BlablaCar in Spain
Riding in Cars with Strangers: Using BlablaCar in Spain.
So first of all my mum doesn´t know that I do this, as I don’t like her to worry unnecessarily, but in order to save some money on this grand trip of mine, I´ve been doing a bit of hitch-hiking… (Sorry Robby!)
Well organized hitch-hiking, as I´m an efficient person and have better things to do with my time than stand on the side of the road, for hours on end.
I´ve been using BlaBlaCar in Spain- a car-sharing website, perfect for finding el cheapo transportation.
The idea is that if you’re driving somewhere (say you’re going to a new city for the weekend) you pin it up on the Blablacar website and let everyone know. Then anyone who wants to go to that same place at that time, can flick you an email and book a seat in your car, in exchange for a little petrol money.
The service is available in several countries in Europe, and is really popular in Spain.
I’ve caught Blablacar rides a few times now within Spain for return trips to Alicante, Benidorm, Murcia and Seville. Each time it’s been totally worth it – cheaper than the train and faster than the bus.
I plan to use it again, for upcoming trips to Granada and Malaga – I’m not even looking at alternative options.
So although I would totally reccomend the service 100%, I have a few tips for newbies I thought I would share:
1. Avoid Creepy McCreepsters.
Choose verified drivers with photos and positive feedback from other verified BlablaCar users.
2. Look at exactly where the pick up and drop off points are.
It’s not public transport so not everyone goes right into the city, and this can be a hassle. (On my ride back from Alicante I was dropped in Leganes… not in the centre of Madrid or near where I live, and an extra 45mins on the metro home).
3. Choose cars with other Blablacar passengers in them.
For me, holding a conversation with a stranger can sometimes be hard, I just get bored cause some people are just boring. (I once had a driver ask me what my favourite bocadillo (sandwich) was, and then explain me his top 5, in reverse order, of course. The suspense before he revealed the winner was nearly too much…)
Anyway, it’s even harder when they’re speaking Spanish really fast and I’m only catching every third word. If theres other people in the car, you can bounce conversation off them too and there’s a better odds that at least one of them is going to be cool.
(After-thought: Oh I guess its also probably safer with more people too.)
4. Choose medium sized cars.
Small cars could be uncomfortable, and my experience with big cars (6/7 seats) is that even though they are often a few euros cheaper than medium sized cars, the drivers fill up every single seat. This is great for the driver of course, but with everyones luggage too often it ends up being not so comfortable, unless you’re in the front seat. Medium cars (standard sudan) tend to only fill up to 3 seats and have a bigger boot for luggage.
5. Be Considerate.
While the driver is making money, he’s also doing you a favour. Don’t backseat driver and at least try and be interested in what he says… he is controlling the car after all.
All in all I’d really recommend Blablacar.
It’s super cheap, and although there are a few Creepy-Craig’s and Boring-Barry’s, you also often get to meet some cool people, who have great local advice on things to do wherever you’re heading.
Share your ride-sharing experiences, good or bad, below!