Destination St. Thomas: In the Air
Ever since Sarah shared her love for St. John's Maho Bay, I've been thinking about traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands. So I felt immensely fortunate when the USVI Department of Tourism recently invited me to explore one or more of the islands for a press tour. If I were going alone or with Jon, I definitely would have wanted to compare St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix; however, given that my editorial interest was family friendly travel, I brought Laurel (which the USVI DOT kindly accommodated financially, in addition to my expenses), and given that I'm still nursing I brought Violet too (no expenses). I also decided to fulfill a life list item and pay my Mom's way so she could enjoy a vacation. I have a lot of handy travel information to share (including answering travel Q&A from readers), so I'll be reporting across two (possibly three) posts. The first focuses on air travel.
This press trip was coordinated to coincide with JetBlue's inaugural direct flight to St. Thomas. It's been a while since I have flown JetBlue (since my trip to Atlantis actually) and this experience -- coupled with the very recent memory of three flights within the last two months (one cross-country with Laurel and Violet) -- has solidified that I must check JetBlue first in the future. The main differences -- all making traveling with two kids way easier -- included the following:
In a nutshell, I was thrilled with JetBlue, particularly from the family friendly angle, and highly recommend you consider flying with them (my mom is also now totally a fan!). It's excellent that they now fly direct to St. Thomas (as well as other tropical destinations), though it's a bit of a bummer that you cannot fly back direct in the reverse. On the return flight we had to fly to San Juan to refuel and though it was a short 20-minute trip, the overall process added an extra hour to our return travel. Meanwhile, I'm truly sad they don't fly to Nashville (my next trip). Even though my Nashville journey will be solo, I would love to enjoy less carry-on baggage mayhem, more legroom, snacks, and great service.