Should You Hire a Driver when you Travel Abroad?
Foreign Driving Can be a Challenge
Hiring a Driver
Hiring a weekly driver is a great way to save money and see all the local sites! We hired drivers in Bali and Mexico and we had some exciting and off the beaten path experiences. Our driver in Bali (Nyomin) planned our days and drove us everywhere for over nine days. He paid off bribes to the police, paid for all the gas and it was cheaper and safer than renting a car and driving in a foreign country.
Our drivers picked us up at the airport and took us to our hotel. Every day we were picked up at whatever time was better for us. In addition to a personal tour guide, they waited while we ate, played and took pictures. They also provide a little security to your valuables in the car while you adventure.
We loved our driver Nyomin so much, that we paid for him to take a white water rafting tour with us, which was his first time being treated by a client. He later invited us to his home and family temple. We were so honored to meet his family and see his amazing property. We appreciated his kindness so much, that when we returned home, we sent him all the printed pictures of him and his family. I’m sure that if we return to Bali and go visit Nyomin, all the pictures we sent, will be proudly hung around his home.
How we Found our Driver
Before we left, we met a local Indonesian importer/exporter in our town. We mentioned that we were going to Bali soon, so she suggested we use her personal driver. We are so glad we did. Ensure you do a little research before you leave on your trip. We suggest searching for friends who may know or have family in the areas you wish to travel. If you can’t plan ahead, you can check with your hotel and ask for a taxi. If you like the taxi driver, ask if he would like to drive you all week. You will be surprised what a fantastic journey he/she will set up for you.
We strongly encourage any traveler to find a local weekly driver, negotiate a fair price upfront and discover more than just the tourist traps. Meeting a family and creating bonds was the highlight of our Bali trip.
Renting a Scooter
We rented a scooter in several places (Rangiroa, Mexico, etc.) and it was a blast. You need to know the local rules of the road, but other than that, you’re free to ride. Ensure you take weather into account, because sometimes the roads get very slippery. It’s usually a pretty safe mode of transportation and we have seen entire families (husband, wife, child and baby) all riding on one scooter in Bali.
Renting a Bike or Electric Bike
I rented an electric bike in Barcelona, Spain after I had been there for about a week. Within one day on the electric bike, I saw more of Barcelona than I could have in a month of walking. I saw all the major sites, rode up mountainous hills, rode through the marinas and so much more. I highly recommend renting an electric bike if the city is bike friendly like Barcelona is.
Check out our Next Blog Post Networking with Locals