This is an article I have been wanting to write for a while and think it is an important one to talk about. Whilst this website is specifically about abroad it should also be noted that being safe in taxis should be a concern in the UK as well. I have been in licensed taxis that have nearly crashed or the rider has been rude – so it is important take care wherever you are in the world.
When you are in a new country on holiday for work or leisure you should be alert as to who you are getting in a car with. Over the years, I have taken these precautions but they have still come with the odd driver here and there that will still not be perfect even if you are trying to stay safe. So here are a few tips as to how to stay safe and alert on holiday.
Do your price research – Whether you are heading to the airport or heading into town make sure that you do your research online first to find out how much a taxi should cost for that journey. Also before you get into a taxi ask the driver to confirm how much it should cost this means that they cannot rip you off and take you a long way around. By looking online at approximate prices means that when the driver does tell you a price you can tell whether they are lying or telling the truth.
Research the route – I know you are taking a taxi to make your life easier so you don’t have to know the route but before you go into a taxi google map where you are and where you are going. If your phone has the capability of downloading maps to offline do that as well. It is always good to keep an eye on the route they are taking you.
This may sound silly but I have been in taxis that are licensed and then turn around and don’t know the route to the location. We were in Orlando in the Hilton Hotel just next to Universal Studios, we got in a licensed taxi outside the park because the road to the hotel was a sort of motorway and we didn’t feel safe walking it at night. The driver had no idea where he was going even though he was licensed and it was just around the corner so we had to guide him. You think it is is funny but it isn’t it shouldn’t happen but it does.
It has also happened to me in licensed taxis in Newcastle and even licensed cars in London – it may sound like a silly thing but trust me when it is dark it is sensible to have a map available so you know where you are so that if you are on your own you can feel safe and know where you are.
Don’t stay in a taxi if you don’t feel safe – I only ever get licensed taxis in any country that I go to but there have been times where drivers are unsafe in their driving that I have forced them to stop the car and get out. It isn’t the nicest of experiences but you have to ask yourself what is more important your pride or your life?
I picked up a licensed car from the airport as I knew they were a brand that are used a lot in by huge companies in London and the driver nearly crashed into a lot of cars on a motorway, a licensed Taxi cab company in Newcastle drove deliberately through a red light and nearly got hit sideways by another car, a taxi in Tampa broke down in the middle of a motorway and we had to walk down the highway to another cab.
We use taxis abroad and in our countries because we put our faith in their hands to get us from point A to point B safely and quickly without ripping us off but there will be a small percentage that do this and you need to stay alert wherever you are. So I hope this little piece of advice helps and allows you to think more.