Before I made the big move to paradise, it seemed like a pretty huge undertaking. Looking back, it was not nearly as difficult as I made it out to be. Additionally, had I known what I know now–it would have been a breeze. So, here are a few of my recommendations to you to make your life, and move just a bit easier.
1.) Rent a car–whether you are waiting for you car to be shipped or your are waiting to buy one (see last Tuesday’s post). The safari bus (our taxi system) is an option, and can save you some money, but it is not nearly as convenient.
-Some reputable companies for renting are: E-Z Car Rental, Budget Car Rental and Avis Car Rental
2.) Mail Service- There are many post offices located throughout St. Thomas. There is little variation in their open hours, so which one you choose will be primarily based upon where you live or work.
-Some of the post office locations on St. Thomas are: Tutu Park Mall, Redhook, Emancipation Garden, Havensight, Frenchtown, Norre Gade, and Estate Bakkeroe.
3.) Get your VI drivers license— Everyone has something to say about this one. If you have been doing your research, you already know what a pain it is getting your license in the VI. Which is also why I still use my Ohio license. You should plan on spending about a day at the BMV. However, you can make the process a little smoother if you call in right beforehand to make sure you have perfect clarity on what exactly you need to bring in with you (it changes from time to time). Besides the legality purposes, there are major benefits to getting your VI license such as the ability to get “local rates” on just about everything.
4.) Banks–Just like anywhere else you will need a bank for all of your daily transactions.
-Some of the popular banks are: Merchants Commercial Bank, Banco Popular, First Bank, and Scotia Bank.
Banco Popular: http://www.popular.com/vi
First Bank: http://www.firstbankvi.com/ option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=315&Itemid=956
Scotia Bank: http://www.scotiabank.com/vi/en/0,,6010,00.html
5.) Know your grocery stores- There are plenty of grocery stores on St. Thomas, and it is likely you will be visiting more than one of them on your weekly shopping trip. This is because the stores down here are not quite like the stores state-side. AKA, you will have to go several places to get all of the items you need.
-Some of the major stores you can shop at: Fresh Foods VI (fresh food delivery & store pick-up), Cost-U-Less, Price Smart, Plaza Extra, Food Center, Pueblo, Gourmet Gallery, Fruit Bowl.
Fresh Foods VI: http://www.freshfoodsvi.com/
Price Smart: http://www.pricesmart.com/Local/Membership/Club-Details.aspx?warehouseid=8101
Plaza Extra: http://www.plazaextra.com/stthomasad.htm
Food Center: http://www.foodcentervi.com/
Gourmet Gallery: http://www.gourmetgallery.net/
Fruit Bowl: http://www.thefruitbowlvi.com/Pages/default.aspx
There are also local famer markets, as well as road-side stands scattered across the island!
I hope this has provided you with some guidance on your big move! Please feel free to leave comments or write me an email with any additional questions you many have!
Until Next Time,