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Island Etiquette

What to Wear

You’ll spend most of your time in tank top or tee shirt, swim trunks or shorts, flip flops. In the winter you might want a long sleeve shirt and jeans for the evening.  There’s nothing that requires formal dress.  Every now and then an event will be billed as “island fancy”, which basically means long pants and button down or polo shirt (similar to business casual) – but even in these cases nobody really cares.  The only thing that really is frowned upon is walking through town or in stores with nothing but a bathing suit on. Be discreet and cover up. Beach wear is for the beach not town. You also might want a windbreaker in case of rain, but again, this is not a common event. Bring sunblock (which you will definitely need) and insect repellant (which you probably won’t need).


Before you talk business greet everyone with a " Hello, how are you?", “Good Morning”, "Good Evening” or "Good Day". This is the local custom and locals and residents of St. John appreciate being greeted before questions are asked.   This applies to virtually any interaction with anyone, and not just “business”.

Driving on the the Island

Always remember to drive on the LEFT.  Be aware that residents may be trying get to work on time so when stopping to enjoy the scenery or get that picture of the donkey please pull over so others can go on their way. Know that around any corner there could be a cow, goat or car stopped taking pictures or driving on the right by mistake. If you expect it that helps. Think LEFT. Local people frequently hitchhike, and very frequently stop in the road to have conversations while holding up traffic.  It is considered very rude to honk or try to rush them. The accepted practice is to just relax and wait for the conversation to end. If it is safe to pass, that is fine, but most people just wait.

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