Hire a Cab to See a Town
Often when I get to a city to speak, I’m taken to a hotel and shuttled to the venue if not in the hotel, and that is all I see. I don’t like driving, so I rarely rent a car. One thing I’ve learned to do, though, when I have a few hours, is hire a taxi and agree on a fare to show me their town.
I did this yesterday in Boise, Idaho. The driver who took me from the airport to the hotel just outside the downtown was telling me about the beauty of the area. I asked him what it would cost me to have him show me that beauty for a few hours. We agreed on $80 for what turned out to be 3 hours and drove up into the mountains and had a wonderful afternoon. I used Yelp to find a fabulous coffee shop afterward as well. When I joined the group at dinner I would speak to the next morning, they were excited by my enthusiasm for their area.
I did the same thing recently in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. I could see that our little coastal town was surrounded by mountains and meadows filled with sheep but after walking the town for an hour I could see no more by foot. I went to a taxi stand and asked if there was someone who really knew the area. I had a great tour guide who drove me around for the next few hours showing me all of the sites. Again, I think it cost me about $80 and was well worth it.
I posted that I did this on Facebook and lots of people wrote “great idea.” So I share it here. My main tip is if you get a driver who loves where they live, ask them what it would take to show you that.