This year marks the 100th anniversary of St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas becoming American territories (as the U.S. Virgin Islands), and to celebrate, the Caribbean hot spots are offering travelers a $300 credit to spend once they arrive.
The promotion, dubbed the USVI Centennial Celebration, covers travel booked through October 1 and is valid so long as the trip is completed during 2017. The only requirements: Travelers must book through VisitUSVI.com with the promotional code CP1, and they must book a stay at one of 27 participating hotels for a minimum of three nights.
Some of these properties include Mt. Victory Camp, The Palms at Pelican Cove, and Tamarind Reef Resort on St. Croix; Concordia Eco-Resort and The Westin St. John Resort on St. John; and Frenchman’s Reef Marriott Resort, The Green Iguana Hotel, and Lindbergh Bay Hotel & Villas on St. Thomas.
According to articles on Thrillist and ThePointsGuy.com, the $300 credit must be used to explore the island—at designated outfitters, museums, and other historical or cultural tours and activities.
As an added bonus, those who cash in on the deal this March will receive a special centennial souvenir.
For those who need a history lesson: The three main Virgin Islands (and a host of smaller ones) were sold to the United States by Denmark in the Treaty of the Danish West Indies in 1916. Transfer of power occurred in March of the following year (hence the centennial, folks), and the islands have remained organized, unincorporated U.S. territories ever since.
Because the islands are U.S. soil, American citizens do not need a passport to visit, making the tropical destination even more enticing—particularly during this colder-than-usual winter. Free money to see the sights and hassle-free travel to a warm-weather destination? Sign us up.
Matt Villano is a freelance writer and editor based in Healdsburg, California. In nearly 20 years as a full-time freelancer, he has covered travel for publications including TIME, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Sunset, Backpacker, Entrepreneur, and more. He contributes to the Expedia Viewfinder blog and writes a monthly food column for Islands magazine. Villano also serves on the board of the Family Travel Association and blogs about family travel at Wandering Pod. Learn more about him at Whalehead.com.