When you land in your shiny new holiday destination, or you’re worried about making that middle-of-the-night flight, it’s sometimes just easier to get a taxi. But if you’re anything like me there’s usually some feeling of unease in doing so. I don’t like getting ripped off, nobody does, so I’ve put together some rules to keep me and my money safe.
Book In Advance
Booking your airport taxi in advance means you can have a check on the internet beforehand to see how much different companies offer the trip for. That way you can be sure you’re getting a good deal. Ok, so local transport might be a cheaper option, but we’re talking about getting from plane to hotel as easily as possible.
Check Travel Forums
If you can’t find anywhere to book online before you fly, it’s worth looking on the travel forums or posting a question asking people to give a guide of how much they paid. This will give you some ammunition when it comes to making sure you get a good price on the ground.
Look For a Meter
If the taxi has a meter and a chart explaining the charges, then chances are it’s pretty regulated. The driver may also be allowed to negotiate a fixed price fare with you but if a meter is fitted often they are obliged to use it, for your protection. These taxis often come with added bag handling fees too though, so make sure to factor that in!
With unmetered taxis you have to negotiate a price before you get in. Armed with your research, you know how much other people pay, so start lower! And don’t pay a penny more than the going rate. Try a few different taxis if that’s what it takes.
Take A Map
If you think that taxis are all about taking a circuitous route to rack up the meter, you might just not be all that paranoid. Take a map with you (it’ll come in handy for sightseeing too) with your hotel marked on it, and try to follow the route. At least you’ll know if you get wildly off the beaten track, even if you can’t quite keep up.
Ask Your Hotel
Some hotels can send out taxis for you to the airports, and hotel recommendation services can be invaluable for making trips around your destination or back to the airport too. Try to ask not only the reception desk but also a waiter or bartender, as the front desk may get commission from a certain taxi company!
And lastly, remember if you’re somewhere really poor that that 50p you’re haggling over probably means a lot more to them than it does to you, so maybe just concede gracefully.