Foreign Travel Safety Tips when using Taxis

Foreign Travel Safety Tips when using Taxis Taxicabs

As opposed to walking or riding the subway, catching a taxi in a foreign country is usually a more efficient and safer option, especially if you don’t know where you’re going.  However, there are aspects of taking taxis that can be dangerous that you should always be aware of.  Remember to practice foreign travel safety tips when using taxis at all times to prevent any possible dangerous situations.

When traveling abroad, it is easy for the country’s locals to notice that you are a foreigner.  In this case, it is imperative to take extra precaution with your belongings and to remain aware of your surroundings. Here are some tips to take into consideration before venturing around by taxi in a foreign country:

– Only enter a taxi after locating a taxi stand.  These should be easy to find; you will see a marked sign with a long line of parked taxis.  Approach the first taxi in the line, and enter one there.  Be sure to take notice of the particular taxis as well.  If the taxi doesn’t look like others, it may be a “fake” – stay away from these.

– Be sure to know the name of the place you’re going, in the foreign language.  If possible, locate the exact address as well.

– Keep your personal belongings close and in sight.  It is very common to set down your phone or wallet on the seat next to you, and then get out of the taxi without picking it back up.  If you have heavy luggage, keep it next to you in the back seat if possible, as opposed to paying extra to use the trunk.

– Take down the taxi phone number, in case something does happen and you need to get in contact with the company.  Taxi companies often attach business cards to the back of the seats for easy acquisition.  It can also be helpful in the future if you need a taxi and aren’t close to a stand.

– If you are coming out of an airport, try to locate legitimate taxi sharing services to save on your fare.  Don’t let anyone push you into a taxi if the area is crowded, but instead try to locate an airport employee and ask about transportation services.  Try to observe what other tourists are doing to find the safest, easiest or cheapest option.

– When you do find a taxi, locate the meter immediately.  Make sure it hasn’t already started running before you even get in the car, (this is an easy way for drivers to rip you off.) If the taxi doesn’t have a meter, you’re probably better off by not getting in.

– Be sure to research the tipping procedures for your specific country.  In some countries, tipping the driver is not expected, (as fares may already be expensive enough to cover it.) In others, a 10% tip may be appropriate.

– Make sure to always have enough cash.  It’s better to over-budget a taxi ride than to under-budget and not have enough to pay for your fare.

Need help locating a taxi near you? Try using TalkLocal, a free service that will connect you to local taxi services within minutes.  Simply enter in your problem, location and availability, and TalkLocal will contact taxi companies, who will then call you directly, ready to help.

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