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We will be visiting Tortola on our cruise at the end of the month and we are traveling with an 8 month old infant.
We had wanted to take a self guided tour to visit the Virgin Gorda Baths, but I am a little concerned after researching the open air taxi ride.
Do you think that the taxi ride to the Baths would be appropriate with an infant? It doesn't look like there are any seat belts so I don't think we would be able to attach her car seat to strap her in.
Any feedback and recommendations would be appreciated.
No, I don't think it is safe for MY infant. But lots of people do it and either think it is safe or don't think about. Can you imagine what would happen in even a minor accident if you're in that type of vehicle with no seat belt and holding baby in your lap???
I've ridden in them on a past cruise in tortola and I can't really say that they are safe for anyone as they are completely open, w/ no seatbelts or doors, on potentially steep hills, and narrow bumpy roads. The view is beautiful but the ride was definitely unnerving. We had a few people who had to sit in the middle (the bench is wide enough for 3 passengers) w/ their eyes shut holding hands because they were terrified of looking out over the side of the taxi, espcially when there is a steep drop on one side because you're on the side of the mountain.
It's entirely what you are comfortable with. It's not illegal to not have a carseat but it's up to you whether or not you're comfortable holding your baby on your lap in this type of vehicle.
While I haven't been to Tortola (yet), we did see the open air taxis in St Thomas. I wouldn't ride in one, nevermind let my children go in them. We found, with some research and a bit of effort, a vehicle with seatbelts for everyone and even a top tether for DS2's car seat.
It is physiologically impossible to hold anyone, including an infant, in the vehicle in the event of a collision. Plus since you are not restrained, you are all likely to be ejected from the vehicle, increasing the risk of injury.
I always say that I trust seatbelts and car seats more than I trust the health care systems of the countries we visit. But that's me.
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When we went to Tortola, we walked a block or so away from the pier, and found a normal taxi minivan which we took to the other side of the island. They do have normal vehicles on the island, and not just open air taxis. You might want to do some searching regarding setting up your own excursion in a normal taxi? I think it might be doable. It still leaves the whole car seat issue...