Last Updated on August 8, 2017 by Christine Kaaloa
How to Successfully Avoid taking Airport Taxis (If you can’t see this video, click here)
After my video tips about taking the bus, some of you asked what transportation alternatives there were to avoid airport taxis.
It seems many of us have similar fears about taxis.
We think of them as 1) being expensive, 2) ripping us off by taking us the long route, 3) being a scamming taxi. For me, some countries I visit, I want to minimize my vulnerability and stress to potential scams. Sometimes a taxi takes away stress; sometimes, it enhances travel stress.
Watch and share ! (If you can’t see this video, click here)
How to avoid airport taxis with alternate options
Personally, I avoid airport taxis where I can. Here’s some ways I do so…
Airport pickup services from your hotel or guesthouse
Depending on where you stay, sometimes it’s free; other times, it might cost just as much as a taxi. Sometimes, I try to book a guesthouse which has free airport pickup. This is especially good if your guesthouse is in a hard to access location.
This is a service where you pay in advance at the taxi stand and the taxi takes you to your location. I’ve experienced this on a couple occasions and it saves me from watching the meter count.
Shared ride shuttle vans
This service picks up a group of travelers going to the same or connecting areas in the city. It delivers you to your hotel or the location you specify. Sometimes, there is a max limit to passengers in the van; sometimes, not. But usually this is at least half the cost of your taxi fare.
Public Transit (Metro/subway, city bus, ferry, etc..)
You can spend time researching it online. Or you can hit the Tourist Information desk when you get out of baggage claim. If the bus system doesn’t seem too intimidating, I like to go with that first, because when I ride on a bus, I get a better perspective of the city, especially because it makes local stops.
Taxi share with a fellow traveler
Cosmopolitan cities or first world countries, that concept doesn’t work as well. In other countries it works better. Everyone worries about getting ripped off by taxis or trying to stretch their budget. Usually the travelers to find are the ones who look lost or alone.
• Ride share with Lyft, Uber X or Sidecar
UberX, Lyft and Sidecar are services that replace a commercial taxi with a person, who has a car available and is willing to drive you to your destination. The app is easily downloaded on your smartphone and allows you to track your car to see how far it is as well as, pay. The services claim to offer lower fares than a taxi, but that’s debatable upon city and destination.
Ask your hotel/ guesthouse for advice
- How much it roughly costs.
- You can also ask how much a taxi to their place generally costs
Many will have directions on their site and if not, you can email to inquire. They’ll have suggestions as well as, could probably tell you around how much it will cost and give you specific directions. This is valuable because it gives you a ballpark idea of how much your taxi should charge. (So you can’t get ripped off)
If the price range doesn’t match or is grossly expensive, go to your hotel and call someone to help deal with your driver.
Tip: Remove your bags from the taxi before you do this.
If you’re staying at a hostel, that information will probably be on the hostel booking site under their listing. Hostels cater to budget backpackers, so the taxi is the last things they’ll advise.
Check the airport resources
They usually have Getting To/ From the Airport directions with options ranging from public transportation to taxis. They’ll let you know what floor the buses or shuttles are located, and what’s available.
If you didn’t have time to research your trip or transportation options from the airport, check out the government/airport information desk. Usually, there’s a lot of information, with a helpful front desk to give you free maps or let you know your transit options.
What are some of your tips for avoiding airport taxis? What alternate options have you tried?