I found out about Blablacar through locals that I had met in Europe. This 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. One of my drivers is actually in Australia at the moment and hopefully we will get to catch up!
- 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.
- Language barrier. On one of my trips, there was a huge language barrier (I can’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 someone where I could walk to most of the places but you might not always have this luxury.
I am currently writing this in Prague, not that I have actually seen much outside the area I’m staying at yet. I landed mid-morning after the mammoth 21 hour plane trip (3 flights in total) and have since spent my afternoon in bed feeling sick. Yes, I have thrown up. Yes, I’m currently drinking some peppermint tea and yes, I am about to eat some blueberries.
This trip has been kept under wraps for a while. I initially booked this trip about 3 months ago and it has been crazy until now. Oh yeah, did I mention anywhere on my blog that I’ve submitted my PhD thesis? This is the post PhD party and a 2.5 month one at that. Minus the getting sick bit. It is safe to say that this trip is the first in years where I don’t have much to really think about and can try and relax. Does anyone even know how to relax anymore?
I’m not sure how often I will be posting but probably not every day as I’m also keeping a personal diary (old school handwritten).
Leaving you here with the mystery as I need to be un-jetlagged, quicken the drying process of the currently flooded bathroom floor after my shower and I also need to make up for the 3 hours sleep I got over the past 2 days of flying!
Keep living guys,