If you are arriving in a new city and don’t yet feel comfortable there, consider asking if your hotel provides an airport pickup service. This will allow you to avoid the pitfalls of baggage porters and taxi lines which trap many first time travelers. It also ensures you don’t get lost in the city and go straight to your hotel.
If you are traveling overseas, always have local currency in a variety of denominations. It is much easier to be ripped off by a taxi driver or shopkeeper if the smallest bill in your wallet represents a week’s or even month’s profit. Small change can sometimes be difficult to come by, so hang onto your coins when you get them.
When you’re traveling and you’re in need of a taxi, make sure you pay attention to the meter. When you first get into the taxi make sure that the meter isn’t broken, it is properly zeroed out, and it is turned on and off when you get out. Taxi scams are famous all over the world, and in a foreign place it is easy to get scammed. Paying attention to these simple meter tips can ensure you’re charged a proper rate and not swindled.
Whether you are traveling within the United States or in a foreign country, always make sure the taxi cabs you use are certified with the city. There is usually a sticker visible from the back seat of the vehicle. If you are unsure, research city-licensed cabs before you travel. This way, you can avoid unlicensed cabs that overcharge their patrons, and save money to do more fun things during your travels.
Carry a business card or book of matches from your hotel with you everywhere you go. If you are out on the streets of a foreign city and find yourself lost, this small item will be very useful when trying to get directions from a taxi driver or a local on the street. It is especially useful for anyone without a firm grip on the language.
When traveling in a strange city by taxi, ask an independent third party such as a front desk clerk or baggage porter what the right rate is for a trip to your destination. Also set up the rate with the driver before you get into the cab. This helps prevent you from getting ripped off.
To save energy when traveling in hilly or mountainous areas, consider taking a taxi to the highest point in the town or area you’re visiting, then walk down. This lets you see the whole town, including any mountain vistas, without having to cover too much altitude and wearing yourself out.
Whenever you are flying to your travel spot, make sure to use the airport limo or a possible airport pick-up service. This ensures that you do not have to wait in line for a taxi and that you can promptly arrive at your hotel with the least possible frustration.
When traveling in other countries, be wary of what taxis you get into. Make sure the taxi actually is legitimate before getting in. Any idiots can slap a “Taxi” sign on to their car and you never know who they might be or where they might end up taking you.