I was first introduced to Uber when I went to Chicago with a friend, they were doing all the booking, I just jumped in for the ride. I didn’t exactly have the greatest first impressions of the service. Our first car was similar to a 1.1l European car where the back seat isn’t really big enough for 2 children, let alone 3 grown adults. The 2nd driver was telling us his life story and all the girls he’s got lined up and the 3rd was missing 3 out of 6 wheel bolts on the rear tyre…I’m surprised it didn’t fly off.
After a RUBBISH stay at a so called airport hotel in Dallas, whose airport shuttle service only ran ‘office hours’ (flight landing at 5.10pm…nah forget it, shuttle stops at 5) and didn’t actually advertise this fact, I was stuck on how to get back to the airport at 4am in the morning. I had already been told that a one way taxi fare was $30, a fairly big chunk of the budget when you’re travelling solo.
I had nothing to lose so I thought I’d check out Uber and as a solo female traveller, I thought it was brilliant.
I didn’t have to worry about not having enough money for the journey.
There’s nothing worse than sitting in a taxi and seeing the metre clocking up and thinking ‘wowwww this is expensive’. Before you even request a journey on Uber, after typing in your destination, you can see how much the journey is expected to cost. The economy options are a bargain compared to a taxi! As mentioned, a taxi from the hotel to the airport would have cost me $30…the Uber I caught was $10.05. That’s a HUGE saving. Especially for a night journey!
I know a lot of taxis have a card payment facility now but the joy with Uber is that you can attach your PayPal account and the payment process is handled through that, you don’t even have to be carrying cash or even a card!
As a solo female traveller, it just feels a little safer knowing that you don’t have to get out your wallet in front of a stranger!
You can track the journey.
Another peace of mind on the safety front. I was able to stand outside of my hotel and watch the little dot on the map getting closer. The app even tells you what the make of car is that will be picking you up, along with the driver’s name, photo and rating…my driver had 4.5 stars, that seemed good enough for me!
There’s always a worry when you jump in a taxi, that you may be taken for a joy ride and get charged more. I swear this happened to me in Budapest and during my taxi ride in Belize City I knew my driver had gone off route because I had previously Google mapped the direction but he had done it to avoid road works, so that was understandable.
If you keep the Uber app open during the journey, you can watch the little dot make its way towards your destination. You’d certainly be aware if the dot started moving in the opposite direction. I guess if the data service allows it (such as if you are overseas/data roaming) you could do this using Google Maps in a regular taxi though.
The app has recently added a tipping feature!
As I hadn’t used it before, I was unsure of the Uber tipping procedures. Normally in a taxi I’ll just round up the price and say keep the change but I wasn’t sure if I should pay cash or what. The app has now made it possible to add a tip once you have completed the journey. It has pre set options such as $1, $5, $10 or you can type in what you want to give and again, it’s all handled through PayPal!
I’ll definitely be checking out Uber more often!
Have you used Uber before? What are your thoughts on using the service, would you feel more comfortable using Uber instead of a traditional taxi?