So I am a 20 something who visited USVI a few years ago and had to be dragged onto the plane to leave. I am planning on going back this year, but also the info I see is a lot of permanent moving for families. What I was looking for was to test it out for a year, work as a waitress or bartender or something non-career based, and possibly continue my travels. Many of the people I had spoken to while there and basically gotten on a plane one day with 700$ in their bank and a dream and said they just hung out at bars/restaurants until someone hired them and offered them a place to live? I am not quite so adventurous and would like to go with a bit more savings and an idea of where I will be living, but I was wondering if anyone had advice for this sort of move there, are the stories they told me actually feasible? Or is it a bad idea to go without a rental/job already set up? And since I'm not planning on making it a permanent permanent home just yet, I obviously dont want to go through the hassle of bringing a car or purchasing one, is this common for "long term working tourist" types? I'm sure these questions have all been answered but I'm having trouble finding posts relatable so any help or info would be amazing!!!!
Cupcake, Getting hired for a job before moving to the island, especially a job not requiring specialty training/degrees, is difficult to say the least. That being said many businesses are having trouble finding help. That could be due to the circle of low wages and high living expenses. Generally best to come down just before high season when hiring starts up if looking for waitress or bartender type work.
The days of coming with $700 are long gone. $10,000 is a better number to come with. You will need a car. Shipping one down is not unreasonable and can be more cost effective however may not be allowed if you have a loan on it. Rental property is hard to come by these days, especially on STX and STJ. A premove visit for a few weeks or month is not a bad idea either. It can help with lining up a job and apartment with long term lease.
It’s like anything in life, if you want it bad enough you’ll find a way to make it work. I hope it goes without saying that any pre-work you can do will help. I think affordable living accommodations are the biggest challenge as rentals are a little difficult because of all the FEMA and refinery contractors. That said people on the island are amazingly helpful and networking is always the best way to find almost anything. If you’re adaptable, creative and willing to work you should be okay. Good luck whatever happens.
How much money a person needs to make the move varies greatly from individual to individual and depends upon the standard of living you’ve grown accustom to, how active a social life you expect to maintain while living here, what type of employment you get, how long it will take for you to find a decent job and a host of other variables. Hete’s A good rule of thumb: Figure out how much you’d need to support yourself without working where you now live for a period of 6 months. Add about 30% to that number. The result should be your “target number”. If you are fortunate to find gainfull employment within a few weeks - all well and good. You won’t spend all your money and have a little nest egg to help you get through any unforeseen difficulties. If, on the other hand, it takes you several months to find your ideal job then you’ll still have enough money to tide you over until you get settled and you won’t feel stressed. Money disappears very quickly in the Caribbean so the more you have saved up the easier your transition will be.
Good luck following your dream.