I booked a boatload of Uber cars on my travels this summer and met some really interesting folks along the way. Uber is one of the best ideas to come along for travelers in a long time. It’s a quick, convenient, cashless and very economical means to get from Point A to Point B plus it’s a much more personal experience than a traditional cab ride. Each driver has a story to tell and by the time you’ve arrived at your designation you’ve made a new friend. If you haven’t yet tried out this service let me give you an amusing little overview of the types of drivers you are likely to encounter.
The Retired Executive
He’s not in it for the money. His wife wants him out of her hair for a few hours each day and he’s not a golfer. Uber driving provides a way for him to get out a few mornings a week on his own schedule. You won’t find him picking you up after a night out on the town, he’s fast asleep by then even though he’s probably napped. He’s most likely a kind, older gentleman who’s used to being a productive member of society and not ready to give that up just yet.
The Young Girl in Transition
She’s super sweet but a bit lost in life at the moment and usually lost on the roads as well. It’s probably her first or second day on the job but don’t look for her in the weeks to come as she’ll most likely be on to something new by then. I find I often take on a mothering role with her by saying things like, “You should finish your degree” or “Don’t accept customers who have below a 4 rating.” There’s plenty of time for counseling as you direct her to your destination.
The Professional Uber Driver
This is his main source of income and he has no plans of leaving this vocation. He’s out to get a 5 star rating. He appreciates your business and he’ll let you know that several times throughout the ride. He knows shortcuts to avoid traffic and knows where construction could cause potential delays. He’s expecting a big tip so give him one, he’s earned it.
The Nightclub Caterer
He doesn’t mind the late night shift. He knows there’s an abundance of clients at that time and he doesn’t mind dealing with the “over-served.” You might even come across one who has a disco ball and strobe light in his car in an effort to keep the party going (true story). He counts on you wanting to be driven from club to club in search of your friends, knowing that you’re incapable of doing the math. He’s not out to take advantage of the situation though. You’ll appreciate the fact you got home safe and sound even if you don’t remember how.
Uber is widely used in tourist areas and major cities so if you’ve booked a with a company like and you’re wondering how you’ll get around town then I highly recommend Uber. Not only will they get you to your designation but will also give you some local history and a quick tour of the area unless, of course, your driver is one of these sweet young girls…then you’re on your own.
Thank you travel writer Lisa Medeiros. Follow her on Twitter @lisamedeiros_