Why Use Ride-Sharing On Your Trip
Cost - The number one reason to use a service like Lyft or Uber is that it's usually much cheaper than taxis or paying for multiple tickets on a metro. Additionally, the apps offer discount codes for new members.
Accountability - Rather than negotiating rates with the driver, Lyft and Uber trips have a set price per mile and no cash has to be exchange. If for some reason, your driver took an extra long route for no reason, it's tracked by GPS so the customer service team can correct the fare afterward.
Directions - When traveling internationally where language is a barrier, you don't have to worry about the address or directions getting lost in translation. You set your start and end points on a map, within the app, and it's sent to the driver to follow via GPS.
How it Works
- Sign up for the Lyft or Uber app on your smartphone. (Note that you will need access to cell data if you're abroad for the app to work properly.)
- Create an account and add your credit card to it.
- When you need a ride, the app will identify your location on the map with a pin. Adjust it if the GPS was off, or if you want to be picked up somewhere else.
- Add your destination pin to the map so you can view the estimated cost.
- Select a car size that will fit your family.
- When a driver is matched, you'll be able to see how many minutes of wait time are estimated as well as a picture of the driver, vehicle make and model, and the license plate number. You'll also be able to text or call the driver, and vice versa, in case there's additional information you need to communicate.
- Get in the car when it arrives, and get out when you reach your destination.
- Afterward, the app will prompt you and your driver to rate each other. (And with Lyft, you have the option to include a tip.)
Tips for Ride-Sharing Travel With Families
Car seats - For young children, car seats are only available with UberFamily in certain cities (NYC, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Orlando, and growing) for ages 1+ and there is an additional charge. Be aware that drivers in other U.S. cities may deny you a ride if your children are car seat age, although this is more lax in other countries. If it's not too much hassle, you could also bring your own portable booster seat.
Double-check airport pick ups - When traveling with your family, Uber and Lyft are a great option for getting to and from the airport. However, not all cities allow airport pick-ups from ride-share companies. Be sure to check first that a ride-share option will be available to you.
Use both apps - Because pricing can surge during peak times and different cities have different coverage on each app, using both gives you flexibility to find rides faster and cheaper.