I found out about Blablacar through locals that I had met in Europe. The French ride-sharing service is alittle like Airbnb- essentially, drivers list their trip on blablacar and you can pay for a seat and be a passenger. The website has a review process where you can rate the driver and their driving skills and they can also rate passengers. Once you’ve locked in a trip, you pay (with card) and then get a code to give your driver after your journey. All of this is done via the site but the only thing you do need to sort out with the driver is a meeting place.
- It is cheap! I found that the trips were about half the price (if not more) than a bus or train tickets. If you’re regularly moving around a country, these travel costs can add up quickly and also leave little room to be flexible if train costs increase closer to travel dates. I thought that blablacar helped to cut travel costs during my holiday.
- You get to meet locals. I love meeting new people on trips and what better place than being in the same car with each other. We have chatted about life in our respective countries, our dreams and life in general. I actually met one of my drivers again in Australia when they came for a holiday- friendships all around.
- You can get to places that might not be serviced with public transport. I found this to be an easier option than trying to figure out the bus systems. The drivers I’ve had seem to know the towns they were going to quite well so suggested places that I could be dropped off at or were better for me to be dropped off at.
- You can see part of the country. What better way to see the views than the front passenger seat of a car! I found that my drivers would point out different things along the way and we also got to talk about road tolls!
- You can pick who you want to take the trip with. This is dependent on what towns you’re travelling between as some towns tend to have alot of trips happening and some with not so much. If you have choice, you can pick which age group/gender you want to travel with which I think is a good thing. As I mentioned earlier, there is a review system so you can see how past trips have gone and what the driver (or passenger) was like.
- You can indicate whether you have luggage and find an appropriate vehicle.
- Language barrier. On one of my trips, there was a huge language barrier (I couldn’t speak spanish) and the driver couldn’t speak english. But we managed. It can be awkward if there is a language barrier but it’s generally ok.
- Meeting place. Once a driver agrees to take you, you both have to settle on a meeting place. Usually, the driver has the final say and it can be hard to try and find a place you can easily get to with your luggage without having transport costs blow out. I had very good luck and found somewhere where I could walk to most of the places but you might not always have this luxury.
- Blablacar is not available in every country. It’s a great chance to see the country from a different perspective with the added bonus of getting to speak to locals to find out about their lives and a more eco-friendly option of travelling.
Blablacar has now acquired Ouibus and Busfor which is making travelling by road more appealing.
Have you used blablacar? What were your experiences?
Updated 22 Apr 2021