When traveling in a foreign country, it is important to know the dos and don'ts of finding a taxi. Doing things safely and securely is the best way to ensure getting to where you are going at the right time, paying the correct price, and not getting into any dangerous or unpleasant situations. So check out these handy tips for the next time you're in a foreign country, looking for a taxi or cab.
To find a cab quickly and easily, it pays to know where to look. Searching side streets or local neighborhoods may be a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, but it is much harder to find available cabs in rural areas. Instead, try and get to a main road, a large street or avenue with lots of traffic. Often high-traffic areas will have taxi locations marked out with a small sign or place to wait, where cabs will stop for waiting passengers. Do not expect that simply waiting will get a cab to stop, you should still step up and hail passing cabs, to let them know you are looking for a ride.
Knowing where to look also includes knowing where not to look. In addition to the many registered and official cabs in a city, there are often many illegal or unregistered cabs. These unregistered cabs have no regulation or authority, and thus do not always follow the rules. They may overcharge or try to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists, and they should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. When arriving in a foreign city or country, you may be greeted at the airport or train station by men asking you if you need a taxi. Although they may seem friendly, it is usually not a good idea to take a cab ride from someone who approaches you, as they will most likely be unregistered. Instead, walk out front of the station or airport where there should be a line of taxi cabs or a stop where they pass by. This way you will ensure that you get a registered and official cab, and the official rate of passage.
In telephone kiosks in the airport, information desks at train stations, or even simply by looking in the phone book, try and get the phone number of a taxi agency when you are in at foreign city. If you have a phone card, or enough loose change, you will always be able to call a cab from any public phone. Be careful though, many countries no longer have public phones that accept loose change, so you may need to invest in a calling card or use someone's telephone. Taxi cab phone operators generally speak English, and will be able to help you get a cab whenever you need it.
In many countries, taxi cabs do not run on a meter. Instead, the price of a voyage is either common knowledge (for locals at least) or is agreed upon ahead of time. Do not get stuck in a situation where you can get taken advantage of, ask the price of your trip before getting in a cab and make sure you hold the driver to the agreed fee. Although the price you pay may be higher than a local would, at least you will avoid the most
Sometimes you leave a club or bar and ask yourself, “Where are all the cabs when you need them?” If you've gone out at night and need a cab ride to get home, it is often difficult to find a taxi, especially late at night. In some cities, it may not be the best idea to wander the streets looking for one either. If possible, try calling for a cab from a hotel or pay phone, then wait for the cab to arrive. If you need to go looking for a taxi, do it in a busy area or larger street. It will not only be easier, but will be safer as well.
Find a busy street near your location, even if it means a short walk. You may spend much more time on a quiet side street, waiting for a cab to come by, than you would if you simply walked in the direction of a main avenue or artery and caught a passing taxi. If you do not know where you are in the city, try asking someone in the bar or club, instead of wandering off and getting lost.
Most restaurants and bars will gladly call you a cab if you need one. This is often the best option as it ensures you have a ride ready and waiting for you outside, and you can be fairly certain that it will be an official cab. Simply ask the bartender, waiter, or hotel front desk to call a cab and alert you when it arrives. This is usually the easiest and safest option.
From Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
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