5 Best Travel Tips for the British Virgin Islands

/ Published in British Virgin Islands

5 Best Travel Tips for the British Virgin Islands

Between budgeting, deciding on a sailing route, researching, booking flight tickets, and making all the necessary reservations, planning a charter vacation in the BVI can seem like a daunting task. 

And speaking of your travel plans, we totally get that things like expensive flight tickets or puzzling itinerary questions can be a bit overwhelming. Maybe you're wondering how to navigate the beautiful islands once you're there, or what essentials to pack for your adventure. No worries at all! We're here to ease your worries and answer all of your questions. Seriously, nothing should stand in the way of your perfect trip! Let us handle the details while you focus on getting excited about your upcoming getaway!

With these five BVI travel tips, we will make the whole endeavor seem like the most obvious thing in the world and make you wonder why you haven’t booked that 2024 yacht charter already! 

Without further ado, let’s dive in. Make your Caribbean charter vacation the best it can be with these five travel tips for the British Virgin Islands. 

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1. BVI Travel Tip #1: Fly to the USVI

Did you know that the BVI and the USVI are only 27 miles apart? Yet the difference in airfares would make you think that the distance was far greater. 

If you are flying from the US, we highly recommend looking up flights to St. Thomas in the USVI and comparing them to flights to the BVI. As you are likely to discover, the flights are generally much cheaper to the USVI (when you fly from the US), so this simple trick can save you hundreds of dollars per person. Not to mention, your chances of finding a direct flight are much greater if you fly to St. Thomas compared to Beef Island (BVI). 

Because the two territories are connected by two ferry lines (The Road Town Fast Ferry and Smith’s Ferry), traveling between the USVI and the BVI is easy. The ferry only takes 50 minutes and departs at Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas only 8 minutes with a taxi from Cyril E. King Airport. The water taxi is another faster option. 

Even with the added cost of the ferry or water taxi, you will probably find that flying to St. Thomas makes more sense due to the cheaper flight rates and more direct routes. 

2. BVI Travel Tip #2: Rent a car (when ashore)

If you are planning on stepping ashore on one of the bigger islands (like Anegada, Tortola, Jost van Dyke or Virgin Gorda) and exploring it for a few days, consider renting a car rather than calling for taxis to take you around the island. The taxis tend to stay around the more populated areas, so it can be difficult to get a hold of one in more remote places. Renting a car will give you more flexibility. 

A rental car sometimes doesn’t cost more than 50-70 USD per day and is way cheaper than taxis as the cost of the rides will add up quickly. However, do remember that they drive on the left side in the BVI, so be mindful of that. Most people report getting used to the reverse driving fairly quickly though, so don’t let that deter you.

Renting a bicycle or a scooter is another viable option on most islands and would be perfect for a day trip if you are looking for a less costly yet authentic and close-up way of experiencing the island. 

3. BVI Travel Tip #3: Bring a water filter

Whether you are on your charter boat or out exploring on land, you may not always have access to filtered drinking water. Day-time temperatures in the BVI range from 82°-90°F (28°-32°C) year-round, so it’s important to stay hydrated no matter what activities are on your agenda.

A good recommendation is to bring a water bottle with a built-in filter or a portable water filter to bring with you wherever you go. This way, it’s easy to stay hydrated and you can be sure that your water is always clean and safe to drink. It’s also a great way to reduce your plastic usage and keep your travel more sustainable. 

4. BVI Travel Tip #4: Support local businesses

Supporting local businesses is not only a responsible way to travel but also a great way to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the British Virgin Islands. 

Small enterprises often offer unique products and experiences that you won't find anywhere else. Whether you're in the bustling marketplaces of Tortola, exploring the quaint shops on Virgin Gorda, or dining at a family-run restaurant on Jost Van Dyke, there are several ways to make a positive impact on the local economy and enhance your travel experience at the same time by buying locally.

When you buy local you are contributing to the multiplier effect, where the dollars you spend stay within the economy, so you are not only supporting the business you buy from but you are also contributing to the economic welfare of the BVI as a whole. 

For example, you can choose to dine at locally owned restaurants and try authentic Caribbean cuisine, buy handcrafted unique souvenirs from local artists, and opt for locally grown fruits and vegetables as opposed to imported ones. 

Choosing local tours and attractions, such as guided hiking or snorkeling tours or renting kayaks or fishing equipment from a local shop, are other easy ways to ensure that your money directly benefits the local community.

5. BVI Travel Tip #5: The BVI Tourism Website

Before your trip, make sure to check out the BVI Tourism website where you can find a lot of useful information about things to do, places to visit, restaurants, and upcoming events (such as the Anegada Lobster Festival on November 24-26, 2023). 

With some luck, you may also find coupons and discount codes for attractions, food, and more, especially if you travel outside of the high season. 

For even more inspiration, you can also check out their Instagram account. 

Hopefully, these five tips will make your charter vacation planning a little easier and your sailing vacation in the BVI the best it can be. 

Save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by flying to the USVI instead of the BVI, enhance your travel experience and give back to the community by buying from local businesses, pack a water bottle with a filter to easily enjoy clean drinking water, and don’t forget to check out the BVI Tourism website for inspiration. 

Speaking of saving money: with the incredible yacht charter campaigns we currently have going on, now is a great time to book if you want big savings on your charter boat. 

Since 2001, over 300,000+ charter guests have set sail with Navigare - it’s safe to say that your yachting adventure will be in capable hands. With 12 exotic locations worldwide, the possibilities are endless! Whether you're an experienced sailor or a first-time adventurer, Navigare Yachting opens up a world of exploration, discovery, and sailing that comes with complete peace of mind.

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