Your plane ride isn’t the end of your journey when you’re traveling to foreign countries. You’ll also need to arrange for transportation to the sites you’d like to see when traveling abroad. Whether you plan to visit the Vatican or take a tour of Buckingham Palace, you’re likely to need taxi service.
For U.S. travelers looking for a ride while visiting overseas, these tips can help:
- Know your host country’s tipping protocol – Do a little research and find out how much and whether you should tip. In some countries, generous tips are expected, and travelers who don’t tip may be in for some less than pleasant interactions with cabbies. In other countries, cab drivers don’t take tips and may be offended by an offer. Make sure you know the local customs.
Be aware of scams – In some countries, cab scams abound. Unscrupulous cab drivers may push you toward going to destinations other than your desired restaurant or club because competing businesses have paid them to direct travelers their way. Others may take advantage of foreign tourists’ lack of knowledge of the area to run up fares. Still others may be involved in even more dangerous activities, such as setting up tourists to be robbed. Be wary and always trust your gut.
Use cab hailing apps – By using Uber, Gett, Halio, and other cab hailing apps, you can avoid some of the pitfalls of taking a cab in an unfamiliar country. You can easily schedule a trip on the app and quickly have a cab at your location to pick you up. Many cab hailing apps have rating systems that let you know how reliable cab drivers are, so you can better pick your service provider.
Carry cash – While some cabbies will take plastic, many will not. Even if they do, you may incur higher charges for using your credit or debit card overseas. Having cash, particularly local currency, is always a good idea when traveling abroad, especially in less tech-friendly countries and locales.
- Keep your smartphone charged – If you’re going to use your smartphone to make use of Uber and other cab hailing services, you’re going to need to keep it charged. Before venturing out of your hotel, make sure your phone has a full charge. Also, manage your phone’s power consumption while traveling to ensure you have sufficient energy to make use of ride-hailing apps when you’re ready to return to your hotel.Most foreign countries use different voltages and electrical outlets than those found in the U.S. Because the majority of non-U.S. countries use 220-volt outlets, using an American device with them will end in disaster. To safely charge your devices overseas, you need a step-down voltage converter. These devices will fit foreign outlets and allow you to safely charge your 110-volt devices.