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1. Planning is necessary

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When you’re organizing your journey, you’re no doubt going to want it all to run as smoothly as possible, whether you’re heading to an appointment, going home, or wanting to catch a connecting mode of transport.  So planning your route, and journey times, and researching local traffic and rates will help you to have a stress-free journey.

2. Let someone know

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You should let someone you trust know when you’re traveling too.  You could tell a friend, family member, or colleague, how and when you’re going to be traveling so they know when to expect you.  Especially if you’re traveling alone, it’s a good idea to send them a message to let them know that you arrived safely.

3. Call a licensed cab

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To ensure your own safety, you must make sure that you call a licensed cab.  If they are unlicensed, they are operating illegally and you’re putting your own safety at risk by using them.  But luckily, there are a few things to look out for to make sure you know your cab is legit.  These include signage, driver identification, and license, whether they’re knowledgeable about the area, and the condition of the vehicle being up to standard.

4. Know the company

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Another way to ensure that you’re using a legitimate cab company that is licensed is to actually know the company, meaning that you use a familiar company that perhaps you or someone you trust has used before.  If you don’t know the area, though, it’s a good idea to search on trusted sites and in tourist information checkpoints to get more information.

5. Request an estimated price

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Most travel apps nowadays will give you an estimated price before you travel.  However, if you flag down a cab on the street, or call for one on the phone, this might not be automatic.  So be sure to request an estimated price for your trip before you set off so you know whether you can afford it and so you don’t overpay for your ride.

6. Make sure you can pay

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You need to make sure you can pay.  If you don’t pay, you’re effectively thieving a service that has been provided for you.  Make sure you agree on a payment method before you travel so you’re completely clear on how you can pay for your cab journey.

7. Take a look around

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When you’re cab shows up, it is a good idea to take a look around and stay alert from the offset.  Take a look at the condition of the cab, its safety features, and the interior of the cab.  Be sure to get familiar with the safety features, as well as how to exit the cab in the case of an emergency.

8. Check the driver’s ID

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When you’re familiarizing yourself with your surroundings in the cab, you should also make sure you can see the taxi driver’s ID.  This should be displayed clearly in the cab but if it is not, you can ask to see their ID so you know you have got in the right cab and that it is licensed.

9. Buckle up

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Whenever you get into any vehicle, it is important that you buckle up your seat belt immediately for your own safety.  The licensed driver will be committed to safeguarding you on your journey so will no doubt remind you if you’ve not fastened yourself in securely.

10. Stay in well-lit areas

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When you’re waiting for a cab, especially at night, be sure to wait for it in a well-lit area.  Waiting for your ride in a busy and well-lit area at night is much safer than waiting in a quieter and darker area of town.  Even if you think it leads to an easier route, don’t wait in the dark.

11. Avoid riding with strangers unless completely necessary

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There is also the widely given advice that you shouldn’t ride with strangers, especially at night.  But sometimes, it is understandable that if you’re going to the same place, it’ll work out cheaper if you travel together.  Just make sure you’re in a licensed cab and you’ve agreed on the price before you set off, as well as letting someone you trust know where you are and who you’re with.

12. Check for child seats

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If you are traveling with children, the law in most places is that they’ll need to sit in a child’s car seat or on a booster.  However, some companies do not provide these, so make sure you check with the company before you travel whether they have child safety seats or whether you need to take your own.

13. Consider traveling with a friend

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It’s not always possible, but it is a good idea to consider traveling with someone else rather than by yourself, especially at night.  That way, you have each other’s backs to look out for any dangers or just have a backup phone or charger to help you on your way.

14. Stay sober

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Many people get cabs at night because they’ve drunk alcohol and, by law, therefore cannot drive themselves home.  It’s definitely a safer and more sensible option to get home safely but if you’re intoxicated, you’re not going to be as aware of your surroundings and could end up with a hefty fine if you unfortunately drank enough to puke in the cab.

15. Know the local laws

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No matter where you are when you’re jumping into a cab, you should make sure that you’re aware of local laws.  You see, the local laws are different in different countries, but being aware of them ensures that you can respect them as well as know your rights as a passenger.

16. Inform the driver of your route preferences

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In many places, it is the law that the driver takes you on the quickest and safest route possible to your destination.  And, generally, they will know the route through their GPS and their own local knowledge.  But if you have a route preference, be sure to let them know of this.

17. Keep your phone to hand

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It is also a good idea to make sure your phone is with you and has enough battery for the duration of your journey, or that you have your charger with you.  You might need to contact someone to let them know where you are, and you can use it to follow your journey on your GPS to make sure you’re going the right way.

18. Be aware of the local rates

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You do need to make sure that you are also aware of the local rates and usual cost of the journey, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar part of the world.  This will ensure that you can avoid overpaying for your journey or not having sufficient funds to travel by cab.

19. Have a backup

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In the event that your cab doesn’t show up, or you can’t seem to book one, you should always have a backup mode of transport to get you to your destination.  And if a backup is needed, you also need to make sure that you plan your journey times to get you to your destination on time.

20. Pre-book where possible

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It’s not always possible to pre-book your cab, but it’s important that you try to do this wherever possible.  This will ensure that you have agreed upon the price, that you have a licensed and trusted cab company, and that you are happy in the knowledge that it is booked and you’re not leaving it up to chance.

21. Use reliable apps

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If your cab company has an app, you need to make sure that you’re actually sure that it’s working.  It’s infuriating when you think that you’ve booked your ride and the booking hasn’t actually gone through on the app.  So be sure to use a reliable app to book your journey.

22. Double-check the license plate

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When you have prebooked your cab, you usually get a description of the car, the driver’s name, and their license plate number.  Be vigilant and make sure that you check the license plate number and double-check the driver’s name by checking their ID so you know that you’ve got in the correct vehicle.

23. Make sure your GPS is set up

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Using a GPS app on your phone is a good way to make sure that your cab driver is on the correct route to your destination.  You might want to let them know of your route preferences before you set off, but checking your location on your own GPS can help you keep organized and trusted friends and family members aware of your location when you update them.

24. Know the local traffic patterns

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You’re probably not going to want to be stuck in a cab for too long, not to mention needing to get to your destination on time, so it’s always a good idea to check the local traffic patterns and avoid busy times when you’re more at risk of becoming stuck in horrendous traffic!

25. Report any concerns

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If you do have any concerns about your driver’s behavior, or even the state of the vehicle, you should make sure that you report your concerns.  You can report them directly to the cab company or an external authority.  Just be sure to check where you can do this before you travel.

26. Know your rights

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As a paying passenger, you do have rights that you need to make sure you are clued up on before riding in a cab.  These generally include having the right to have a courteous driver who is safe and obeys traffic laws, the ability to pay electronically and to request a receipt, and requesting the most direct route.

27. Check you’ve not left anything behind

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Before traveling, make sure you are aware of your possessions and where they are on your person.  This way, at the end of your ride, you can check that you have all of your belongings with you before you exit the vehicle and you’re not leaving anything behind.  The driver can’t be responsible for you leaving your belongings in the cab.

28. Exit safely

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Before you set off on your cab ride, have a look around and make sure you note your exit and how to leave the cab safely.  If possible, try to exit the vehicle on the sidewalk rather than onto the road.  However, if this isn’t possible, check for traffic before opening the door.

29. Rate & Review

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After your journey, if your chosen app allows you to, make sure you rate and review your driver as soon as possible.  This should be based on your own experience and should be honest.  This can, of course, help to maintain accountability and is also an opportunity to thank your driver.

30. Taking precautions

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Taking precautions before you ride in a cab can help you to make sure that you have a comfortable and safe journey.  You need to make sure you prioritize your safety, and the safety of those you are responsible for, like perhaps children or adults you care for, and always trust your instincts.


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