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Looking for a cheap family vacation

Saint Michael...
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Looking for a cheap family vacation

I am looking for a cheap family friendly vacation on any of the US Virgin Islands. I love tripadvisor because it's real people who have been to these places. Thanks for your help!

And what's the best time of year to go?

St Thomas
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for St. Thomas
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1. Re: Looking for a cheap family vacation

"Cheap" and "US Virgin Islands" aren't synonymous! Generally speaking where accommodation is concerned, St John is the most expensive, St Thomas is next and St Croix third (but less difference between the latter two). The islands are very different from each other and, of course, STX is separated from STT and STJ by quite a distance. Without knowing exactly what your family is looking for it's hard to make any suggestions and you might first read through all the general information available about all the islands available on this site to get a better idea of the differences. Once you have an idea about which island would suit your needs best then there's tons more info available through the forum. Happy researching!

St Thomas, VI
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2. Re: Looking for a cheap family vacation

What do you consider cheap?

Saint Michael...
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3. Re: Looking for a cheap family vacation

Between 3-5K

Saint Michael...
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4. Re: Looking for a cheap family vacation

We have 3 sons (17, 14, 6) so I want to make sure there are things for them to do other than frolic the beach. I would prefer a villa, however a hotel would be nice as well.

Hurley, New York
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5. Re: Looking for a cheap family vacation

I suggest that you spend some time hunting around for a DIRECT rental on VRBO.COM. Use the TripAdvisor review section to vett the rental. My observation has been that at least at Sapphire Bay, rentals through "third parties" can be disastrous. My opinion is that except for "hurricane season" (last week in August through first few days of November) any time is good. Hurricane season can be just delightful, if you don't have hurricane problems, but it's a risk. August gets hot, but is relatively uncrowded. Rates are definitely seasonal so you definitely can spend less by visiting when rates are low. It's just as nice in May as in January, and you can save a bundle on accommodations. Unfortunately, food will be very expensive no matter what you do.

Ohio
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for Cruz Bay
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6. Re: Looking for a cheap family vacation

How many bedrooms do you need? Most villas do not have multiple beds in a bedroom.

We've been going to St John for 20 years, and usually go mid-April, May or early June. With the exception of May 2011, we have always had excellent weather. (May 2011 was a complete rainout....) Have gone to St Croix in January. Wonderful weather, but water a bit cool. Went to Vieques (island off Puerto Rico, so still a USVI), Nov 2011, great weather, water still warm enough. St Croix & Vieques rental villas are less expensive than St John, but food, etc is about the same. Plenty to do on all the islands. Hiking, day trips, rent kayaks, dinghy, go deep sea fishing, snorkeling, diving..... Our favorite is still St John.

St Thomas, VI
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7. Re: Looking for a cheap family vacation

Good! We're getting specific now. What do your sons like to do? There are so many water sports they can do in the VI that appeal to people in that age bracket, and there are many accommodations in your price range.

The hottest sport right now seems to be SUP (Stand Up Paddle boarding), but the VI also offers hiking, jet skiing, sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, diving, speed boats, snorkeling, sailing, skim boarding, sailing, etc.

One advantage the VI has over most other Caribbean destinations is it's close proximity to other diverse islands, and STJ is a National Park. If you look at an aerial map of St John, you should be able to see that many of the beaches are on a coral reef, so there's easy, incredible snorkeling from the shore.

Since the VI are small, you won't waste hours getting from one beach to the next.

When are you hoping to come? The best time to come with a family is during the summer when rates at hotels/condos are cheaper.

St Thomas
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for St. Thomas
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8. Re: Looking for a cheap family vacation

"My observation has been that at least at Sapphire Bay, rentals through "third parties" can be disastrous." Really? Presuming you mean the Sapphire Beach resort, thousands of visitors would disagree with you. The OP should certainly take a look at what's offered there although there are only a few units large enough to accommodate five adults. Many larger families rent two units in close proximity.

Hurricane season is actually June through November but, touch wood, we've been very lucky the last several years in escaping their wrath! It's always a good idea to take out trip insurance when traveling anywhere in the Caribbean during hurricane season. The premiums are very reasonable.

I would definitely recommend you look for a villa or a condo. A kitchen will be a boon in saving money on breakfasts and lunches especially with growing boys who seem to eat non-stop!

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9. Re: Looking for a cheap family vacation

Consider Maho Bay camping/cottages on St. John. It's a full day to get there, but worth the aggravation. There is a food $tore and a re$taurant there, The beach is outstanding.

Almost camping/concrete rooms on Cinnamon Bay. Cheap accommodations with a restaurant there. Also a great beach and closer to town.

Food is just expensive on vacation and on islands.

Boston
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10. Re: Looking for a cheap family vacation

Look at Hotel on the Cay on St Croix. It might fit your needs well and you will not be camping. I am not knocking it but I would not want to be in one of the tent cabins with 3 kids!