BlaBlaCar Mexico: Revolutionizing Sustainable Travel
In my last two months of travel in Mexico, BlaBlaCar has drastically made moving around a lot easier. It allows me to make last minute plans, travel cheaper, and make it to my destination faster. If this sounds good to you too, keep reading to learn more about BlaBlaCar Mexico.
If you want more info about Mexico, click here.
What is BlaBlaCar?
BlaBlaCar is a peer-to-peer transport network that was started several years ago in France, and has since extended to 22 countries. The majority of the countries are in Europe and the UK, however, BlaBlaCar also operates in Brazil, India, Russia, and of course, in Mexico. BlaBlaCar Mexico is incredibly easy to sign up for, easy to use, and easy to get to your final destination.
In a nutshell, you can input your starting point and desired destination into the BlaBlaCar app, and a variety of ride options will pop up. You can select the time slot that works best for you and reserve a ride with that driver. You can also view who the other passengers are. If you have any questions, it is also possible to easily send the driver a message.
What is the difference between BlaBlaCar and Uber?
The way I usually describe BlaBlaCar is “Uber but between cities.” Though that is not entirely accurate. While Ubers do generally just operate within city limits, or nearby areas, you have no control over who your driver is. You order an Uber, and the app lets you know who is on the way to pick you up.
With BlaBlaCar, you have more control. While Uber is used for shorter rides, BlaBlaCar is used for longer journeys, between main cities, and you can actually look at the profile of all the available drivers and reserve with the driver and the time that best suits you.
How do you use BlaBlaCar in Mexico?
The first thing you’ll want to do is download the BlaBlaCar app and create a profile. It’s free. While creating your profile, you can select if you don’t like to talk, if you talk once you feel comfortable, or if you are a chatterbox. You can also set your preferences such as whether it is okay if someone smokes in the car with you, or if you’re comfortable riding with animals.
Once you create your profile, you can start looking for rides. The home screen shows a small box with “de” (from), “a” (to), a calendar to choose the date, and a number for the number of passengers. Input your info and hit the blue button “buscar,” (search).
You will then be taken to a new screen with a list of all the drivers, the time of the ride, and the price. There are also small icons to show how many other people have already reserved a ride with that driver.
If you click on the ride announcement, you’ll be able to see further details such as the precise pick-up/drop-off points, profile info, and rules (if you can smoke, if you can bring pets, etc.)
Why is BlaBlarCar Mexico better than taking a bus?
Most of the time, taking a BlaBlaCar in Mexico is much more affordable. Oftentimes, the bus costs double what you might pay in a BlaBlaCar. Also, depending on the pick-up/drop-off points, a BlaBlaCar can often be more convenient and get you closer to your destination. Being able to communicate directly with the driver is also very helpful.
Why is taking a bus better than taking a BlaBlaCar in Mexico?
This is pretty subjective, but it really depends on your comfort level. I have been stuck in the middle seat in a BlaBlaCar with a stranger on both sides of me, and I can’t say it was the most comfortable I’ve ever been during transportation. Buses also allow you a bit more anonymity. You can often have your own row and keep to yourself, whereas BlaBlaCar puts several strangers together in a small space. All of that said, I usually opt for BlaBlaCar over a bus.
How can I pay for a BlaBlaCar in Mexico?
You must pay in “efectivo,” (cash). You will usually pay the driver in cash as you are approaching the final destination, or once you arrive and the driver stops the car. Try to have exact change if possible. If not, the drivers usually have some change to give you.
Is BlaBlaCar Mexico safe/legit?
In short, yes. The idea of safety is generally subjective, as it is just a feeling, if nothing ever happens to physically or literally threaten you. I can say confidently that nothing bad has ever happened to me while taking a BlaBlaCar in Mexico. It only happened one time that I was the only passenger; generally there are 2-3 other passengers with you in the car. I never felt threatened by a driver or another passenger.
Where are the BlaBlaCar Mexico locations for pick up/drop off?
Generally there are 1-2 main pick-up/drop-off locations in each main city, and the locals usually know exactly where they are. They are often in front of very public places such as Oxxo’s (convenience store), convention centers, or super markets. Just make sure to double check the locations so you’re not caught off guard at the last minute. Always make sure to click into the trip to find the exact pick-up location.
Guadalajara has three main locations: The Oxxo next to Hotel Riu , the Seven Eleven Niños Heroes, and the Expo Guadalajara.
There are a few pick-up points in Querétaro, but the main one is at La Comer Estadio (also called Mega). Another common spot just south of the city is at Parque el Cimatario. These are the most common, but there are several other spots.
San Miguel de Allende
The main meeting points I found in San Miguel de Allende were at the central bus station and the Hotel Arcada.
When I went TO Guanajuato, the driver dropped me off right in the city center. However, when I was leaving Guanajuato, nearly all of the rides left fro Silao, which is about 30-40 minutes outside of Guanajuato. Silao is in a direct path between Leon and Querétaro, which is probably why the drivers stop there rather than entering Guanajuato. Leaving Guanajuato to go to other cities, the easiest mode is probably via bus because of this Silao situation.
I went from Guanajuato to Querétaro. There was only one direct bus in the late afternoon. So I took the bus from Guanajuato to Irapuato, and another bus from Irapuato to Querétaro. There were several buses on each of these legs, and I was able to get back to Querétaro quite easily via bus.
Mexico City has a TON of meeting points. I suggest checking several rides to find the meeting point that is closest to where you are staying.
Tips for a successful BlaBlaCar Mexico car ride
- Double check the location on the app: Don’t accidentally go to location A, when it is actually at location B.
- Message the driver: Once you reserve a ride, I suggest sending a message to the driver directly to verify the meeting points. I had an experience once that the driver went to a different location than was listed in the app.
- Don’t plan ahead too much. Generally more rides begin to show up the closer the travel day gets. If you check 5 days in advance, you might see only 1 ride available. If you check the day before, there will be a dozen.
- Arrive at least 15 minutes early. Just in case.
- Have cash ready. It is the only form of payment.
- Speak Spanish. Most drivers do not speak English. Expect to speak Spanish or use a translator app.
- Make a plan. Once you have confirmed the meeting points with the driver, mark them on your map and plan ahead how you will get there, or how you will get to your accommodation.
Helpful vocabulary to know for BlaBlaCar Mexico
de – from
a – to
Buscar – search
hoy – today
mañana – tomorrow
pasajeros – passengers
conductor – driver
pagar en efectivo – pay in cash
cancelar reservación – cancel reservation
punta de salida – leaving point
punta de llegada – arriving point
reseñas – reviews
perfil verificado – verified profile
Final thoughts about BlaBlaCar Mexico
I highly recommend this form of travel. It truly makes travel more convenient and more affordable. So go ahead and jump in. Download the app and get started using BlaBlaCar Mexico.
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