Saturday, February 10, 2007

Heading for the USVI

There's been a lot of noise about the new passport requirements. As of January 23, if you're an American heading to Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean by air, you need a passport. (Drive tourists and cruise passengers will need passports by next year.)

If you travel or ever plan to, you should have a passport anyway. And given the travel habits of South Floridians -- we rank No. 2 in the nation as most likely to travel abroad, behind the San Francisco Bay area -- you'd think everyone here would have a passport already. But we know it's not true; my former supervisor, an otherwise savvy guy, just got his last year.

In case you're one of those who has been putting off getting your passport, you do have Caribbean options. Two island groups -- Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands -- are part of the U.S. and don't require a passport, though you do need your birth certificate and drivers license.

Both island groups have the advantage of island hopping. Puerto Rico boasts its main island (home to most resorts, rain forest and Old San Juan), plus the small islands of Vieques (yes, once home to a bombing range, but with terrific unspoiled beaches) and Culebra (even less visited.) Both are accessible by flight and ferry.

The U.S. Virgin Islands offers three distinct destinations: St. Thomas (a familiar haunt for cruise passengers), St. Croix (great snorkeling) and St. John (home to Virgin Islands National Park.)

My only visits to the USVI have been brief cruise-ship stops in St. Thomas. I decided it was time to explore. I'll be filing daily reports here on my blog as I travel to all three islands this week. I land Monday, and I'll make my first post that night. Follow along ... we can have island fever together. Much better than the flu.


zyy1265 said...
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Factfile said...
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Barbara Mueller said...

Hi Jane
Wonderful article on Asheville in today's paper... and I live there! Bele Chere, the annual street festival in July, was not mentioned... it is a party not to be missed!!!
Barbara Mueller