Are you planning to move to St. Thomas, one of the United States’s territories in the Caribbean Sea? If yes, then this blog post is for you!
St. Thomas is one of the third largest United States virgin island territories in the Caribbean.
It is one of the most heavenly island destinations on the planet, drenched with pristine natural sceneries, sandy beaches, water recreation spots, and historic castles and structures.
With a population of 50,000 residents, and a surface area of 32 square miles, this heavenly paradise attracts historians, outdoor enthusiasts, and nature lovers in millions every year to settle down and visit the Island.
So, let’s take a look intensely regarding moving to and living in St. Thomas in this blog post.
Why do people move to St. Thomas?
People move to St. Thomas to get a lifetime vacation feel year-round.
Besides this, its perfect weather, rich cultural history, wide open spaces, extensive coastline, and amiable people make it a desirable place in the USVI for relocation.
Is St. Thomas a US territory?
St. Thomas is one of the third largest integrated USVI territories of the US.
1. Is St. Thomas safe?
St. Thomas Virgin Island is a safe place to live in and visit for a vacation. But statistically, the crime rate in St. Thomas is much higher than all three USVI territories and the national average.
Despite a higher crime rate, St. Thomas has a lot of safe beaches, tourist spots, resorts, neighborhoods, and public areas that are scarcely affected by any type of crime.
However, to protect yourself from any sort of crime you need safety precautions and stay cautious while traveling or being in the city.
The crime rate indices in the below table are based on FBI data, ranging from 1-100 (low-high crime) in 2023.
A value more than the US average means a higher rate in the indices and vice-versa.
|Crime types||St. Thomas, USVI||USA|
How safe is St. Thomas to live?
St. Thomas is safe to live in despite having higher crime rates. This is because the crimes are usually domestic issues, criminal activities in isolated areas, and murders, which are usually not associated with good people and communities.
Is St. Thomas safe for tourists?
St. Thomas is a reasonably safe place to travel to for tourists. Visitors should take normal safety precautions, especially not moving alone at night and keeping personal things under their custody.
What is the crime rate in St. Thomas?
The crime rate in St. Thomas is 75 crimes committed per 1,000 persons in 2022. Both the overall crime rate and the violent crime rate are still relatively high.
Are there bad areas to avoid in St. Thomas?
Charlotte Amalie, Frenchman’s Hill, and Savan Street are some of the bad areas in St. Thomas that should be avoided especially after dark.
2. Things you need to move to St. Thomas
Relocation comes up with requirements of certain documents and certificates that are recommended to keep while traveling and settling down in a new country.
So, here are the 7 important documents to arrange before relocating to St. Thomas as a US resident.
- US valid passport
- US valid driving license.
- US work permit.
- Photo identity card issued by any United States.
- A military identity card.
- A government-issued identity card
- A US birth certificate
Can I travel to St. Thomas without a visa?
Yes, you can travel to send Thomas without a visa if you are a US citizen. But you still need to carry a passport because it is a legal identity document and might be required while traveling. Foreign nationals must carry their passport with them to St. Thomas, or else their journey might get canceled.
3. Things to know before moving to St. Thomas USVI
Now that you have already made up your mind to move to one of the beautiful US Virgin Island territories, here are the important things to know before moving and settling down in St. Thomas.
4. Living in St. Thomas
Living life in St. Thomas is all about unleashing a great island setback unblemished by tourism with fewer crowds and people.
St. Thomas is one of the smallest, underdeveloped, less populated, yet beautiful territories among the three islands of the USVI.
Residents of St. Thomas are very nice, lively, and welcoming to everyone. However, compared to other USVI territories, it’s quite cheaper to live in St. Thomas but housing and rental prices can be costly.
But, you’ll truly get a vacation feeling all the time while living in St. Thomas.
How’s life in St. Thomas?
St. Thomas offers a slower and peaceful pace of life for people who are about to start their new journeys in the Virgin Islands and for retirees. It’s not that big enough to be a metro territory not that small to be called a community but provides a family-friendly relaxed atmosphere with perfect weather year-round to call it home.
Is St. Thomas an excellent place to live?
St. Thomas is an excellent place to live. The region of the island is all about pristine beaches, breathtaking scenery, protected nature, and wildlife all around. However, to live a hustle-free life, you need to sacrifice some conveniences.
Is St. Thomas people-friendly?
Yes, St. Thomas is people people-friendly and safe tourist place. Moreover, the locals are friendly and welcoming.
Do they speak English in St. Thomas?
Yes, English is the main language spoken in St. Thomas. However, there are lots of Spanish and French-speaking people as well.
5. Cost of Living in St. Thomas
The cost of living in St. Thomas is 133, which means it is 33% more expensive than the US average of 100.
According to the WalletHub 2023 rankings, St. Thomas has been ranked the 7th most costliest and 55th best place to live in the US.
The average monthly cost of living (including rent) in St. Thomas for a single person is $2300 and for a family of four hs $6200.
The annual median salary (excluding taxes) to live in St. Thomas is $45,000, which is enough to cover the living costs, savings, health insurance costs, taxes, and more.
|Cost of Living Index (per month)||St. Thomas||USA|
|Food & Groceries||$750||$440|
Is St. Thomas affordable?
St Thomas is not an affordable place to live in because it has a higher cost of living. As it is situated in a remote location, shipping basic amenities and supplies makes it costlier, thus causing higher costs in food, groceries, clothes, and miscellaneous expenses.
How expensive is it to live on the Virgin Islands?
The US Virgin Islands is ranked the 7th most expensive state. The mean cost of a two-bedroom house is around $285,000. The U.S. Virgin Islands’ healthcare is quite expensive and not accessible to all.
What is the average income in St. Thomas?
The average household income in St. Thomas is $46,200. It is 15% less than the national average pays i.e., $54,450.
How much does it cost to live in St. Thomas?
The average cost of living in St. Thomas is $2500 per month for an individual. It depends on many variables like the price of accommodation, transportation, groceries, and entertainment.
6. Taxes in St. Thomas
St. Thomas doesn’t impose any sales taxes or income taxes. However, gross receipts tax, property taxes, and excise taxes are some other types of taxes that are applied to the residents.
Taxes paying system in St. Thomas is called a mirror taxation system, which means the taxpayer has to pay taxes to BIRVI ( Bureau of Internal Revenue of the Virgin Islands), instead of the US Internal Revenue Service.
The USVI tax system is fully governed by the Internal Revenue Service and the US government.
However, there are some eligible companies, that are qualified for tax benefits through the Economic Development Commission tax program which includes:
- 100% relaxation on property, gross receipts, and excise tax.
- 90% relaxation in personal and corporate income tax.
- No territory tax.
|Taxes||% of Taxes|
|Gross receipts tax||4%|
Are there any taxes in St. Thomas USVI?
In the USVI, there are no sales taxes. Real property taxes, gross receipts taxes, etc., are a few taxes that do apply.
What is the tax rate in St. Thomas?
In Saint Thomas, the sales tax rate in 2023 is 1%. In the US Virgin Islands, there is no personal income tax.
7. The transportation system in St. Thomas
St Thomas offers various options to get around the island. Whether you take your private car, or bike, or pick up an affordable public transit system, it’s important to remember the traffic rules of driving on the left-hand side of the road within the speed limit of 20- 35MPH, unless otherwise mentioned.
There are 4 ways of transportation to get around St. Thomas.
- Taxis- There are a lot of good-quality and well-organized taxes available everywhere in the territory. These are managed by the VI Taxicab Commission and charge fixed prices per destination at $10-$15 per person plus $3-$6 for various bag sizes.
- Rental cars– rental cars (Avis, Hertz, & Budget) are available 24×7 anywhere on the island. These are the top and most expensive options to get around the island by visitors.
- Ferries / Boating– If you are relocating to St. Croix or simply want to hop between the islands – St. John or St. Croix, public ferry services and rental boats are the reliable options to make a full-day, half-day, or overnight trip to the BVI or USVI territories.
- Bus – At a fare price of $1 per ride, one can opt for the VI public transit system called VITRAN to get around the commercial and tourism areas of ST. Thomas. The bus stops are a short walk away from anywhere you start your journey and are easy to spot. They are mostly white and blue with VITRAN written in bold letters along with the destination route number written on the glass shield.
- Dollar rides – Dollar rides are also another type of public transit system to get around the island which are most preferred and used by the public. The ride costs $1 for short trips and $2 for longer trips. The route charts are mostly the same as that of VITRAN and are often stopped at the VITRAN bus stops.
Do we need a car in St. Thomas?
Yes, you need a car in St Thomas. If you have a car, you will not have any problem getting to the beach or enjoying the sights anywhere on the island.
Does St. Thomas have public transportation?
St. Thomas has a bus system and safari bus lines that people can prefer to get around the city. The price is $1 per person. Additionally, there are not numerous routes.
What is the cheapest / Best way to get around Saint Thomas?
St. Thomas has both public transportation and taxis for getting around. The cheapest way to get around is on the dollar ride.
8. Weather conditions in St. Thomas
St. Thomas has consistent warm weather year-round that averages from 70-90 degrees with occasional rain storms and hurricanes that pass by the territory quickly.
Every day is a beach day in St. Thomas with pretty sunshine, winter days, and light breezes. So, you are advised to keep an umbrella while traveling to beat the sun and rain storms.
But sometimes, this Caribbean island is affected by floods and hurricanes that are most prevalent from June to September during the late summer and early fall.
Though these are tracked by radars, and informed to the residents way before it hits, the aftermath makes life harder in St. Thomas.
What is the best month to go to St. Thomas?
The best month to go to St. Thomas is between December and February. The weather is pleasant, with an average of 26°C.
What is the coldest month in St. Thomas?
January is the coldest month in St. Thomas. Snow begins to fall, and the temperature stays below 0°C most of the time.
St. Thomas weather by month
|Months||Weather conditions in St. Thomas|
|December – April||Cheapest month to visit St. Thomas. Flights costs are reduced than normal. Peak hurricane month of the year. Recreations, tourism spots, and hotel costs are reduced as it’s a less busy time.|
|April – May||Spring months are the best time to visit St. Thomas Good weather with less crowd. Days get sunny and warmer, and nights feel cold and breezy. Prices reduce and the hotel rooms won’t fill fast. Less rainfall of about 1-2 inches per month. No threat of hurricanes. Temperature ranges from 72-85°F.|
|September||The least busy month to visit St. Thomas is hurricane or wet season in St. Thomas. Temperature ranges from 75-90°F. The economy is heavily affected as tourism is less during this time. September and October are the worst months to visit the island as it gets affected by storms, heavy precipitation, and hurricanes. Affordable prices and fewer crowds are expected during this time.|
|June – November||The least busy month to visit St. Thomas is hurricane or wet season in St. Thomas. Temperature ranges from 75-90°F. The economy is heavily affected as tourism is less during this time. September and October are the worst months to visit the island as it gets affected by storms, heavy precipitation, and hurricanes.Affordable prices and fewer crowds are expected during this time.|
9. Cost of moving to St. Thomas
Before talking about the cost of moving to St. Thomas, we would recommend selling all your belongings and furniture, taking your important things, and traveling by airplane.
Probably, this will be the easiest and most affordable way of moving to the Caribbean.
The process of moving, packing, and shipping to the USVI is not as terrifying as you may think. The USPS ships are tiny, medium, and big boxes if they fit.
Since the boxes are a priority, they arrive quickly. The minimum UPS Priority Express Shipping cost is $45.68.
Economy or budget shipping options delivery in 4 to 10 business days. Moreover, express shipping options take 1-4 business days.
There are 3 ways of moving to St. Thomas, USVI. Refer to the table below to know more.
|Mode of movement||Price||Duration|
|Ferry||$100-500||1 hr- 8hrs|
Cost to ship a car to St. Thomas
Honesty, the cost of shipping a car to St. Thomas can be the same as the price of the car. Also, the island roads are steel, windy, and full of chunkholes.
So, instead of shipping a car; selling it & buying an island beater is suggested.
10. Living in St. Thomas Pros and cons
Let us check out some of the pros and cons of living in St. Thomas, USVI before moving to the Caribbean.
- A passport is not required for US citizens.
- Housing and real-estate costs are surprisingly low.
- There are a lot of natural attractions, recreation, and tourist spots to visit and enjoy.
- St. Thomas has a family-friendly environment, and a peaceful and slower pace of life, unlike Maui, the best family island in Hawaii.
- The tax rates benefits are beneficial for singles and families.
- Home to great weather, incredible beaches, beautiful landscapes and views, and rich history and customs of pirates.
- Proximity to other USVI territories, national parks, and airports.
- Mostly affected by hurricanes and thunderstorms.
- Higher cost of living.
- Higher cost of shipping and longer shipping time.
- Difficult to get common items like clothing, shoes, food, etc.
- Fewer employment options. So, residents relocate to Rhode Island in search of jobs.
- Poor traffic system and roads.
11. Best place to stay in St. Thomas
Based on budget and choices, these 5 places in the Downtown region of the capital city are considered the best places to stay in St. Thomas.
- East End: Best place to live in St Thomas for beaches and nightlife.
East End, also referred to as Red Hook, is often chosen by locals and visitors for its pristine beaches, island lifestyle, water recreation activities, casual restaurants, buzzing nightlife, and relaxed bars facing the holy coastlines.
Besides this, you can also explore indoors and other fascinating scenes like Coral World Ocean Park, WALA paintball wala paintball, Parasail Virgin Islands, De’coal Poy, and more.
- Magens Bay:- The best place to live in St. Thomas for families
Situated in the northern part of the territory, Magens Bay is a popular and populated place because of its calm Bayside waters, safe communities, and laid-back atmosphere.
Families are mostly seen with their children indulging in a wide range of water sports, hiking, enjoying beach views, dining in restaurants by sea, and more.
- South Side:- The best place to stay in Saint Thomas for safety
The Southside is the bottom portion of the that ranges from east to west, that is considered a popular destination for VIP and business travelers.
This is because the city thrives with safe communities, 5-star hotels, resorts, calm beaches, quieter atmosphere for meeting, relaxing, and working in between.
- Charlotte Amalie: Cheapest place to stay in St. Thomas
Charlotte Amalie is the capital city of St. Thomas located in the heart of the island.
The city booms with historical structures, jewelry shops, Caribbean cuisine restaurants, boutiques, gourmet shops, and more that can be explored by walk, boat trips, or cheap taxis.
- Water Island: The best place to stay in 10 Saint Thomas for privacy
Placed away from the west and gregarine channels of St. Thomas Island is where the spectacular nugget of Water Island is present, which is consistently ranked as the top place to visit in the Virgin Islands.
The island has less population with quite calm having golf carts as the transportation medium and no amenities around there.
The place is all about beaches and water recreation, so it’s suggested to visit the place for vacations, not for permanent stay.
Moving to St. Thomas FAQs
Where is the St. Thomas Virgin Islands?
Saint Thomas is the main island of the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is in the eastern Caribbean Sea. It is 64 km east of Puerto Rico.
How to Ship Your Stuff to the Virgin Islands?
The best way to ship to the US Virgin Islands is with USPS. When you use USPS to ship to the US Virgin Islands, you will always get the best combination of fast arrival times and low prices.
How to Move to the US Virgin Islands?
First, pick a date and book a reservation with movers and packers to move your things and any cars. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you will need a visa to work at St. Thomas. You should also get in touch with a real estate agent or lawyer to help you in your search for a place to live.
Moving to St. Thomas can be a daunting task because shipping your belongings can be costly, you can’t ship your car, the roads and transportation system on the island is very poor, the area is subject to flooding and hurricanes, and more, but it also offers some incredible benefits.
Great weather, stunning coastlines, welcoming neighbors, a wonderful vacation life, and whatnot! The island also offers a slower pace of life to get adjusted to it after arriving from the mainland.
You can take baby steps to get a secured job, house, assets, and more with minimal risks and problems.
So, consider our blog post and its every point carefully before thinking about living a life in St. Thomas to have a wonderful island experience.
Also, read our blog post on the best time to visit Rhode Island to get a better experience regarding the state.