Trying to plan a vacation or trip St Croix on a budget?
If you’re looking for an affordable vacation spot, you can find it in St Croix, USVI! With plenty of free and affordable activities and attractions to enjoy, you can have a great time without spending a lot of money.
Here are some of the top tips on how to plan a trip to St. Croix on a budget.
Planning a Trip to St Croix on a Budget
From discount rental cars to finding the cheapest excursions while still making the most of your vacation in St Croix, here’s how to plan St Croix on a budget.
There are plenty of free and low-cost ways to make the most of your trip to St Croix without breaking the bank. Keep reading for more details on getting the most bang for your buck on the largest island in USVI. A St. Croix vacation can be affordable if you plan it right!
Best Time to Visit St Croix on a Budget
The best time to visit St Croix on a budget is going to be May or November. Hurricane season in the USVI officially runs from June 1 – November 30.
If you’re really looking for the cheapest prices, August and September are a sweet spot, but this is not the best time to go. You’ll have a high chance of hurricanes, rain, and seasonal closures for some of your must-do excursions.
Visiting right on the ends gives you off-season discounts and though you might see a few afternoon showers, your risk of bad weather isn’t too high.
The prices mentioned below are off-season prices. Keep in mind prices will be higher during the popular season (December-April).
Where To Stay in St Croix on a Budget
You have a few options for staying in St Croix on a budget. Keep in mind these prices are for May. As mentioned above, this is a great time to visit and get the most bang for your buck.
Mt. Victory Camp (St. Croix)
Mt Victory will cost $70/night for a cabin off-season; even less if you want to tent camp. While this is one of the cheapest accommodation options, keep in mind you’ll need to budget for a rental car for the whole stay since the camp is not near the walkable city areas (Christiansted and Frederiksted).
Vacation Rental in Christiansted
You can find vacation rentals in Christiansted for $75-$100/night. Make sure your rental is walkable to save costs on rental cars. Additionally, if you can find a rental with a kitchenette or kitchen that allows you to cook some of your meals, you can keep food costs low.
Hotels in Christiansted
There are a number of accommodation options in Christiansted that allow you to save money and explore the walkable city. Hotels in St Croix range from $150-$250/night, or more for some of the beachfront resorts, but it’s possible to find stays on the cheaper end.
Hotel on the Cay $109/Night
Hotel on The Cay is a unique hotel experience located just off the coast of Christiansted. You can get free transportation from your stay at this luxurious property over to Christiansted and back via ferry–so if you’re looking for a private-island feel on a budget, you can’t go wrong with Hotel on the Cay.
Sugar Apple Bed and Breakfast $160/Night
If you’re looking to spend a bit more on a romantic accommodation, Sugar Apple Bed and Breakfast is a small hotel that has a big history! This means you’ll be staying in one of the only 12 rooms available, making it personal. You’ll have access to your very own kitchenette with all cooking equipment included as well as being able walk distance from any store or restaurant Christiansted has outside their door step.
Getting Around St Croix on a Budget
Renting a Car
Rental cars are known to be expensive, but also the best way to explore the island on your own time and hit all the hidden spots you normally wouldn’t get to see! If this isn’t in your budget, you can definitely get around with the island’s taxi or safari bus system without breaking the bank.
Three days of a rental car on St Croix will cost about $195 with taxes and fees. To balance exploring and staying on budget in St Croix, I’d recommend planning 2-3 days with a rental car and the other days exploring via safari bus, excursion, or on foot!
Safari buses are the cheapest mode of transportation in the US Virgin Islands, and mostly used by locals. Also known as “dollar safari buses,” these buses are very affordable ($1-$2/trip) and provide a great way to see the island.
There is no set route or schedule for the safari buses, so the driver will drop you off as close as possible to your destination. Once you’re dropped off, you will likely have to walk to your final destination.
Not all safari-looking buses are $1, so be sure to check with the driver before hopping on. Ask the driver how close they can get you to your destination and what the cost will be. This way, you’ll know what to expect in terms of walking once you’re dropped off.
Is St Croix Walkable? Exploring on Foot
Is the whole island walkable? Of course not. But St Croix is home to two cities – Christiansted and Frederiksted. They both offer affordable places to stay and you can explore each of them on foot.
Many excursions leave from the Christiansted Boardwalk. So, if you’re going to stay in Christiansted, you’ll be able to walk to plenty of pickup spots.
5 Day Sample Itinerary in St Croix on a Budget
Take the $9/person or $16 taxi ride from the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport to your hotel in Christiansted. Explore the boardwalk, activities, lively bars, and restaurants downtown.
Today is your day to splurge on your budget a bit. An excursion to Buck Island National Reef Monument is a must-do while you’re in St Croix! Take a boat to the protected reef and island to explore on foot, snorkel, dive, or swim through the clear waters and expansive reef system of Buck Island. Half day tours start at $85. While this cost comes in on the higher end, if you can make it work, you won’t regret it!
Finish your day touring Fort Christiansvaern and Christiansted National Historic Site.
Pick up a low-cost rental car in Christiansted from Expedia and hike to the Annaly Bay / Carambola Tide Pools. Head south to Frederiksted’s Rainbow Beach for snorkeling and watersports. End your day exploring Fort Frederik in Frederiksted Historic District.
Wake up early and watch the sunset at Point Udall, the easternmost point of the United States! After, grab your snorkel gear and make the short drive to Isaac’s Bay Beach. Make the short hike to the beach and enjoy the stunningly calm waters and soft sand. After your relaxing morning, try to hit Salt River Bay National Park and rent kayaks to explore the wildlife in the area.
Enjoy one last morning in Christiansted before driving to the airport to head back home after a relaxing, money-saving vacation!
Low Cost and Free Things To Do in St Croix
1. Snorkel at Some of the Many Beaches Around the Island
Bringing your snorkel gear makes this the cheapest and best thing to do in St Croix! Isaac’s Bay Beach, Rainbow Beach, Salt River Bay, and Cave Bay Beach are a few of the most popular beaches in St Croix
2. Rent Kayaks or Paddle Boards at Salt River Bay National Park
Rentals to explore Salt River Bay start at $35, making this a great way to spend part of your day without splurging on your budget!
3. Walk Along the Christiansted Boardwalk
Christiansted is a great place to visit if you’re looking for some local food and shops. The restaurants along the waterfront are all very close together, making it easy on your stomach too!
4. Visit the Historic Sites Around St Croix
Learn about the rich history of St Croix by visiting Fort Christiansvaern, Christiansted National Historic Site, and Fort Frederik in Frederiksted Historic District.
5. Hike the Carambola Trumbull Trail to the Tide Pools
This hike will take you along the Carambola Trumbull Trail which leads to some beautiful tide pools. The views are more than worth it.
Budgeting Food and Restaurants in St Croix
Food trucks are not only a great way to eat on a budget in St Croix, but also one of the best ways to experience the local food!
Farm stands are another great way to get the local fruits and vegetables from farmers around the island. If you have a kitchen or kitchenette in your hotel or rental, stock up on some fresh staples and cook a few meals to save money.
Opt for mom and pop restaurants vs. resort and heavy tourist dining. Meals are generally going to be more expensive on an island because of the need to import many items. Plan to spend at least $15/meal. Dining at smaller local shops will keep costs lower than the expensive fine-dining resorts often offer.
Pack Your Own Food!
As long as your food is customs compliant, you can pack some of your own staples in a checked bag to help keep food costs low while exploring St Croix.
Which US Virgin Island is the Cheapest?
St Croix, St Thomas, and St John are all beautiful Virgin Islands that offer plenty of fun in the sun for tourists. However, they can vary greatly in terms of price. St John is the most expensive island to visit, followed by St Croix.
While you can see it’s possible to visit St Croix on a budget, when comparing St Croix and St Thomas, St Thomas is the cheaper island to visit. This is due in part to the fact that it has the main airport in the USVI. This makes travel to and from St Thomas more affordable, and there is also a wider variety of accommodation and excursion options available due to the heavier tourist population.
Tips for Saving Money in US Virgin Islands
Pack the Staples
Your travel bag should be packed with all the Caribbean essentials to avoid buying expensive items when you arrive. Bring your own reef-safe sunscreen and first aid supplies. Additionally, be prepared for the weather with a rain jacket or light sweater for chilly evenings by the beach.
Bring Your Own Snorkel Gear
There’s nothing more exciting than beach hopping and exploring all the off-the-beaten-path waters with your own snorkel gear. By bringing your own snorkel gear, you can enjoy a free activity every day!
Bring Some of Your Own Food
Pack some of your own food staples that you can cook in the microwave or kitchen (if you have one) to keep food costs low. Food on an island can be one of the most expensive parts of a trip, so this is a great way to save money.
Is St Croix Worth Visiting?
St Croix is worth visiting – St Croix is known for its spectacular beaches, protected coral reefs with bustling and healthy marine life, and lively downtown areas. St Croix’s north shore offers some of the best beachfronts in the Caribbean. With miles of white-sand coastline, St Croix is the largest territory in the US Virgin Islands.
The island’s reefs are home to a large and diverse population of fish, turtles, and other marine creatures. There are plenty of affordable accommodations available, and St Croix is definitely worth a visit.
Summary: How To Plan Your Trip to St Croix on a Budget
As you can see, St. Croix can be an affordable destination, and there are plenty of things to do on the island without spending too much money. Start planning your budget trip to St Croix today!