Getting into a stranger’s car

Everyone has probably been told as a kid not to get into a stranger’s car. I admit that I’ve only hitchhiked twice before, and it was just for short distances. I don’t think that getting into a stranger’s car is the biggest problem with hitchhiking, but time. It can take an entire day to travel a few hundred kilometers. But what if there was a way to find out about your driver in advance, and know the exact time when your ride is leaving? There is – I’ve just tried BlaBlaCar for the first time.

I was originally going to stay in Kraków for a week but my plans changed and I headed to Warsaw on Sunday. Trains cost more than 100 złoty so I opted for BlaBlaCar.

BlaBlaCar currently operates in 10 countries. Through their website you can search for any route and see what time a driver is leaving and how much the price will be. Similar to Couchsurfing, people have profiles with references, which adds to the security of the website.

I sent a couple of enquiries but many cars were already full. Finally I found a ride that left Kraków in the afternoon. Pick-up was organized close to my host’s apartment too!

In addition to the driver, there were two other passengers in the car besides me. Everyone else was Polish so the ride was pretty quiet due to the language barrier. The four hour ride from Kraków to Warsaw cost me 35 zloty.

Best part was, another passenger took the tram with me from where the driver dropped us off. He rode the tram all the way to the city centre with me and directed me to the right bus stop. He even carried my backpack! Even though acts of kindness happen on a daily basis while on the road, I’m still always amazed how generous and helpful people are to travelers.

BlaBlaCar is such an innovative concept! So many cars travel between cities with several empty seats inside. BlaBlaCar is great for both the passenger and the driver: the passenger gets a cheap ride to another city and the driver makes some extra cash. But most of all, BlaBlaCar reduces pollution, when there are four people in a car instead of one! My first experience with carpooling through BlaBlaCar was very positive and I will definitely be using the service again in the future.

Made it to Warsaw!
Made it to Warsaw!