Solo Traveling by Cabs and Uber

This entry is part of a solo travel series meant to help, recommend, and otherwise entertain those stricken with wanderlust but a bit fearful to wander…

If you haven’t read the Preface to this series start here first: Solo Travel Series Preface

I suppose there are people who make friends on crowded trains and buses. I am not one of those. I interact beautifully, comfortably, with smaller groups. My friends don’t believe how shy I am but put me in a room with a crowd of people I don’t know, and I become quiet, listening more to others’ conversations, people watching. I find this passive mingling interesting and often enlightening, but sometimes I crave engaging in deeper, more meaningful, one-on-one conversation.

Thus, for the same reason as I stay at Airbnbs with hosts, I prefer taking cabs and Ubers, because of conversations with people from England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, yes, but also from Nigeria, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, and India. Sometimes these chats focus on our surroundings, sometimes literary conversations, from the light-hearted chats about plays and movies, to the more serious conversations about Brexit, the 2016 election, and the state of the world.

Sure, cabs and Ubers cost more, but I couldn’t put a price on getting to know people and having quiet, meaningful, and memorable conversations. Remember my first blog about my taxi ride from the airport? You can check this out here Double Entendre and Cab RidesSee? Memorable.

I do have experience to share, one solo traveler to another…

To Prepare or Not to Prepare

Check to see if the area you are traveling to has Uber. When I was planning to travel to Dublin, I found Uber and taxis were the same. Using my Uber app would hail a taxi, and I would not have to pay cash.

20180708_170416399_iOSAlthough Uber did work in Dublin, you might want to download the MyTaxi app instead. This app served me well traveling throughout the city. For Scotland, I downloaded Taxi Central. A little research can help you find the best app for wherever you are.

What Wallet Cost Me?

Sometimes taking an Uber or taxi might actually be cheaper than public transportation! Preparing to travel from the Lake District in England to Lundin Links in Scotland, I found fares over $100, and I would need to take one or two buses (after changing trains one or two times) from the train station to Lundin Links. There was, however, one fare for $22. I thought about it and decided that if I combine this with the 36-pound cab ride, I would come out ahead financially.

Plus, having taken this pleasant cab ride, I now can recognize the dormant volcano seen from the road from Kirkcaldy to Lundin Links, Largo Law…I also know Fife is the only county in Scotland to be called a kingdom–Fife Kingdom–and I know I need to have haddock while I’m in Fife—especially haddock freshly caught and prepared down by the docks.

If at first you don’t prepare…

Sometimes you should rely on luck, let the universe decide for you, guide you. In Cardiff Bay, Wales, for example, I discovered who had won the transportation wars between Uber and the cab companies. Although Uber is typically cheaper, in Cardiff Bay, this is not the case. I waited 10-15 minutes longer than the 12 minutes my Uber app promised I would have to wait.

I was heading out of Cardiff Bay to St. Fagans National Museum of History,

and after roaming around for a few hours, realized I would need to order a taxi to take me back as there were no Ubers in the vicinity of St. Fagans (typically the case with smaller towns and villages).

Calling a cab turned out to be a happy dilemma. I thought I would have to pay more than I had with Uber, but it was actually cheaper, arrived more quickly, and I had the added bonus of sharing the cab with a young woman from New Zealand who was also traveling solo.

Maegan and I hit it off immediately, exchanged Facebook information, and a few weeks later, she invited me to meet up in Bath and Corsham for the Jane Austen Festival. We had a great time at the festival, roaming around Bath, videoing Maegan’s Pride and Prejudice run, and getting Maegan ready for the ball in the evening (I called up my inner-fairy godmother), and the next day we visited nearby Lacock and Lacock Abbey. We even shared the space Benedict Cumberbatch stood upon

…all because of a shared taxi.

Remind me to tell you about how wonderful sharing a table can also be…

6 thoughts on “Solo Traveling by Cabs and Uber

  1. I am a fan of taking an Uber whenever possible. My challenge is actually finding where Uber is allowed to pick up fares at large airports. I typically go for a cab and then Uber to the airport to head home.


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