Like other places in the world, Europe is a hot spot for scamming taxi drivers looking to earn a few unsolicited extras.
One of the most popular tricks in the books is the note switch scam, wherein the driver will quickly trade your bigger bill with a smaller denomination and begin to protest as if the passenger gave him a wrong one. Another is what's known as the bye bye taxi, where passengers get out of the cab and just when they're about to open the trunk for their stuff, the taxi roars off.
For travelers to have nothing but the best and safest trip to Europe, here are some ways to avoid getting tricked.
1. Always have small bills and loose change.
The note switch scam starts when drivers see that their passengers don't have small bills. This makes it advisable for all tourists in Europe to have loose change and smaller bills so it' easier once paying up comes.
If by any reason travelers only have large denominations with them, it's best to say out loud just how much you're paying the driver.
2. Research on taxi fares.
The best weapon when travelers are on the move is knowledge. Nothing beats knowing the ins and outs of the city even before one gets there.
An important tip here is to research about taxi fares through a guidebook or online. Travelers are also advised to call their hotel ahead of time so they can ask the ball point figure of how much they'll need to spend for a cab ride. Online forums are also an enriching source of information.
3. Choose taxis that are properly labeled.
The streets of Venice or back streets of London can get quite dark during the night. These areas are a breeding ground of sketchy cabs waiting for oblivious passengers to take the bait.
It is strongly advised to only opt for taxis that are properly labeled, as in big bold letters and contact numbers on the doors of the cab. If staying in hotels, travelers are advised to seek assistance with the front desk to increase the chances of hailing the wrong kind of cab.
With the right amount of vigilance and knowledge, travelers can get the best out of the trip to Europe without being ripped off.