@Ndbrown)
Active Member

That's a very good point about transporting the pets, that actually never occurred to me.

Unfortunately I agree, the money definitely won't last long. I'm hoping at the high end it would at least cover the moving expenses plus a few months rent if needed.

I have been to St. Thomas and loved it. I have found a few positions that interest me online which I'm quite qualified for, though I'm afraid my out of state address will scare away potential employers. While I know "simpler" may be open to interpretation, I think our main goal is to eliminate the idea of working to obtain things...the things don't make you happy, the experiences do. I feel at the least, this will be an experience ????

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Posted : February 16, 2018 1:47 am
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert

Make sure all your flights with your pets, especially your large dog, who will have to fly in baggage compartment are on Boeing planes.

They don't accept animals in baggage compartments on any Airbus flights. Call to make plane reservations. Don't try to do it online. Airlines also have size and breed restrictions. Info on kennel and carrier sizes, etc. Check them out.

I usually fly American. Wish my 65 lb. pup could get frequent flyer miles!

Animals are required to have current rabies shots, have paperwork from veterinarian such as certificate of veterinary inspection and certificate of health. You'll need those to fill out paperwork at check in at airport.

You'll have to take your animals out of their kennels and carriers so they can be checked by TSA for contraband.

Keep your leashes handy or already on them up to this point. Take them off when inspection is done and they're returned to carriers.

Once they've been checked and back in kennel, you have to zip tie all 4 corners of their kennels or carriers to prevent them opening during transport.
Make sure you have the zip ties.

Dog will be required to have an unopened water bottle and dry dog food securely taped to the top of kennel.

$10,000 - $15,000 will be gone in a flash! By the time you pay, first, last and security deposit, utility deposits, buying groceries, cleaning supplies, buying a car. Linens, towels, silverware, dishware, etc., all add up in no time and are expensive here!

I had absolute $ticker $hock when I got back on island at prices in grocery stores and Kmart after living in FL for a year.

If you have a decent car with good ground clearance, bring it!

Good luck to you and your furry friends.

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Posted : February 16, 2018 9:45 am
Ndbrown
(@Ndbrown)
Active Member

Thank you so much for the tips! Really appreciated! We have a jeep Cherokee we plan on bringing, so we should be set on the car.

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Posted : February 16, 2018 11:28 am
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert

Your pets have to get checked by Vet and certificates signed within 10 days of departure.

You can't reserve a space for your dog in baggage hold and they do have a limit on how many animals they will transport on any given flight. Not sure about in cabin limits.
Very nerve wracking.

I ALWAYS sit on right hand side so I can see luggage and dog being loaded. I alert the departure gate personnel as well as the captain that I'm traveling with my dog.

If dog doesn't get loaded, I will get off the plane. Hasn't been necessary, thankfully. All the captains on our flights have all been very good about letting me know my pup has been loaded.

Good that your bringing your Jeep.
Are you bringing anything else?
Spices are expensive here.
I'm sure someone from STX can recommend a mailing service you can mail things to.

Make sure you choose a rental that gets good cell phone and internet service, a propane stove, generator back up and access to cistern for water if generator goes down.

We're still in recovery mode after our 2 Cat 5 Hurricanes in Sept. 2018 hurricane season begins anew in June and officially ends Nov.30.
Bring power surge protectors for your electronic equipment.

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Posted : February 16, 2018 12:36 pm
Ndbrown
(@Ndbrown)
Active Member

Cell phone service is a great point. We have Verizon currently, I understand AT&T seems to be the preferred choice down there. Would you suggest we switch prior to the move, or once we get There?

We also hope to bring our desktop computer/printer, and maybe a TV. Just not sure the best way to haul these things, waiting on a rough cost estimate from the cargo company. Wes plan to basically sell off all of our other belongings.

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Posted : February 16, 2018 1:09 pm
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert

Switch prior to move.
Pack your electronics extremely well!
Someone on forum should be able to advise re: shipping items to STX.

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Posted : February 16, 2018 2:11 pm
Gator's Mom
(@Gator's_Mom)
Trusted Member

Switch NOW to AT&T and get a plan (NOT prepaid) that supports a wifi hotspot on your phone and wifi calling. Get new phones if you can - I personally think iphones work best in the VI - we use fairly new SE's with lots of memory. Much easier to do this on the mainland.

Carry your digital data with you - I have all of mine on a small 4 terabyte remote storage device - it's 4" by 3" amazing. Pack your computers in original boxes or have a mail service pack and then send via the USPS. You'll need a PO box or a box at a mail service to do this prior to shipping of course. Otherwise, take your computer/s on the plane with you. Cargo the TV, printer, monitor etc.

There is no residential mail service in the VI BTW - you need to get a PO box.

HEALTH INSURANCE - make sure if you COBRA your plan works in the VI or at least in the emergency room. There are travel health policies that may help you bridge over until one of you is employed by an employer that offers insurance. No ACA in the VI unfortunately. A lot of people who live in the VI have med evac insurance, which may be really valuable post-Irmaria and the subsequent hospital failures.

Another option for pet shipping is http://petboardship.com/ out of Fort Lauderdale. They overnight ship so hot weather limitations are not a factor most of the time and prices are reasonable.

Cell phone service is a great point. We have Verizon currently, I understand AT&T seems to be the preferred choice down there. Would you suggest we switch prior to the move, or once we get There?

We also hope to bring our desktop computer/printer, and maybe a TV. Just not sure the best way to haul these things, waiting on a rough cost estimate from the cargo company. Wes plan to basically sell off all of our other belongings.

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Posted : February 16, 2018 2:17 pm
Gator's Mom
(@Gator's_Mom)
Trusted Member

We're in the process of moving to STX right now.

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Posted : February 16, 2018 2:29 pm
Ndbrown
(@Ndbrown)
Active Member

I really can't express enough gratitude to you all for your help. This is a bit stressful ( I plan out EVERYTHING), but having tips like these help ease my stress a bit! Gator's mom, best of luck to you in your move!!

As far as insurance goes...im at a loss there. We're younger (27/30), so I'm hoping we could just go without insurance for a couple months prior to securing employment..hope that isn't a stupid idea.

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Posted : February 16, 2018 3:48 pm
Gator's Mom
(@Gator's_Mom)
Trusted Member

So going bare .... that's possible.

Travel health insurance plans good for a few months are really cheap - a few hundred dollars at most for peace of mind. A slip and fall could set you back $20K - just saying.

I really can't express enough gratitude to you all for your help. This is a bit stressful ( I plan out EVERYTHING), but having tips like these help ease my stress a bit! Gator's mom, best of luck to you in your move!!

As far as insurance goes...im at a loss there. We're younger (27/30), so I'm hoping we could just go without insurance for a couple months prior to securing employment..hope that isn't a stupid idea.

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Posted : February 16, 2018 4:12 pm
islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
Trusted Member

Alana, order from vitacost.com to get your spices, if you need any while here.
If you order when they have a 14, 15 or 20% off promotion, that will wipe out the $9.99 shipping charge.

Are you bringing anything else?
Spices are expensive here.

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Posted : February 16, 2018 4:16 pm
Ndbrown
(@Ndbrown)
Active Member

Just did a quick check on travel insurance. very good idea, thanks.

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Posted : February 16, 2018 4:25 pm
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