My BlaBlaCar Ridesharing Review – Croatia to Greece
Originally founded in 2006, BlaBlaCar is a ridesharing website that allows drivers to post where they are driving to and accept riders to help reduce the cost to get there. I’ve never heard of it until the summer of 2013 while trying to get from Croatia to Greece. (Which if you try to do this by airplane, you’ll break the bank.) You’ll find my BlaBlaCar ridesharing review and experience using the platform below.
Currently, there are over 20 million drivers that have signed up with their site and offered rides to others. With 19 countries served, there have been over 40 million rides per year using the platform. So, you can bet that they take trust & safety very seriously. Even insuring their riders!
They’ve also managed to raise quite a bit of money in fundraising rounds, acquire similar websites, and expand their growth substantially over the years – making them my go-to for carpooling in Europe.
BlaBlaCar is a car-sharing website that connects drivers with empty seats and paying passengers to offset distance travel costs. – Crunchbase Profile
So, now I’ll tell you all about my 20+ hour experience using BlaBlaCar.
It was the summer of 2013 and I was just beginning my two-month trip across Europe. Asking friends where where to go to next (and following their advice), I ended up in Croatia. Traveling North to South in Croatia is extremely beautiful, with each town possessing it’s own charm. Split – Dubrovnik – Makarska.
Having gotten into Croatia, I had no idea how difficult or expensive it would be to get out of the country an eventually to Greece. Flights were nearly half-a-thousand dollars and busses & trains were non-existent.
So, I somehow stumbled on BlaBlaCar.com and managed to find someone traveling from Dubrovnik to Athens, Greece. A brutal 15 hour drive spanning 1,000+ kilometers.
I met my driver’s friend, Manu in Dubrovnik because Francesco (driver) had some paperwork to fill out before we set off on our journey. Francesco, Manu, and their two friends, Jorge and Rafael, and I ended up chatting over lunch at a nearby cafe. We eventually decided to stay in Croatia another couple days before setting off on our tedious journey through the Balkans.
Having never traveled using a ride-sharing service with other travelers, I wasn’t too sure what to expect.
So, we set off into the sunrise while traveling along the Dalmatian Coast and drove into the mountains. The scenery while traveling by car is stunning – the lakes in Bosnia, the vast distance you could see in Albania, and the quaint towns in Kosovo that the highways zig-zagged through. Although we were intent on not stopping until we made it to Greece, seeing these towns defined my BlaBlaCar experience.
Another perk of BlaBlaCar is the cost for me to get from Croatia to Greece was only €40.
BlaBlaCar also gifted me with a handful of new friends that I regularly keep in touch with. In the winter of 2014, I met up with Francesco in Milan, Italy and caught up on each other’s lives over a few Peronis.
I cannot recommend BlaBlaCar enough from not just a personal experience, but from a logistics & monetary standpoint.