You may take a taxi cab every day to and from work when you are at home, or you might grab a cab only when you are in the city. However, every shred of experience you have with this form of public transportation will be nothing to help you when you travel to a foreign country seeking the same service. The fact is, taxi services in other countries can greatly differ from what you are used to getting here in the United States. There are three major things you should never assume about an international taxi service.
Never Assume the Driver Will Speak English
If there is one assumption about taxi services when you are traveling abroad that can get you in trouble, this one is it. It does not matter if you are traveling to a city where half the population speaks English anyway, there is a good chance the driver of a cab you climb in will not. Language barriers can be a huge issue when you are not familiar with a place and cannot read the road signs. Prepare in advance by keeping pertinent information, such as the address of your hotel or destination, jotted down in a notebook just in case.
Never Assume the Taxi Driver Will Have Correct Change
It is ideal that you carry with you the proper currency when you are in another country, but did you know that it is also a good idea to carry small change? This is due to the fact that vendors in tourist dense areas are known to expect big tips, and some will even go out of their way to get them. If all you have on you is a large bill and expect change, your rough, English speaking driver may suddenly forget or claim that they have no change at all. It can be helpful also to understand the differences in currency to prevent overpaying for your ride or dropping too much as a tip when you do not mean to.
Never Figure You Know Where to Find a Taxi service at All Times
Taxi services may be the norm here at home, but not every country has this reliable form of public transportation available. Make sure you do not just assume you will be able to grab a taxi from the airport when you arrive at your international destination. Do your research ahead of time by checking with the airport you will be arriving at to learn what types of public transportation will be available.
Traveling abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences. However, being an informed tourist is the only way to get the most out of your trip. This is even true when it comes to the smallest details, such as using a taxi service while you are there.