Driving to the “country” (as rural Jamaica is commonly referred to) for the first time can be a daunting task, especially if you are unfamiliar with the roads in that part of the island. We’ll give you some tips you need for the road, and we’ll share some pictures of our journey from Kingston to Trelawny and St. James.
- Map exact location. Ensure that you use a physical map, GPS or some other mapping device to locate your destination. (@JamNAV1 (a project of the UWI Mona Geoinformatics Institute) has done extensive work in mapping the island and their system is more accurate than Google Maps, since it was developed locally. Check their Twitter page for more information.)
- Find the best route. It may be the fastest, or the most scenic wherever you want to go and whatever you want to see on the way will determine which route you take to your destination, We guarantee that all routes offer breathtaking views and beautiful scenery.
- Car charger. It’s a device that is usually overlooked; But when going on journeys that will take anywhere between an hour and four hours it is necessary to ensure your phone’s battery is sufficiently charged. Tires can blow out, anything can happen on the road and you need to be able to make a phone call. Also, the charger becomes even more important if you are using an app on your smart phone to find your location.
- A little food. Carry a bottle of water or juice and perhaps a snack for the journey. This is especially important when travelling with children and the elderly. Any medical problems among passengers must be taken into consideration before the trip.
- Mints, Alcohol, Smelling salts? Now you may feel nauseous on the journey – motion sickness may get the better of you. Having mints (also the essence of peppermint oil), a bottle of smelling salts or some rubbing alcohol on board will ensure your trip goes smoothly. They’ll take care of that motion sickness in no time!
- Time. Take into account the time you need to arrive at your destination and how long it will take you to get there and leave your starting point within a reasonable time. In calculating how long it will take to arrive, factor in delays – these delays could be road work, car trouble, the driver’s unfamiliarity with the directions and other eventualities.
- Don’t be afraid to ask. Perhaps you’re lost, or rather, have lost your way due to some discrepancy with the mapping directions (for those who don’t like to admit they are lost)…don’t hesitate to ask any one you see on the road way for directions. Jamaicans are generally friendly people and will assist you in getting to your destination. However, if you are reluctant to speak to just anyone walking by, stop at a gas station or a restaurant (jerk centre, fruit stall or a shop) and ask someone there for directions.
- Keep your eyes peeled. Take note of gas stations and food stops along the way. The more updated maps and mapping devices will show gas stations and restaurants. Be sure to take note of those. Pay keen attention to road signs also to ensure you’re travelling in the right direction.
- Check ! Check the papers (license, registration and fitness) for the vehicle and your own driver’ s license before embarking on your journey. You will always find a police officer on the way, ensure all documents are compliant so you will have no issues with them.
- Money. Money. Money. You have to make sure you have cash for the journey, to purchase any necessities but also for any “accidents” which may occur along the way.
Drive safely !
Photos from our trip:
Kingston —> Trelawny (Clark’s Town) —> St. James (Montego Bay)
The trip from Kingston to Trelawny took 3 hours and 30 minutes (due to a minor delay) and from Clark’s Town in Trelawny it should be about 45 minutes to Montego Bay, but there was an oil spill the day we travelled so it greatly delayed the journey and took us almost 2 hours .
Where In Ja will you be next?