It’s easy to see the allure. There are only a few places on earth you can enjoy tropical paradise without pulling out your passport.
However, that doesn’t mean the US Virgin Islands are a destination that’s easy on the budget. St. Thomas and other Virgin Island destinations are well-known as luxury destinations.
But, what does luxury mean, and how much are you likely to spend when you go?
We’ve done the research so you can determine how much it’ll cost you to go to St. Thomas, including your flight, hotel stay, food, and activities along the way. Check into the average prices in every category to set up your budget for your Caribbean getaway.
Average Trip to St. Thomas Cost in 2023
A week in St. Thomas will cost around $5,000 for two people:
- Average Accommodation Cost: $200 per night
- Average Flight Cost: $400 per person
- Food, Drink & Activities: $100 per person, per day
- Transportation: $700 per week
- Total Cost:$4,800
While these are the average costs, what you’ll spend will vary quite a bit. Someone who is embracing the luxe Virgin Islands lifestyle will pay more than someone seeking out a budget getaway.
For example, a car rental is considered essential for most travelers to St. Thomas. This is because the island lacks sidewalks in most areas, which makes walking dangerous. There are cabs, but they are expensive and don’t provide service to every location on the island.
We’ll break it all down so you can figure out where you have a bit of wiggle room and where your spending is more or less set.
St. Thomas Trip Cost: Average by Item
While there are a few bargains to be had, most hotels will cost you between $175 and $300 per night in St. Thomas.
At the bargain end is the Galleon House Hotel at $90 per night. This bed and breakfast is located on historic Government Hill in the Charlotte Amalie district. Guests describe the inn as laid back and welcoming.
The rooms are small and basic. There’s a pool and an included breakfast. However, be aware that a few guests have complained about moldy smells in rooms.
There are other hotels in the Charlotte Amalie district between $100 and $200 per night. Read reviews carefully before you commit, as some have bad reputations with past guests.
Over on the southern tip of the island, you can get a room at the Secret Harbor Beach Resort for just under $500 a night. Past guests praise the beachfront location and great snorkeling nearby. Amenities include an outdoor pool, tennis courts, and a fitness center.
This is about five miles from Virgin Islands National Park and around two from Sapphire Beach. There are a number of vacation rental apartments run by local companies like Capital Vacations.
These typically run from $300 to $500 per night, depending on the size and location. Many have multiple rooms; if you are traveling with a group of friends, you may be able to cut your costs while enjoying better accommodations that you can find if you are going on your own.
One example is Pirate’s Pension at Bluebeard’s Castle, which is about two miles from Charlotte Amalie Harbor.
This apartment includes a kitchenette, a terrace, and access to an outdoor swimming pool. Feeling adventurous? Camping is an option in Virgin Islands National Park. You can reserve a campsite at Cinnamon Bay Beach and Campground.
You will need to reserve in advance to get a spot. Simple bare site rentals will cost around $50 a night. They also have cabins for around $200 per night.
Research on Skyscanner shows a flight from New York to St. Thomas will cost around $400 round trip. The number can vary depending on when you go or where you travel from. Surprisingly, proximity doesn’t necessarily mean a cheaper flight.
At the time this article was written, you’d actually pay $100 more to fly to St. Thomas from Miami instead of New York. Experiment with different itineraries and timelines to see when you can get the best deal.
If you are traveling from St. John or another location in the Virgin Islands, you can typically grab either a ferry or a hopper plane. Depending on when you go and which carrier you use, this can cost anywhere from $25 to $250.
Food, Drink & Activity Costs
Food near the resorts is pricey even for a basic breakfast. A recent visitor mentioned paying around $15 for two bagels, coffees, and a bottle of Coke.
There is an upscale market near the resorts in Red Hook called Moe’s. It has the advantage of being near many hotels and condos, but the convenience comes at a cost. Expect to pay around $12 for a six-pack of local beer and $15 for a midrange bottle of wine.
If you want treats from back home, you will pay a premium. Reports of prices in clued just under $20 for a box of Ritz crackers and packs of presliced salami for about $30.
There are some deals to be had. The Tap and Still is a chain with many locations around the island. Burgers are around $10 a piece and a plate of wings will cost about $15.
Pizza is available from restaurants like Paradise Pie. A 12-inch with two toppings is about $20. For many people, a fine dining experience is part of being on vacation.
At a restaurant like the well-reviewed PRIME at Paradise Point, expect to pay between $35 and $70 for an entrée. Eating local foods can cut your costs a lot. Hit the Jackie Mobile food truck near the airport for pates (a local hand pie), curries and rotis.
You’ll likely pay around $10 to $20 per person for a casual meal. The New Ashleys is another budget option. Try a johnny cake for about $2 or a conch pate for $6.
If you are looking for a more filling meal, consider the curried goat at around $20 a plate. This item comes with filling sides like spinach rice or kidney beans, with portions large enough to either split with a friend or save for another meal.
It’s not a trip to the Virgin Islands without a day at the beach. It is free to enter Virgin Islands National Park. If you hit Trunk Bay Beach, you’ll pay around $5 to park.
The free beaches to visit include Sapphire Beach, Coki Point Beach, and Honeymoon Beach. Coral reefs are part of what makes St. Thomas so beautiful. Spend a day learning about them at Coral World Ocean Park.
Tickets cost around $30 per person. A sunset sail is a great way to enjoy St. Thomas from the water. These sails often last a couple of hours and include cocktails, champagne, and appetizers.
Expect to pay anywhere from $75 to $125 per person. St. Thomas is a volcanic island. To enjoy a panoramic view, consider a trip to Mountain Top. In addition to the vistas from 1,200 feet above Magens Bay, you’ll also find a gift shop and a café with frozen drinks.
While parking and admission are free, some opt to take an island tour instead and let others do the driving. Expect to pay around $75 per person.
Another way to get a view from above is to take the Paradise Point Skyride. This sky tram runs to the top of Paradise Point, where you’ll find shops, restaurants, and a view that can extend all the way to Puerto Rico and St. Croix on clear days.
A round trip ticket is around $25 per person. Cocktails, including the famous Pain Killer created in the British Virgin Islands, cost around $12 each.
Walking is not a popular way to get around due to narrow roads and lack of sidewalks. Many people opt to rent a car when visiting St. Thomas, as it’s the most reliable way to get around.
Expect to pay around $500 for a week-long rental of a compact car, up to $1,000 for a luxury model. If you take a cab, redditors say to expect to pay around $15 each way. Taxi costs are always calculated per person, so be aware that larger groups sharing a ride will pay more.
You’ll save money on cabs if you make arrangements with a driver at the beginning of your trip. When you are on the main drag, you may be able to find safari taxies at around $2 per trip.
The safari taxis run a regular route from the airport area in the west, through town and into the central valley, with a loop that extends around the east end. These are usually only available during the day.
Things to Consider
Here are some things to consider when planning a trip to St. Thomas:
- Carry cash if you want to take cabs. Most do not take digital payments or credit cards.
- Drivers use the left side of the road in the Virgin Islands. Pay careful attention if you decide to drive.
- Locals say inflation has been high. Check with prices when you go to see if they’ve increased.
- You can save a bit by eating casual lunches out, then having appetizers in the evening.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is St. Thomas expensive to visit?
The U.S. Virgin Islands are remote islands and tropical hotspots. Because of this, they are not cheap places to visit. You are likely to pay more than you are used to at home for everything from groceries to gasoline to restaurant meals.
What is the cheapest time to go to St. Thomas Virgin Islands?
Summers between August and October are the cheapest times to visit St. Thomas. Be aware that this is the hottest time of year. It’s also smack in the middle of hurricane season, which could put a damper on your trip.
Hurricanes tend to be more common and more intense in the latter half of the season, so watch the weather if you plan to go.
Do I need a passport to go to St. Thomas?
Because the U.S. Virgin Islands are U.S. territories, American citizens enjoy passport and visa-free travel to St. Thomas. You’ll need your driver’s license or state ID to prove US citizenship. Residents who are not citizens will need their green cards to enter.
Should you bring cash to St. Thomas?
Not all venues accept credit cards, so it’s a good idea to have a bit of cash on hand. Because St. Thomas is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, you can use US dollars while you are there.
Is St. John cheaper than St. Thomas?
Both islands are pricey destinations. Past visitors tend to agree that St. Thomas is a little cheaper than St. John. St. John is a smaller island, which means fewer hotels and resorts.
This can mean greater competition for rooms, and a higher price. Compare the two at the time you plan to travel, though, as you may find a deal on either one at any time.
So, What Is the Average Trip Cost for St. Thomas?
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost||$200 per night|
|✈️ Average Flight Cost||$400 per person|
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities||$100 per person, per day|
|🚕 Transportation||$700 per week|
|💲 Total Cost||$4,800|
If you and a guest want to spend a week in St. Thomas, expect to pay around $5,000. This estimate includes food, drink, activities, and the cost of getting around.
As always, what you will personally spend depends a lot on your style of travel. What it comes down to is balancing your desires with your budget.
This makes room for seafood at the seaside while balancing your days that involve free attractions and budget meals. Put together the trip that suits you best for your ideal St. Thomas vacation.