Taxi travel is an easy way of going places, getting to work, or experiencing the local culture in a foreign land without worrying about the routes, parking, or traffic navigations. Taking a taxi is a convenient means of traveling and sometimes your only option.
Being street smart about taxis not only keeps you safe from some pretty uncomfortable or sometimes dangerous situations; it also saves time and money. By being vigilant and smart, you can avoid a world of trouble in your traveling spree.
Get a registered taxi.
Unregistered taxis are hard to trace and follow little or no rules. Such taxis can offer you a cheap ride but can pose a threat to your safety. You can ask your hotel concierge to call you a cab if you are not familiar with the area’s taxi ranks.
Confirm Your Ride
If you have booked a taxi online or on a call, ensure that it’s your ride. Ask for the driver’s name and note the taxi’s registration number.
Your Taxi Is Legit
When you get in the car, take note of the driver’s ID badge, radio, and the company phone number. Make sure that the car has door handles and working locks that you can operate. If you see anything off get another taxi.
Often taxi drivers offer flat rates for rides. If you are new to the area, insist that the driver uses a meter and charges you a fair price.
Before calling a taxi, ask a local or your hotel concierge about the general rates to the famous market places or tourist spots. Once you know the lump-sum figure, you can avoid taxi fare scamming.
Keep your valuables in a small bag with you apart from your suitcase and other baggage. When you reach your destination, ask your driver to park in a well-lit area and to come out with you to retrieve your luggage from the trunk.
With navigation maps, GPS, and various mobile apps, you can track your car ride to ensure that the driver is taking the correct route to your destination. You can also monitor any detours or an unnecessarily long trip for an increased fare.
Avoid Taxi Sharing
Sharing a taxi with your friend is well and good but never share a cab with a stranger. Often people corroborate together to scam passengers if you don’t know your ride; hasta la vista.
Call Your Bud
If you are sleepy, tired, or not well, then avoid taking a taxi by yourself. Ask your friend to go with you. Often passengers are at risk for robberies when they fall asleep and lose track of their surroundings.
Get Familiar with the Currency
If you do not know the local currency, you are at a severe disadvantage. An unethical driver can try to rip you off by giving you the wrong amount of change or even an old note or coins. Before starting, get to know your money.