Work and Travel in United States Virgin Islands
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS FOR TRAVELLERS
There are few other places in the world that get closer to people’s ideas of paradise than the US Virgin Islands. Clear blue waters, white-sand beaches, a cold drink in your hand - coupled with a high standard of living compared to other Caribbean nations - this seems like the ideal place to work and travel.
But it’s not always a tropical dream vacation on the USVI. The cost of living is high, and hurricane season is a dangerous arrival every year. But if you can make it work, you can carve out a nice lifestyle, supporting yourself with your skills.
Check out our travel guide below if you’re curious about living and working in the US Virgin Islands.
1. Become a crew member on a charter boat
Not surprisingly, charter boat and sailing yacht rides are a big tourism business in the USVI. If you agree to start at the bottom level by cleaning and cooking for guests, or performing maintenance, you’ll also likely get a chance to learn the skills needed to sail and captain the boat.
2. Hurricane restoration projects
Hurricane Irma touched down in the Caribbean in 2017, but the effects of the destruction and devastation are still being felt. You can make a difference in the cleanup effort by volunteering to collect debris, rebuild and repair wooden structures, and paint walls. If you are a skilled plumber, carpenter, electrician or concrete mason then you can certainly be paid for your work and travel effort.
3. Utilize your film skills
Since the USVI are so picturesque, a decent amount of people head down there to work on video projects, whether they’re looking to create an advert video for their scuba company, or are an influencer showing off their latest beach adventure. If you have skills in videography - whether it’s camera operation, video editing, or social media outreach, then you’ll be able to find some interesting work and travel opportunities in the USVI.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS
US citizens do not need a passport to visit the USVI, but all other nationalities do. Visas are generally not required for visitors from most Western countries if they are staying less than 90 days. Since the USVI are a territory of the United States, the same immigration rules apply. See HERE for more information.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS
Spring is the best time to visit the USVI, precisely April through June, when you can expect mild temperatures and little rainfall.
This is not the peak tourism season, however, so now would be the best time to work on outdoor projects, either hurricane restoration, organic farming, or conservation.
June through November is hurricane season. For safety reasons, if you can avoid visiting USVI to work and travel during the summer, we advise you to do so. You certainly won’t find any tourism work during this time of year. If you do have work booked up with a local family, perhaps in childcare, then this would be your best option.
Hurricane season lasts through the end of November, so most of the season will be given over to protecting against damage from storms. If you arrive near the tail end of autumn, however, this would be smart - you can book up work in hotels, yachts, or restaurants before the rest of the backpackers arrive.
This is peak tourist season, so save up your energy and use your skills to find work in the tourism industry. Anything to do with boats, yachts or sailing will get you far and paid well as a working traveller in the USVI.
If you have experience cooking, cleaning, bartending, working in retail, or as a yoga instructor or massage therapist, finding work during the peak season in the USVI should be a relatively simple process.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS
Working and travelling in the USVI you’ll find that the attitudes towards foreigners are much the same as you would find in the US since many of the residents come from here.
The vibe is relaxed, but expect to be held to a high standard of work ethic once you book up some work. All that fun and sun comes at a cost.
If this all sounds grand to you, why not start planning your work and travel adventure to the US Virgin Islands?
- Edited on Jun 18 2021 by Lily