Travelling – Taxi’s – saving money

How to save money when travelling. The answer and also the most important mantra is: behave local, pretend to be local, speak local. Meaning, do not behave like a tourist.

In general, careful with taxi drivers. Even when carrying luggage, which immediately makes you out as a tourist, avoiding explanations or talking about expensive adventure trips or giving the impression of arriving from expensive trips does not help to lower the cab fare, but will drive it up.
Especially if needing to make a “deal” with that cab driver. He may agree to an offer initially, but after listening to fancy travel stories, still must talk to his dispatcher. Result, the initially discussed fare has doubled.

Any transportation industry driven by unionized transport companies, or even private, can manipulate their pricing according to who they service. In many countries meters often are not regulated or turned on. Better, to use public transport.

Therefore, any time during my travels I try to blend in as a local, preferably speaking the same language. When it comes to discussing any pricing, not to mention any touristy stuff, or anything that sounds really expensive. Rather, pretending to be some poor schmuck, stuck somewhere, and not having a lot of “dough”, or just going home.  Remember, LOCALS PAY LESS. Even if someone is lugging a heavy suitcase, pretend to live there.

Marrakesh, Morocco: Crazy cab drivers, always want to go anywhere and everywhere, around and around (mostly ending up in the same market square – where their families are selling wares). Tell them right away (en français, SVP) “been in Marrakesh for weeks, go here, not there”. They’ll do it.
St. Martin, Caribique: Needed a taxi, only had a couple French Francs on me. Offering the nice local lady cab driver. She was fine with that. Coming back to my resort, Americans complaining: “cost us 20 Dollars”.

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