In October, I had my first BlaBlaCar experience. I decided with some friends to travel from Brussels to Paris on a random weekend trip, which I will eventually post about – but for now, my BlaBlaCar experience.
If you don’t know what it is, the service is a great alternative to long distance buses or trains. Normal folks who are driving from A to B, simply offer a lift to people also travelling the same route for a fee. You could say like a long distance Uber or even digitally, pre-arranged hitch hiking. Below you can see the homepage which includes the countries the BlaBlaCar experience is available in. Sadly, Ireland isn’t there yet, but still handy for travels elsewhere. To keep this simple, here are the pros and cons of my first BlaBlaCar experience.
The actual service is a great idea. One of us signed up the weekend before and it seemed to be a straightforward process. It was everyone’s first BlaBlaCar experience, so we weren’t sure what to expect but it does exactly what it says on the tin: say where you wanna go and simply request to get a lift.
There was a lot of options for us and when we requested the ride, we were accepted really quickly and the pickup point was in a handy spot for us, which was a great start! The drop off point in Paris wasn’t the handiest… but the transport there is great so it was no bother to us (except the need for a toilet).
*Tip: make sure you Google Maps how to get to your destination from the drop off point, before you book.
The journey from Brussels from Paris was really enjoyable. We had such a nice driver, whom we had great conversations with in French and English (when I say we, I mean the two boyos were chatting away to him and I understood everything but had nothing to contribute and then slept most of the way).
Although we got an ok price (or good seeing as how last minute it was), I have spoke to people who have paid next to nothing for it, so I’d be very interested in seeing those prices. All depends on location and distance I guess.
The journey there was really pleasant, I was able to sleep in the back with room, as it was only us 3 and the driver. However, on the way back, we were in a smaller car and there was another passenger. That meant we were squished into the back, and we all know that meant it would be me in the middle.
I’m a pretty good sleeper so it wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but next time we said we would definitely ensure there is no other passengers. I believe there is a function where you can filter the options, choosing rides that only accept a certain amount of people (so this part definitely belongs in the pro section).
Although €50.50 return transport to another country is cheap by some standards, I am aware that you can get a bus for €26 return from Brussels, or a train for a similar price if you book enough in advance. So, for me I rather have paid for a bus where it is the same distance and journey time… only more comfortable and usually has handy things like a toilet, aircon and wifi.
Overall BlaBlaCar Experience?
Would I do it again? Yes, but only if it was a really good price compared to other transport, and definitely make sure there isn’t an overcrowding scenario.