Is a car rental necessary?
My wife and I will be vacationing at St Thomas at the Fairfield property in March. It looks like a car rental will be $250. Do you think having a car is necessary for a good vacation or are there public transportation options and taxis?
My wife and I were on STT in November and we felt like on one hand cab rides were expensive and just to go a mile or two down the street can run you $10+ per person, depending on the driver. However, after you get out of the cab you might be glad to pay whatever they charge you considering the way people drive.
Our package was actually cheaper through Travelocity with the rental car than without it for some reason but my wife insisted that we do without. We easily spent more than $250 in cab fares while we were there for the week.
there are a TON of taxis. They do get expensive. You have to decide on your vacation if it's more important for you to get there safely and quickly without driving by taking a taxi OR working a map, driving on the left, and hoping you find your way. If you decide to rent a car you can have the freedom to go anywhere on your time, but my visitors said it was stressful driving on the left. The maps are pretty easy to follow, too and there are "tourist" markers around the island that were helpful to my visitors.
Unless I am on an all inclusive type resort, I would always have a rental car on any vacation.
The idea of riding around in a taxi is not my kind of vacation. I always need the freedom to go and do on my terms.
In over 20 years of tropical vacations I always rented my own car, with only One exception. That exception was at an all inclusive in Jamaica. Weird place Jamaica... I rented cars on St John, St Thomas, St Croix, Anguilla, St martin, Tortola, Virgin Gorda and on and on. I can't imagine depending on a local taxi to get me around. Driving on islands is no big deal. right or left ..Who cares?
driving on the left and on islands may not be a big deal to you, but some people get nervous about it so it's something to consider before renting a car.
I'm sure than some drivers can be unsettled when they first drive on the left side of the road.
Actully island driving can be easy. I have found that most island drivers , especially those on St Croix are patient and polite. They will wave you into traffic wait for you to merge and not yell when you drive stupidly. There are exceptions to this...lol
I have found that I get a better sense and feeling for an island when I am the driver.
What I was referring to regarding the driving wasn't meant as an insult, just taking into consideration the driving conditions. For example, the roads in some parts are more narrow and extremely curvy which lead you around blind corners where you don't have much room to maneuver when you see what's around the corner, which could be a huge truck or people standing in the road. I was amazed that people zipped around corners at the speeds they did without causing several accidents but I guess you just get used to it.
Rent a car.
You'll be glad you did.
This way you can see whatever you want whenever you want. Taxis are very expensive.
As for prices.....if you are a AAA member request a discount from Hertz (usually 10%). The Entertainment Book offers discounts for Hertz, Avis & Budget.
We'll be on island in January for 4 weeks.....we rented from Hertz......total charge for an intermediate size car including taxes/fees is $832. (using the AAA discount)......we booked online.
Which Fairfield property will you be at? This should factor into your decision, as well. If you are at Bluebeard's Castle, you are right next to downtown. If you are at the Elysian, you're already on the East End. If you're at Bluebeard's Beach Club, you're kinda 'in-between', but closer to Charlote Amalie than Red Hook. Plus, all 3 DO have free shittle service bewteen them, and a run to Magens Beach. I know there used to be a free shuttle to Charlotte Amalie, but I think it's been discontinued. But, if you're at the Castle, you can just walk down (back up is another story! Ugh! What a hill! haha!) But, just to get an idea of what taxiis might cost: Let's say you are staying at Bluebeard's Beach Club. Two people, from the airport, plus two bags = $22. Now we need to go to the grocery store and stock up for the week! $12 there, $12 back = $24. Let's just stay at the resort the rest of the day, 'K? Saturday's total = $46. Sunday, let's go to, I dunno, Coki Beach/Coral World - $20 each way = $40. Now let's get cleaned up and go out to dinner somewhere else, say, Craig and Sally's in Frenchtown - $24 each way = $48. Sunday's Total Taxi = $88. Now it's Monday. Let's go to STJ for the day! Yay! Taxi to Red Hook - $24, catch the ferry (we won't figure this into out taxi rates), then take a tour of the island $25 X 2 = $50, then take a taxi to a beach $20, but now we gotta get back to take the ferry back to Red Hook - $20, and now we need to get a taxi to the Beach Club again - $24. Phew! Monday's total = $138. Now, it's only Tuesday morning, and we've already spent $272 in taxiis. Shall I go on? Renting a car not only gives you a savings in your pocketbook, but gives you freedom to come and go at your leisure, a chance to explore more, you could take the car ferry to STJ and really explore there, and it's also an adventure...I mean, sheesh! How often do you get to drive on the left at home? With a drink in your hand! But wear your seat belt! Haha! Drinking and driving may be legal here, but you'd BETTER have your seatbelt on! We'll ticket you for sommething bad like that! And DON"T talk on your cell phone while driving! Crikey! You wanna cause an accident?!? If you have one hand holding your drink, and one holding a phone, what are you gonna STEER with?!? Hang up that phone, dammit! Haha! ( I am being silly here, guys, don't send me hate mail! Haha!)