ST. MAARTEN / ST. MARTIN TRAVEL TIPS
Two countries, one island, lots of differences, and some things to keep in mind. In order to make life easier while visiting St. Martin/ Sint Maarten we have assembled some helpful tips. One tip to keep in mind is that while you will probably visit both countries on your trip, they are very compatible and you shouldn't have any problems going between the two.
Tips For Traveling in St. Maarten / St. Martin.
Banks are generally open 8:30AM until 3PM on weekdays. There is a bank in the airport which typically stays open until 5:30.
Once your flight arrives in here, Customs will require you to present a valid passport and an onward or return ticket. You can come and play, you just can't come and stay.
Sure, the island is casual and the tropics tend to indicate a dress-with-less attitude however, remember that the residents here aren't on vacation and if you take to wearing beachwear, especially thongs, into areas away from the beach it is considered in bad taste. I.e. visits to town, restaurants, shopping, ....put on some clothes. Please.
Also, it is a good idea to bring along a sweater or light jacket as the nights can get cool, especially if you are traveling inland. Lastly, bring at least one nice outfit for going out. The nicer clubs and restaurants enforce a more upscale dress code.
St. Maarten runs the same as the U.S.; 110V with the same plugs. In St. Martin, however, it is a 220V system and you will need an adapter/converter for the outlets if you are bringing appliances from North America.
Both sides of the island have hospitals. Although they are well-equipped if you require extensive treatment, you will want to return to the US. There are plenty of clinics and pharmacies scattered around the island. We suggest obtaining travel insurance before you come.
Although the official currency is the Euro, U.S. dollars are accepted everywhere. You will find many shops even list their prices in dollars. If you are using Traveler’s checks and major credit cards you should be just fine.
Please don't forget to pack your common sense. While the island is quite safe, you don't want to invite trouble, just like home. Naturally, you shouldn't leave your personal items unattended on the beach, or in your room. Use the safe at the front desk, if there is one, rather than a room safe and certainly don't leave anything locked in your car.
St. Martin from the U.S., dial 011-590-590 then the telephone number.
St. Maarten you will dial 011-599 then the number.
St. Maarten / St. Martin has a departure tax of $30 which is often included in the price of your airline ticket. Like to shop? You'll find duty-free shopping everywhere on the island. Bring an empty suitcase with you…or shop for another while you’re here.
Tipping / Gratuities
Like home, 15% is typical and 20% welcome for exceptional service. Check the bill first though, some places have taken to adding the tip in to the bill.