All of us travel from city to city and from one country to another for many reasons. Whether the reason is business or pleasure, most of us prefer to travel taking a taxi in the city. It is a great alternative to public transportation. Traveling in taxis gives us comfortable, relaxing and quick rides to our destination.

While it may be all good, there are some things you do and some things you don’t, when taking a taxi service for your personal transportation. And what are these, you ask? Here are the 10 travel tips for taking a taxi service in a city:

Travel advice for taking a taxi for your journey

Now, you may or may not be familiar with these taxi tips, but for travel in a city and taking a taxi service, these will certainly be useful.

1. Don’t be in a rush to get in a taxi

When you come out of the airport, tired from the long flight, don’t get into the first taxi you see. You should not do this especially at night. There may be some people who pretend to be taxi drivers but in fact are not. If you do, chances are you will be thoroughly screwed.

To protect yourself from scams, reserve a licensed airport taxi service in advance or call them up to pick you from the airport when you land (if you are not in a rush that is).

2. Know the taxi service rates

Taxi service rates depend upon the distance travelled. Check how much it will cost you to travel from the hotel to the airport and vice versa. Taxi service rates are fixed by the state and in some cases, taxi service companies. Taxi drivers are not allowed to negotiate the price but there are few exceptions.

3. Find the route best for your travel

The simplest thing that you should do before taking a taxi is to research about the route. The short and the fastest route takes less time and is less expensive. You can use GPS on your phone or a paper map, whichever you want to choose, it’s up to you.

If you know the route, new to the city or not, you can show it to your taxi driver, and ask him to use that route for your travel. Sometimes, the short routes take long time because of high traffic. So, your taxi driver will use the alternative route which may be long but less time consuming.

Knowing the route means that you will not be scammed by Long Hauling, which is quite common.

4. Familiarize yourself with common taxi scams

When you are traveling and taking a taxi to do so, being familiar with some of the common taxi scams helps a lot. Whether it is “Long Hauling” where you will be taken on a ride by convincing you that it’s the most scenic route, or “Diversion” where the taxi driver, as a friend, suggests a good hotel to stay at, or a restaurant with delicious meals, but it lands up being completely different.

These places are often not up to the par, and the drivers get a cut of their share for bringing in a customer. They will try to coax you to go there, and you’ll be in a loss.

And that is why you have to tell him a firm NO. When you know your destination, and are sure about the place where you want to be dropped off, saying no is the best thing to do, if you don’t want to be mugged.

Taxi drivers who will genuinely suggest the best places to see and eat in a city, like a local, are rare.

5. Keep some cash for payment

Some taxis may take credit cards for payment while others may not. So, it’s good to be prepared to pay in cash. This is true for most taxi services in developing countries, where they don’t accept credit card for payment.

Keep small bills for this purpose and if you are taking a taxi in a foreign country, have small change in the local currency. You don’t want to pay a high fare just because you don’t have small bills (as most drivers will say that they don’t have small change).

6. Follow the rules

When there are rules and regulations put in place for taxi drivers, there are also some for the passengers. These rules differ from city to city and from one country to another. It may not be possible to know all the rules, but still, try to look into the most useful ones and follow them.

For instance, the number of seatbelts in a taxi is also the indication of the number of passengers it is allowed to carry at a time. If there are three seatbelts for passengers, but you decide to travel in a group of four or five, the consequence is that the taxi driver will have to pay the fine for not obeying the rule.

Be just by traveling in a van or other larger vehicle provided by licensed taxi company, which can accommodate a large group in comfort and safety.

Note: Put on the seatbelt! It’s not just there to help count the number of passengers.

7. Don’t smoke inside a taxi

Taxi drivers are prohibited from smoking inside a taxi, and as well as while driving with the passengers. This goes the other way around too. Most taxis do not allow smoking, whether it’s drivers or passengers. Not all passengers are smokers and most do not like the smell of smoke in a taxi. So, be kind to the next passenger who will take your seat, and wait till you get out of the taxi.

8. Taking the receipt

People who are traveling for work may require showing the receipt from a taxi to validate their traveling expenses. Not all taxi services provide receipt, and that is why you need to get confirmed beforehand, if they provide it or not.

If you want, or need, to prove your traveling expenses, the best thing to do is to hire a registered taxi service for your personal transportation.

9. Respect your taxi driver

Professional and experienced taxi drivers are always trying their best to give you a luxurious and comfortable personal transportation. They are courteous and have a friendly attitude. They will help you, with your luggage, by putting it in or taking it out of the trunk. With their deep knowledge of the city, you are sure to find fun and interesting things to do and see.

It is not compulsory to tip your taxi driver, but if he has gone out of the limit to ensure that your travel is comfortable, i.e. by helping you with luggage, being punctual, friendly and courteous, driving well, it’s good to offer a tip of 10 to 20 per cent.

Always remember, not all taxi drivers are out there to scam you or give you a hard time. With respect and a friendly attitude, you can have a great personal taxi service.

10. Make sure you got everything

While traveling, most of us tend to forget a thing or two in the cab. So, take a second to collect your things and see if anything is missing. When taking a taxi from a licensed taxi service provider, you can take it easy, as most of them have Lost & Found Department where your belongings are kept safely.

After a trip, most licensed drivers check their taxis to see if anything is left behind by the passengers. If they find anything, they will report it to the taxi company, and leave it in care of the Lost & Found Department. You can call the taxi company and either have it delivered it to you (for a charge) or you can pick it up yourself.

Have a safe, on-time and luxurious transportation for your journeys in and out of the city, with the travel tips for taking a taxi mentioned above.

Tell us about your safety measures and dos and don’ts when taking a taxi in your city. We would love to hear them.

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