Driving is a great way to see the wonderful sites of Anguilla at your own speed. Vacationers who opt to drive on the island can get up and go whenever they choose.
While driving in Anguilla, tourists should keep a few things in mind to make their trip safe.While operating a vehicle in Anguilla, remember that driving is done on the left-hand side of the road, as in England. This can be a challenge for some, and these people often find that requesting a vehicle with the steering wheel on the right side of the vehicle is helpful in reminding them of their place on the street. This is important to do because many rental cars have the steering wheel on the left like most vehicles in the United States.
Though knowing which side of the road to drive on may take some getting used to, the overall experience of driving on Anguilla is a good one. This is thanks to the relatively flat topography. There are a few main roads that bisect one another, but there have been some complaints that they are not very well maintained. While this may be true of the main road that runs through the center of the island, there are a few newer roads on the north side of the island that are much smoother. If you aren't driving on a paved road, it'll be sand or dirt paths that you're navigating.
Also be aware that there are five roundabouts on the island in order to promote safe driving. They are called the “Sandy Ground Roundabout,” the “Airport Roundabout,” “The Valley Roundabout,” the “Shoal Bay Roundabout,” and the “Sandy Hill Roundabout.” You enter them from the left, but don't let them make you nervous. It is rare to see more than one vehicle in a roundabout at a time.
Before you set out to drive, you must have a valid driver's license from your home country and a local driving permit. Vacationers can get an Anguilla driving permit at the same rental car agency that they rent their vehicle from. Also note that most rental agencies require that you be over the age of 25 to rent from them.
Along with the basic requirements for driving on the island, travelers should remember a few simple tips to stay safe on the road. On most roadways, the speed limit is 30 mph, except in school zones and in villages where you'll have to slow down to at least 20 mph. Drivers should strictly observe the speed limit for the safety of themselves and those around them. Speed limit indications are usually easy-to-read circular signs outlined in red. If you become confused while driving, pull over and ask for assistance. A friendly local will surely be able to help you and point you in the right direction.
While you're keeping an eye out for pedestrians, you may also want to be alert for kids crossing the road - and not just the human ones. Anguilla is full of free-roaming goats, who often wander into the middle of the road. Children are also known for doing the same thing. There are no sidewalks on the island, so pedestrians have to walk on the edge the road. Be especially careful at night time, as it may hard to see someone - or something - walking along the road.
Pay attention to speed bumps. Going over one too quickly can cause a painful little jolt and may even damage your vehicle. Speed bumps are particularly prevalent near villages, so look for warning signs and slow down when approaching these “sleeping policemen,” who are meant to control traffic speed.
Vehicle related injuries are the leading cause of children traveling abroad. Make sure that if you are traveling with a small child you bring with you the proper safety restraint system required, be it a booster or car seat.
If you're not up for driving on your own, there are other options for getting around available to you in Anguilla. The public transportation system is not very extensive, so if you imagine yourself traveling from place to place by bus, you'll have to actually hire one yourself. This is only a sound idea for large parties. Smaller groups will do better ordering a taxi service, and you can even hire your driver for a two hour tour for around $40(USD) a person, plus $5(USD) for each additional passenger.
Driving can be an excellent way to experience Anguilla, but don't forget to put safety first and to fill up your tank at any of the island's gas stations while you're out exploring this magnificent Caribbean island.
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