Best Ways to Get Around in the U.S. Virgin Islands
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The U.S. Virgin Islands are a group of islands that, by nature, require some decisions on how to get around. And whether it’s your first time to the Islands or you’re a regular, selecting appropriate transportation takes a bit of planning and forethought. So what’s the best option?
First, evaluate your trip’s schedule (or purposeful lack of schedule). Will you be staying on one island? Exploring a different island each day? Check out these modes of of transportation in the Islands to figure out what works best for your trip:
Private Boat Rental
A private boat rental is hands-down THE best way to see the Virgin Islands. A charter allows you to choose your own itinerary and hit up as many islands as time allows, stopping only to swim, snorkel, and sun-bathe at leisure.
To locate a taxi, look for the placard or license plate. Be aware that other travelers have reported a bit of uneasiness with the way local taxis zip about. Heads up: Negotiate your fare before embarking, as there are no set rates.
Dollar rides or dollar taxis
These open air, covered buses can be a bit tricky to the tourist. Not all are $1, so check the fare before boarding.
Schedules tend to be unreliable, running on “island time.” And buses only offer limited routes, so plan ahead if you’re depending on the use of public transit.
Rent a car
This is a great option for getting around on your schedule. Renting a car is the only surefire way to ensure you get to the airport on time. But it can also be stressful. It takes a bit of time to adjust to driving on the left side of the road. Also, blind curves can be rather frightening to tourists.
You should know: You can’t use a cell phone while driving.
And now a word on ferries: Ferries fill up fast. Plan ahead, and arrive plenty early to avoid missing your ride. Or, on the other side of things, you could get stuck waiting for the ferry to board some last-minute stragglers. All the cruise ships passengers use ferries, so expect large crowds. St. Thomas is, after all, the busiest port in the Caribbean.
Tip: Try to avoid popular departing times (such as the mid morning ferry) if your goal is some island tranquility.
And a final word of advice for those who tend to pack a lot: Don’t. Additional luggage (i.e., anything over one carry-on per person) is charged per piece for both taxis and the ferry.
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