I know I’ve mentioned before how much I love Uber. I use it so much that I keep the app on the first page of my phone — with iMessage and Gmail and Facebook and Instagram and the weather app. It’s one of my essentials. I was introduced to Uber on a trip to Washington D.C. several years ago, and it was like magic for me. Suddenly, I could show up in any city and have a stress-free transportation situation. No having to find a local cab company or rent a car. No having to talk to anyone on the phone. I love it so much! So I’m delighted to tell you I’m working with Uber on a 3 part series happening May, June & July.
For this first post, I want to make sure you know about uberPOOL. Why? Because it’s going to save you money, and if you haven’t tried it yet, you are going to be pleasantly surprised.
Remember my trip to Florida last week? Gosh it was a good trip. I was solo, so I only needed to pack for myself. Plus, the weather was fabulous and I was staying at a luxe resort, which meant I got to wear lots of fun summery clothes. I left on a Tuesday, and yes, I took uberPOOL to the airport.
Uber is basically the only way I get to the airport these days. I promise you, nothing is more convenient. It saves time for my family (my husband doesn’t have to interrupt his work day to drop me off), it’s affordable, it’s ready whenever I am, and I don’t need to park. I can just grab my beach bag and head out.
So what is uberPOOL? Well, when you request a driver on the Uber app, depending on where you are, you usually have a few choices — uberBLACK means a fancy Lincoln town car are something similar will pick you up. uberXL means the car that picks you up will have seating for 6 or more. And uberPOOL, is the bargain option. When you choose uberPOOL, the app will find another rider that’s headed in the same general direction as you, and the driver will pick both of you up. By sharing the car, you’ll get a better deal.
But I confess, for a couple of years I was hesitant to try uberPOOL. I was worried about the timing — especially when trying to catch a flight. Then on one trip I had a good time buffer, and the price was such a bargain with uberPOOL, that I decided to go for it and used uberPOOL to the Oakland Airport. When I saw how easy it was, and that the arrival time was so similar to what I would expect anyway, I was all over uberPOOL.
Here’s what you need to know: The app will give an estimate of both time and cost for every option (uberBLACK, uberPOOL, uberX, etc.). So that’s where you need to pay attention. uberPOOL is pretty much always the most affordable, but note the timing, because it typically puts the arrival time estimate a little bit later than using another option.
But here’s the thing I’ve noticed using uberPOOL, the time difference is usually pretty darn small. So if you’ve planned a normal amount of time to get to the airport, and the estimated time with uberPOOL seem like it’s in a doable range, than why not choose the more affordable option and save some cash? Right?
I’m telling you Uber and uberPOOL has been a total game changer for me. It’s why we could be a family of eight with only 1 car for so many years. It makes me a more confident traveler. I feel safer knowing who is coming to pick me up and seeing a photo beforehand. And because I can see a price estimate before I agree to request the car, I never feel like I’m getting ripped off.
One of my favorite things? I don’t have to exchange any money at the end of the trip, or figure out if locals tip (and how much they tip). All the money stuff happens instantly on the app, so there’s no getting out your wallet and running a credit card or asking for change. Which, as you can imagine, makes for a faster, simpler drop off too.
I’m super excited about this series. Coming up in a future post, I’ll be taking you on a tour of Oakland and showing you all the coolest spots.
Your turn. Have you ever used uberPOOL? Do you have any strategies for using it on the way to the airport. I know I’m not the only one that gets nervous about timing before a trip.
P.S. — More travel posts. Also, I don’t know how it works, but sometimes I choose UberPool and no other passenger gets picked up at all. That’s what happened on my way to Florida. Think of it as getting bumped up to first class on your flight. : )
Photos by Katrina Davis Photography for Design Mom. This post is sponsored by Uber.