Safety Tips When Traveling by Taxi
Depending on the location, cabs can be one of the most efficient ways to get around a city. However, each country often has its own terms regarding taxi etiquette and pricing structures, and it is wise to brush up on these regulations before venturing off to a foreign land where English is not spoken and the chance of being ripped off is high. Before climbing into a taxi, keep the following tips in mind to ensure a safe and successful ride.
Before your trip … Do your homework. Conduct a bit of research or talk with other travelers who have traveled by taxi in your destination. Brush up on the customs, standard prices and a few directional phrases in the local language.
Before you get in … Make sure you know whether you have to negotiate a fare in advance or whether the driver uses a meter to calculate the rate. Also, check for a license, which should be displayed in clear view. If it is not, ask the driver to provide proof he is a certified taxi driver.
During the trip … Follow the route on your own. If possible, download Google Maps in advance to use offline, and once in the cab, follow the route to ensure the driver is taking you to the correct location in the most efficient way. If the driver begins to veer off course, check to see if he is avoiding traffic or if he is just trying to rack up more money on his meter, and speak up if something seems off.
Before exiting … Scan the seat to make sure you have all of your belongings. Ask for a receipt, write down the driver’s license number and, if possible, snap a photo of the license plate just in case you leave something behind or there is a payment dispute.