Prepping for travel to St. Thomas
Before traveling to the sun-drenched beaches and ports of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, you'll need to be prepared with the right paperwork. If you don't have a passport or your passport has expired, you're in luck – St. Thomas is a U.S. territory, so travel there isn't treated differently than a domestic flight to another state. All you need is documentation that you would normally bring to the airport, including a state photo ID, driver's license or other government-issued ID. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security also recommends that you bring a copy of your birth certificate.
Do I need a passport to go to the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico?
A common question among travelers to U.S. territories is whether they need a U.S. passport. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, if you're a U.S. citizen traveling directly between parts of the United States, including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, and other U.S. territories, you aren't required to present a U.S. passport as long as you don't touch a foreign port or place along the way, like Jamaica. But you must bring some form of identification, such as a government-issued photo ID. Only non-U.S. citizens and U.S. citizens traveling from a non-U.S. territory must present a passport when entering the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico or any other U.S. territory.
Do I need a passport to go to St. Thomas?
Since St. Thomas is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, you don't need to bring a passport if you're a U.S. citizen. However, you must bring some form of identification, like a government-issued ID or a birth certificate. If traveling to St. Thomas, you can also choose to island hop to St. Croix and St. John without a passport since they are part of the U.S. Virgin Islands as well. Just make sure to check your itinerary for any travel to a foreign port – you are required to present your passport if you have a stopover in a non-U.S. territory.
Documentation to bring to St. Thomas
Although you might not need a passport to enter St. Thomas if you're a U.S. citizen, you'll need some form of government-issued identification. This can include your driver's license, state ID, military ID, birth certificate or permanent resident card. If your journey to St. Thomas includes a stopover anywhere outside a U.S. territory, such as the British Virgin Islands, you must bring a passport.
Other considerations when traveling to St. Thomas
Since the U.S. Virgin Islands is a U.S. territory, the currency used is the U.S. dollar, and the official language is English. You can drive for up to 90 days with your state-issued driver's license – but make sure to remember to drive on the left side of the road! Make sure you have the same ID you used to enter the island when leaving, and of course, pack for warm and sunny weather.