There are many ways to make your backpacking trip in Europe cheaper and more affordable and one of them is to use ridesharing when traveling between cities. Train rides, specially in Western Europe, can be quite expensive (yes, Germany I’m talking about you!) so it’s great to have cheaper alternatives like taking the bus or ridesharing.

Ridesharing (or carpooling or car sharing, whatever you want to call it) is a great way of traveling in Europe. In fact, Europe is leading the way in finding efficient new ways of hitting the road on the cheap.

Why should you try it? It is very budget friendly. It’s a unique way of traveling and meeting locals. Plus it’s environment-friendly! I’ve tried ridesharing several times in Germany and it was always fun and saved me a lot of money, sometimes up to 70% off the train price. German trains are so expensive. Even locals hate it.

It’s the same story in Spain. So when I was backpacking in Spain this summer as part of my 3-month eurotrip, I arranged for a rideshare from Madrid to Valencia through BlablaCar, one of the biggest ridesharing network in the country.

I rode to Valencia with a Spanish guy named Juan. There were two other travelers with me in the car. For what would normally cost 40+ euros by regional train (80+ euros by fast train!) or 25+ euros by bus, I only paid 15 euros by ridesharing. And it was faster than taking the regional train or bus. And I got to talk to locals and learned more about Spain. So many benefits, I know.

For most people, sharing cars with strangers can be weird. For someone as outgoing as me, I tend to see it as adventurous and fun. You never really know what’s gonna happen and you never really know who you’ll meet.

What I like most about sharing cars with strangers (beside the cost benefit) is hearing the life stories of different people. In Juan’s car, there was this immigrant from Tunisia who was based in Madrid and was going to Valencia to visit a friend (we found out our friends were neighbors haha) and the other passenger was a Spanish guy traveling with his dog. He made sure to bring a mat where the dog sat comfortably. Juan, on the other hand, grew up in Valencia and told me that the best paellas are always the home-cooked ones prepared by loving mothers.

I am really happy I tried ridesharing in Spain and I totally recommend it.

So how do you arrange one?

Although the website is in Spanish (use Google translate!), it’s pretty easy to arrange a rideshare. You create an account, input your cities and date and browse profiles (aka drivers or car owners). You can email the drivers or give them a call, their numbers are in their profiles. You can also see references by other people who rode the car with them before so you can see that they are not rapists and serial murderers targeting travelers. Make contact, reserve a spot and agree where to meet! That’s it. The only problem is that most Spanish people don’t speak English so choose those that can. ;D

Have you ever tried other ridesharing platforms? How was it? If not, would you try it when you’re in Europe?

Happy travels!

DJ

P.S. Below is a car sharing by the numbers infographic shared by BlablaCar so you have an idea how huge it is.

 

Image Credit

You May Also Like:

Tags: ,

DJ Yabis is the poster boy of Dream Euro Trip and a modern day renaissance man. He loves throwing dinner parties and stalking rock stars in music festivals. Subscribe or follow his adventures LIVE on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or . Learn how to plan your own eurotrip.

What do you think?

comments

8 Responses to “Ridesharing in Spain: the BlablaCar Experience + Infographic” Subscribe

  1. Manuel November 10, 2012 at 4:20 AM #

    Im glad I read this article! I was looking for this kind of information! I will totaly try it!!!

    • DJ Yabis November 10, 2012 at 12:18 PM #

      Yes. It totally helps in making your trip cheaper and more fun!

      DJ

  2. Stephen Schreck October 17, 2012 at 1:04 PM #

    I have never thought of ride sharing before! Great Idea, I will have to try this soon.

    • DJ Yabis October 17, 2012 at 1:18 PM #

      It’s pretty popular in Western Europe. They also have one in France, UK and in Portugal I think. When are you going to Europe?

  3. crazy sexy fun traveler October 3, 2012 at 1:46 AM #

    I’m glad it worked out for you! I have never tried it yet.

    • DJ Yabis October 3, 2012 at 2:36 AM #

      You should next time you’re in Europe!

  4. Eileen Campos / Possibly Pinay September 26, 2012 at 4:48 PM #

    Innnnteresting!
    This is a great alternative nga to public trasnportation – like an evolution of couchsurfing! :D cutie!

    • DJ Yabis September 26, 2012 at 5:31 PM #

      Super duper! I always use it in Germany ;D

Leave a Reply