The major hospital on St. Thomas is Schneider Regional Medical Center. St. Croix has Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital & Medical Center. There are only clinic facilities—no full hospital—on St. John; serious cases are transferred to the hospital on St. Thomas.
In the British Virgin Islands, there is one small general hospital, Peebles Hospital on Tortola, and a few medical clinics scattered throughout the territory. In serious cases, patients might be transferred to Puerto Rico.
It is not difficult to get a prescription filled or find a doctor on St. Thomas, St. Croix, and Tortola. But you should get your prescriptions filled before heading to the other islands, where medical services are more limited. To avoid delays, it's best to arrive with enough medication for your entire vacation.
Bugs & Bites: Mosquitoes do exist in the Virgin Islands, but they aren't the malaria-carrying mosquitoes that you might find elsewhere in the Caribbean. They're still a nuisance, though. Sand flies, which appear mainly in the evening, are a bigger annoyance. Screens can't keep these critters out, so carry your bug repellent.
Dietary Red Flags: If you experience diarrhea, moderate your eating habits, and drink only bottled water until you recover. If symptoms persist, consult a doctor.
Seasickness: Beyond prescription treatments, Bonine and Dramamine are good over-the-counter medications, although each may cause drowsiness. You might also opt for an acupressure wristband available at drugstores. A ginger pill might help as well.
Sun Exposure: In the Virgin Islands, the sun can be brutal. To protect yourself, wear sunglasses and a hat, and apply sunscreen (SPF 30 and higher) liberally. Limit your time on the beach for the first few days. If you overexpose yourself, stay out of the sun until you recover. If your sunburn is followed by fever, chills, headache, nausea, or dizziness, see a doctor.
Healthy Travels to You
The following government websites offer up-to-date health-related travel advice:
• U.S.: cdc.gov/travel
• Australia: smartraveller.gov.au
• Canada: travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety
• U.K.: gov.uk/travel-abroad
The Virgin Islands are a relatively safe destination. The small permanent populations are generally friendly and welcoming. As in any destination, wandering alone at night is not recommended. Guard your valuables or store them in hotel safes if possible.
The most common type of crime is petty theft aimed at unguarded possessions on the beach and unlocked parked cars. Exercise the same amount of caution you would use when traveling to any unfamiliar location.
Motorists in the BVI as well as the USVI drive on the left side of the road. Travelers unaccustomed to that should leave night driving, at least, to a taxi driver.
You might find that steep, curvy roads are poorly lit at night. Do not attempt the most rural roads at that time of day, as cell phone service may be spotty.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.