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Uber, Taxi, or Just Walk?

by Blake 8. August 2017

Uber, Taxi, or Just Walk? Tips for Traveling When You’re Traveling

If you’ve ever planned a trip abroad, you’ve likely spent hours researching and comparing flights, hotels, restaurants, and activities before you’ve made a single booking. One thing that travelers often forget to plan is how to explore their destination once they’ve arrived. Sure, there might be dozens of activities within walking distance of your hotel, but what about the attraction that you’re dying to see that’s miles away? What if you pick a destination with plenty of activities, but poor or unreliable public transportation?

Most of us rely on private drivers in situations like these. Whether you prefer metered, licensed taxi services or ride-sharing apps like Uber or Lyft, there are plenty of reasons why most of us might choose to hire a ride. They’re usually less stressful and more cost-effective than renting a vehicle, and one doesn’t have to be familiar with the local landscape and traffic to get where they’re going if they hire a local driver.

That being said, there are still risks related to hiring a driver when traveling. Reports of people becoming victims of crime from people posing as hired drivers are all too common these days. These dangers can become even greater when traveling internationally. You can avoid a lot of potentially threatening situations by considering a few things beforehand.

1.     Research both public and private transportation options prior to arriving at your destination. Public transportation vehicles and stations are often monitored by surveillance and law enforcement officers, which may make them a safer option. If public transportation is not a reliable option, you should also note that the ride-sharing app that you use locally may not be available in your destination city. Even if it is available, it may not be the safest method of hiring a driver. Licensed taxi drivers have long opposed competition from ride-sharing apps because they are often undercut on rates. In cities like New York, Paris, London, Mexico City, and Johannesburg, Uber and Lyft drivers have become targets of violence from taxi drivers. For all these reasons, its best to research your transportation options before you really need to use them.

2.     If you hire a taxi driver, be advised that, in some countries, cash is the only accepted payment option. Have some local currency on hand before you hail a cab to avoid any confrontation with the driver at your drop-off spot.

3.     If you’re using a ride-sharing app like Uber or Lyft, make sure to identify the vehicle and driver prior to entering the vehicle. The app should tell you the make, model, and license plate number of the vehicle as well as the first name of the driver. Also, ask your driver to identify the name of the person who requested the ride. Simply ask, “What’s my name?” before you enter the vehicle to make certain that you have the right driver.

4.     Share your ride status with someone you trust. Ride-sharing apps typically have a “Send Status” feature that allows others to track your ride using GPS. If they notice anything abnormal about your route, they will be able to contact police and alert them of the problem.

5.     Transactions for ride-sharing apps are always completed electronically using a credit, debit, or gift card. If an Uber or Lyft driver ever asks for a cash payment, consider it a red flag and leave the vehicle before the ride starts.

6.     Regardless of whether your ride is a taxi, Uber, or Lyft, request pick-up and drop-off locations in areas that are well-lit and well-populated, if possible.

At CME, safety is always our top priority when planning a trip. We use only commercially-licensed drivers with the proper skills and equipment relevant to each client’s needs. We always appreciate feedback from our clients and friends about their questions, comments, and concerns about ground transportation. 


Tips for Traveling With Pets

by Blake 31. July 2017


A man’s bestfriend can become a complex problem while traveling.  Some pet owners settle for doggy day cares or pet sitter centers, but everyone else has trouble parting from their canine partners.  The most important tip is to ensure your pet is either wears a microchips for identification or a collar with a tag imprinted with their name, your name, and a phone number.

Traveling by plane with a pet is by far the most stressful.  You should try to avoid air travel unless your furry friend can fit under the seat, however, CME wants to provide some tips to keep your pet safe. 

1.     You should book a direct flight if possible.  This will avoid any additional risks of misplacement or mishandling. 

2.     Making an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian prior to your trip is vital to make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and to obtain a health certificate within ten days of departure.  You can also inquire information on how to relax your pet in case they grow anxious or uncomfortable during the ride. 

3.     If traveling outside the United States, there may be additional requirements needed to take your pet on an airplane.

4.     You will also need to purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate.  The crate needs to be large enough for your pet to stand, sit, and move around comfortably.  It is also a good idea to tape a pouch of dried food outside the crate so airline personnel can feed your pet.  The crate also needs to be lined with some type of bedding- paper or towels- and freezing a tray of water is a good way to keep them hydrated without the spills.

5.     Your pet’s crate needs to have proper and clear identification.  It should be marked with the words “Live Animal” as well as your name, cell phone number, destination area, and a photo of your pet.  It is also a good idea to carry a photo of your pet.

6.     Tell every airline employee that you are traveling with a pet.  This will ensure that they are prepared to assist and pay attention to your pet in case of an emergency.

In return for love and comfort our pet’s give us, it is our job that traveling is a smooth and safe experience for them as it is for us.  CME wishes the best of travels and reminds you that we are here to assist for any assistance needed while traveling.


Travel Tips

Vaccines While Traveling Abroad

by Blake 22. July 2017

Before traveling abroad, it is important to be aware of the vaccines that are necessary for your destination.  Vaccines act as a passport to safety and adventure around the world.  It is vital to protect yourself and your community by getting vaccinated before you travel.

            The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is very important for travelers.  Every year, unvaccinated travelers get measles and bring it back to the United States.  CDC Travel Health Site provides a guideline for the MMR vaccine:

·      For those who travel internationally, CDC recommends that all U.S. residents older than 6 months be protected from measles and receive MMR vaccine, if needed, prior to departure.   

·      Infants 6 through 11 months old should receive 1 dose of MMR vaccine before departure.

·      Children 12 months of age or older should have documentation of 2 doses of MMR vaccine (separated by at least 28 days).

·      Teenagers and adults without evidence of measles immunity should have documentation of 2 appropriately spaced doses of MMR vaccine.


Travel Tips for traveling to developing countries:

- Before traveling to countries in Africa or Central/South America it is vital to research whether the yellow fever vaccine is required.

- If traveling to Asia, Latin America, or Africa, travelers may need to get the typhoid vaccine.

-Whenever traveling to any rural or developing countries to ensure your safety research any possible vaccines that may be recommended.

-To avoid possible health dangers, only eat fully cooked food that is served hot (including fruits and vegetables, unless you can wash and clean them yourself).

- Only eat and drink pasteurized dairy products.

-Drink only beverages that are bottled with an unbroken seal (avoid putting ice in your drinks).

-Use insect repellent and make sure you sleep in an air conditioned or screened room to avoid any diseases that can be spread by insects.

-Avoid touching animals especially monkeys, dogs, and birds.



Travel Tips

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