Wasting money on transportation while traveling sucks. Literally. It’s a huge money suck, and one that offers little return when you’re just trying to get from point A to point B.
My general rule is to avoid taxis whenever possible as they feel like a waste of precious budget dollars. Instead, I opt for substantially less expensive (or free) means like walking or taking buses/shared rides. However, as with everything, there are exceptions to the rule.
This guide shares how I decide when to walk or bus, and when it’s OK to splurge on the taxi.
Times To Take That Taxi
When It’s Unsafe
If there is one thing more important than remaining in budget, it’s staying safe. You can’t remain in budget if you’re kidnapped, of course. We always take taxis when safety is a concern, including in dangerous cities where it’s not safe to walk, if it’s late at night, if we are coming from a bus/airport and have a ton of bags (making us a target), or if we feel generally uneasy on the streets.
When You’ve Made Friends
The problem with taxis is how much they cost – especially if you’re traveling alone. If you make friends, though, the “no taxi” rule changes. It’s sometimes cheaper to split a taxi than pay for transportation when you multiply by several people. So, if you have friends, a taxi might be a good choice.
When It’s Downpouring
Although you likely have a rain covers for your bag (and a rain jacket), obviously it’s not ideal to get each and every one of your things soaked in the rain. So, sometimes, if it’s reaining really hard we splurge for the taxi. Worth the extra money to not be freezing/soaked all day and to keep your stuff dry.
When Your Luggage Is Not Under Control
Sometimes your bags are heavy, poorly packed, unwieldy. Sometimes you’re hauling around a huge jug of water and bag of food. It happens. And these times are good times to spend a few extra bucks on that taxi rather than schlep with all your stuff spilling all over the place.
When There Is No Other Option
Well, this one is obvious. If there is no bus, train, collectivo or any other way to get there. When it’s too late or too early and public transportation isn’t running. When it’s too far to walk (or your legs are super tired from hiking). When you are in the middle of nowhere and you need to get out of the middle of nowhere.
Other times you take a taxi? Leave them in the comments below!