Sightseeing is the best part of any foreign holiday. Obviously, bars and restaurants are important. But, you can do that at home.
Anyway, just like seeing the sights, you have to travel to those entertainments. And, on our Gentoliday, we are mostly self-catering. So how do you get to the supermarket? More importantly, how do you get back to your holiday home with the shopping.
For all those things, and more, Uber is your friend.
Uber wins for Sightseeing
In the past, I’ve been happy to take a taxi from the airport rank. Or, search for a local taxi company. That first option is often very expensive. The second option is a lottery. Sometimes you find a brilliant local taxi company. Sometimes you find an unreliable company that overcharges you. Or, keeps you waiting for your lift home.
With Uber, I know that the drivers are vetted. I can see how long I will have to wait for pickup. And, I know what I will have to pay before I book. This is fantastic when you are travelling abroad. The fear of booking taxis in unfamiliar places disappears.
When you’re sightseeing, there’s always somewhere to go next. And, there’s always so much to see. Sometimes, it’s hard not to feel anxious as you wait for your taxi to the next great attraction. I love Uber for it’s great tracking service. Once you book your ride, you can see the progress of the car that is coming to collect you. Far better than missed calls, or text notifications. However, you do get good notifications for scheduled rides. I find that very comforting as we move from city to city in the Southern States. Half an hour before we get picked up for the airport, Amtrak, or Greyhound, I get a notification confirming the booking. Then, as soon as a driver is assigned, I can see exactly when to go out with the baggage. Though, I really shouldn’t call TC baggage. 😉
In America, tipping is a pain in the proverbial. Nobody tips me for writing this! Anyway, with Uber, you can tip if you like. But, it isn’t expected. I like that.
Finally, it’s very easy to pay for taxi rides with Uber. I’ll write about how to pay for Uber with your prepaid credit card from WeSwap another time. Paying for Uber is as easy as adding your debit or credit card. I also love being able to pay by PayPal.
But, there are some weaknesses with Uber. My biggest concern is scheduling rides in advance. Their website and tech support could be more helpful. Because, Uber only allow scheduled rides in certain locations. And, the only way to tell is by absence of a Schedule Ride button. For new users, there is no positive notice. So, the Uber service could be improved by making schedule availability easy to see. But, the biggest problem is patchy scheduled ride availability. If you want a lift to an airport, you want to book it in advance. That will become easier as Uber availability spreads. But, some locations are going to have to wait a long time for that.
The second problem is specific to my choice of payment methods. I’ll do a separate article on problems with prepaid cards. Uber (and Uber’s USA taxi rival, Lyft) don’t work well with prepaid credit cards. My answer is to use Uber Gift Cards, as I describe below. The other niggle is that Uber asks for zip code, even for UK customers. The trick is to omit the space from your postcode. Then, it UK cards are registered OK with Uber.
Get Uber Now & Keep Keith Travelling
You probably know that I earn a small commission for promoting products and services online. That does not affect the price you pay. But, I’m now dedicating my commission income to travelling. So, to keep me out of the country, please spend your cash at the following links. Also let me know if you are planning to buy anything online. Then, I can probably give you other links (like ebay.co.uk and ebay.com).
Start your Uber account in credit
If you click these links, you’ll start your account in credit. And, I’ll get rewarded too: 🙂
Remember, you can use your Uber account in any country where Uber operates. I only added a USA account to get a free taxi ride! (not strictly true 😉 )
Top up your Uber
OK, if you happen to be in a one of the many stores that sell Uber gift cards, you might be able to buy one locally in the USA. Best to save yourself the bother. Buy Uber gift cards at Amazon.com. Uber gift cards from Uber.
While checking out Uber gift cards, I see that Airbnb also do gift cards. I’ll investigate that soon. Then, you have more ways to keep me travelling, at no cost to you! 😀
How will you keep Keith travelling? Please add your comments below.