If you are a solo traveler you know that one of the most vulnerable times of your travel is during your transportation periods. Many times you have take a leap of faith and hope that whoever is driving or piloting will take you where you asked to go. This seems to be even riskier for female travelers just from the stories we hear from abroad and even in the United States of females being attacked and worse. However, this does often happen to males as well.
In this blog, I am not necessarily going to offer tips on how you can keep yourself safe during those transportation periods, although tips will certainly come through. Instead I want to talk about one service I have found that seems to minimize some of the risk solo travelers take when getting into their transportation. It is also to highly encourage travelers to make use of these options as well as to do their research.
For the most part, as travelers, we are basically stuck with what is there when it comes to traveling via plane, train, or boat. However, we can take control of how we travel via automobile. In the U.S., and now in other countries as well, there is a new service called Uber, that is an app that you download to your phone and you can set your location and a driver will come pick you up.
You may be asking, "How is this different than a taxi?". It is different in several ways. One of the most important, in my opinion, is that no cash exchanges hands. You enter your payment method when you create an app with the app and the system tracks where you are going and includes a tip. When you get out of the car the money is automatically taken out of your account and you don't have to worry about getting change or if they taxi will take cards.
The other aspect I really like about this service is that the drivers are all rated by every passenger that they have. It is a 5 star rating system and if a driver receives anything below a 4 they are pulled from the system for a while until they can prove themselves again. This means they are thoroughly vetted individuals. There cars are exceptionally clean and usually newer.
When you book the taxi, it tells you how long it will take them to get to you and you can follow their progress via the app. However, even more importantly it sends you a photo of the driver and the make and model of their car as well as their license plate number.
Uber cars tend to be quite a bit cheaper than taxis and they have different levels of cars you can request depending on your needs.
Currently, Uber is only available in larger cities in the U.S. but, they are also spreading to other countries. It you are doing any sort of traveling I would highly recommend you make use of this service. Yes, you can have a reliable taxi service that you know of but, even with that you never know if you are going to get a great driver and/or a decent car. With this it is guaranteed each time.
It is also great when you can reduce any possible risk you have while traveling. Additionally, it saves time and money which are always a plus.
If you have had similar experiences with transportation like this I would love to hear about it and it would be great to share similar services with my readers.
Mandy Reinig is the Founder and Owner of Mandy's Mashups. She travels the world for her work in international education as well as to expand her knowledge of other cultures. She has extensive knowledge of social media and international travel.
This blog contains my travel adventures, tips, advice and more. Enjoy the ride!