Are you looking for the perfect St John Packing List? In this guide we round up what to wear in the smallest and most beautiful of the US Virgin Islands as well all the other essentials your need to bring to the USVI.
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Note about this St John Packing List
St John is the smallest island out of the three that make up the US Virgin Islands. Although it is the smallest, it is also in may people’s views the most beautiful and also the most natural being home to the Virgin Islands National Park.
Although you may think the what to pack for Virgin Islands guides would be the same but this isn’t true. Some islands have more resorts and some islands like St John have more opportunities for outdoor activities which is why we have written separate guides for each island.
If you are visiting other Virgin Islands on your trip be sure to check out our other guides
- What to Pack for St Croix
- What to pack for Virgin Islands
- BVI Packing List
ULTIMATE St John Packing List
A lot of time on St John will be spent in the water. I would advise you packing a couple of different swimsuits with you since this will be what you spend the majority of your time in.
Now on most Caribbean islands, and even on my what to wear to US Virgin Islands post I recommend taking bikinis. while I would advise taking at least one bikini I would also add some one pieces to your St John Packing list.
Why? Because you will likely find it more comfortable doing snorkelling in a one piece rather than a two piece. It also provides greater protection as more skin is covered.
Whenever I a snorkelling I always recommend wearing a rash vest which is why I have put rash vest near the top of this Virgin Island Packing List.
Rash vests do two things:
- Add extra protection from the sun
- Add extra protection from coral and other things in the water.
While swimwear is acceptable on the beach and round by the pool it is not acceptable elsewhere. We recommend taking one or two beach covers with you for this reason.
If you are short on space however you could pack a couple of sarongs in their place. Otherwise you could mix and match beach covers and sarongs.
Sarongs are in some ways better than beach covers as they dry quicker, can be styled in a multitude of ways for different looks and take up far less space in your case.
While I don’t recommend wearing flip flops on days you are planning to do serious hiking, flip flops are the perfect thing to bring to St John for days at the beach or by the pool
Goes without saying – fresh for everyday of your trip unless you know you have laundry facilities and plan on doing some.
Though most places St John will have either air conditioning or a ceiling fan it is worth packing your light weight pjs.
Also I tend to get bitten by mosquitoes at night so I always try and find that unicorn pair of pyjamas that combine both lightweight and long sleeved.
What to Bring to St John for Outdoor Activities
On St John unlike some other Caribbean islands, you will likely be doing a lot more activity therefore we recommend bringing
We recommend bringing a T-Shirt for every day of your visit. For men traveling to St John we also would add a couple of polo shirts for use in the evening.
These are perfect for use on the beach, next to the pool and for some shorter hikes.
However for those embarking on more serious hikes you will want to have more appropriate attire. Whatever light weight active wear you are most comfortable in would be perfect for hiking in the heat.
St John is one of the most beautiful of the Virgin Islands and there is a lot of outdoor activities on offer from snorkeling to hiking with some magnificent trailheads.
On top of that there are historical sites such as plantations which would be best use sneakers or foot fit sandals.
As I said, activity is everywhere in St John and a trip to St John would be nothing without indulging in some snorkelling. If you are snorkelling then you will definitely want to pack water shoes to protect your feet while doing so.
Water shoes are relatively cheap to purchase and they can save you a lot of hassle and upset.
What to Wear in St John USVI for dinner
If you are worried about what to wear in St John USVI for dinner, don’t – the great news is that St John is actually a very Casual place. Even in high end establishments formal wear is not required. We therefore recommend packing the following for St John at night
Casual Dresses / Maxi Dresses
Sun dresses and maxi dresses are perfect attire for St John dinners since there is no formal dress code. The great thing about these is that are perfect day to night transition outfits.
Pashminas are an essential for my Caribbean packing list whatever island I am visiting because they are so versatile. They can dress up a casual outfit to looker smarter but also are a great extra layer in case you get chilly in an air conditioned restaurant.
While I probably wouldn’t wear sneakers to dinner in St John, flip flops would be ok. But if you have space in your case then I would also add some dressier sandals in too.
Polo Shirts / Short Sleeve Shirts
For men I would recommend adding a couple of smarter t shirts such as polo shirts into the mix and maybe a short sleeve collared shirt.
Linen Trousers / Chino
For Men in the evenings I would recommend adding linen trousers, lightweight chinos or tailored chino shorts as the perfect evening wear.
What to Pack for St John (Non clothing)
Being a year round sunny destination you will need plenty of sunscreen. As you will be doing so much snorkelling we would implore you to take coral safe sunscreen to help protect the undersea wonders you will be seeing.
While I don’t want you to get burnt in case you do it is worth having some aloe vera with you.
Bug Spray / Insect Repellant
St John is such a wonderful natural paradise. However the only problem is that comes with bugs. We therefore recommend adding a good insect repellant with you, especially one with deet to protect yourself from bites.
Sun Protection Lip Balm
Lips are often overlooked in our sun care regime. Be sure to pack a sun protection lip balm with you.
Now you can rent snorkeling gear when you are in St John however I recommend taking your own with you for two reasons.
- It will be better quality than those that you rent
- You can pick the style that you find more comfortable.
And there are so many places in St John with exceptional snorkelling but one of the best is the Coral Reef Underwater Park Trail which is a must for your Virgin Islands Bucket List.
As you are going to be doing so much snorkelling and underwater activities I recommend taking an underwater camera with you to capture those underwater memories, especially if you decide to go snorkeling with turtles in Maho Bay.
Our preferred underwater camera is a GO Pro but you could pick whatever brand you prefer.
You can buy these in St John however there will be a bit pricer than on the mainland. So if you have room and aren’t traveling with carryon only bring these with you.
Travel First Aid Kit
I recommend traveling with a travel first aid kit wherever you are going. However this is especially important when you are visiting somewhere like St John where you will be doing lots of outdoor activities.
What NOT to Pack for St John
You don’t want to wearing expensive jewellery on hikes and snorkeling and as the St John dress code is not formal you will be best leaving expensive jewellery at home.
Unless you are attending a wedding on St John or another event that has a strict dress code you can leave the formal wear at home.
FAQs what to bring to St John
How do people dress in the Virgin Islands?
People in the Virgin Islands tend to stick to a casual or smart casual attire in natural and breathable fabrics. Be sure to check out our post on What to Wear in the USVI for more info.
What is the st john virgin islands dress code?
The dress code for St John in the Virgin Islands is casual to smart casual. Unless you are attending a special function then there is no need for a formal dress code in St John USVI.