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The newest spin on finding pre-screened
roommates and long-distance rideshares

Ultimate guide to long distance ridesharing

Ultimate Guide to Long Distance Ridesharing

What is long distance ridesharing?

We all agree that the best thing about Uber is its convenience and we often wish traveling a longer distance could be the same experience. Imagine being able to take a rideshare long distance where you are able to just hop in a car and travel out of town without all the hassles of other modes of transportation. As people were introduced to Uber, they were unaware that the traditional long distance ridesharing services have been around for many years long before Uber and Lyft came along and changed the game.

Ridesharing then and now

The traditional sense of ridesharing is generally two people (one driver and one rider) sharing a car together and splitting the cost of travel (gas, tolls, etc.) and most of the connections were made as complete strangers. Does that sound terrifying? Well, so did Uber but you don’t think twice about it now.

Let’s think back to the first time your friend explained Uber to you and how the thought of a stranger picking up people up in their own car sounded so risky. As many of your friends continued to rave about their experiences you finally decided to request your first ride.

As the Uber driver pulled up in their own car, you walked around to verify the license plate; matched their face to their profile and held the door open with hesitation as you waited for them to confirm their name before hopping in. Before they arrived all you could imagine was some weirdo picking you up and driving you to the middle of nowhere.

To your surprise, after 5 minutes it felt oddly comfortable and you were probably already telling them your life story. By the 3rd Uber, you hopped in the car by just matching the car type, didn’t bother to verify their name, and probably not even pay close attention to their face.

Still, the idea of hopping in a car with a stranger sounds terrifying to someone that’s never taken traditional rideshare. Back in the day, we were told to “never get in the car with strangers” and “be careful who you meet online.” Fast-forward to today and that’s essentially what we’re doing with Uber.

Not sure when you would need to take advantage of rideshare?

A long distance rideshare doesn’t have to be a cross country road trip but even just an hour away. Catch a ride from your city to anywhere you need to be in the US. Find local riders and drivers going to the same destinations as you. Maybe you enjoy the same music and are both heading to the same concert. Even better they could be traveling to the same vacation spot and can get some inside scoop on the best restaurants to check out.

  • Airports & Cruise TerminalsForget the rental car or Uber and catch a ride for a small fraction of the cost. 
  • Popular Destinations & Resorts – South Beach, Las Vegas, Ski Resorts, Bourbon Street, National Parks, Walt Disney World, etc.
  • Events – Sports games, concerts, conventions, festivals, spring break, comedy shows, etc.  
  • Small Towns – Get rides to and from small towns that don’t have many transportation options.
Here are a few more money saving ways to take advantage of ridesharing when you need it most. 

Bring Pets

Share your ride with other travels that are pet lovers too. Forget about pet fees.

Bring the crew

Traveling with friends? Find multiple seats and enjoy hanging out. 

Transport Items

Need to haul large items? Find a driver with a vehicle that can haul large items. 

Over Pack

Bring all your luggage and gifts without the worries of baggage fees. 

Articles & Tips

Read more articles to stay up on the best money saving tips and ways to find quality long distance rideshares. 

Top Long-Distance Rideshare Website Safety Features

What Is Long Distance Rideshare? Is It Worth It?

The Cold Hard Truth About Driving for UBER

How to Make Money Driving on a Long Distance Road Trip

Saving money using long distance ridesharing

Running around town is easy even without a car, right? Just take an Uber. How about out of town?  That is considered as long-distance travel and may not be as easy to do when you don’t have a car or just flat out don’t feel like driving and dealing with these terrible drivers out on the highways. 

Yes, you can rent a car for a fair price, find cheap airfare through Allegiant and Spirit airlines assuming you can fit your life in a backpack, or take the bus even though you have uttered the words “never again” since your last encounter with a few strange individuals.

With Uber prices being so low, it makes you wonder if you could take that hour drive over to the next biggest city. Well, our curiosity got the best of us, too, so we decided to do the math.

Let’s imagine a route from Tampa, Florida to Atlanta, Georgia. Uber will charge approx. $1.55 a mile which means the total cost for that Uber ride one-way will be $706!

Time:6 hours and 29 minute

Distance:456 miles

Price: $706

No, thank you! Now that we have ruled out that option, let’s take a look at our other options to figure out what may be the most cost-effective way to travel. Our time is just as valuable as our money so we have to consider both needs.

Choosing to take a rideshare is the cheapest form of travel and still 44% cheaper than taking the bus

(e.g. Tampa to Atlanta / 2 months from departure)

 

To save on time, taking the plane just sounds ideal but we did not include the 30 minute travel time to the airport, 2-hour early arrival, 40 minutes to get out of the plane and to your destination. To be more realistic it would take about 4.6 hours in travel time.

What if you could take that drive for a price lower than the bus and as convenient as Uber?  You can! Haydash solved this problem with their long distance ridesharing website.  Haydash is the first company that makes sure all members are vetted by going through a complete criminal background check and motor vehicle report. Because we understand the dangers of the “open-market” rideshare economy.

At the end of the day, you don’t really know who you’re dealing with on the other side of your computer screen. That’s the reason why Haydash is your first line of defense to deter those people whose intentions are less than noble.

Protection is the key when it comes to sharing your private space with a complete stranger especially if you’re looking to be with that person for longer travel distance and period of time.

Long Distance Rideshare Questionnaire, Do’s And Don’ts, And Pre-Screening Checklist.

Be prepared with a checklist to help make sure you ask the right questions and complete all necessary safety steps the next time you share your space. 

So why is it so hard to find a good long-distance ridesharing website?

Long-distance ridesharing websites have been popping up for years but as fast as they pop up they quickly disappear. In most cases, the ones that you think that are effective and awesome, are the first one to say “Sayonara!.” You wonder why, right? One of the biggest reason is that it cannot sustain itself. May it be because of financial reason or user participation. Getting users or members to post an ad for what they’re looking for is a challenge in it of itself. How much more if you ask them to pay for the service? That’s why the free websites out there are thriving better than the ones that try to offer more user experience.

Speaking of user participation or lack thereof, have you found yourself leaving a website because your search gets 0 result? It’s the chicken or the egg paradox. How do you get members to post an ad if they don’t see members on the site? And how do you see members on the site if they don’t post? To get the most out of a ridesharing website you have to be an active participant. Post an ad if you’re looking for a ride or passengers. If they don’t see your ad then they can’t find or contact you. Majority of the members sit back and wait for a rideshare ad to show up rather than letting other members know what they need. Without you, it’s only a matter of time before your favorite long-distance rideshare disappears into the abyss.

How do you know which ridesharing website is best for you?

In order for you to find the best one, you have to determine what’s most important to you: 

    • Safety
    • Security
    • Convenience
    • Price
    • Active Members

We hope when we ask the question “What is most important to you when looking for a ridesharing website?” your top answer is safety.  Hitchhiking and ridesharing with a stranger without doing a little investigation should be considered a cardinal sin because it’s just too risky. Safety has been such a big issue with ridesharing that several companies have invested time and money to try to resolve this problem. 

To give you a better idea of which website you should consider when looking for safer long-distance rideshare, we’ve explored and researched several ridesharing companies features to see how they stack up to the competition

Websites Safety Features Compared

Haydash Blog - Top Long-Distance Website Safety Features

Why is Craigslist the go-to rideshare service if it’s dead last in safety feature?

Craigslist popularity is due to its simplicity and its free service. Since it’s launch in 1995 it has grown a tremendous database. You probably started your ridesharing experience through Craigslist and the moment you heard about the Craigslist killer in 2009 you quickly changed your personal screening process. If you’re new to Craigslist the only problem you’ve experienced is the “oh so wonderful unwanted solicitations.” You post an ad looking for a ride then your inbox exploded within few hours of people replying to your ad.  With a smile on your face you open up the ad only to read “You’re beautiful, I’ll ride with you anywhere” or “call me.” After about 5 emails you finally have a fish on the hook but it takes about 13 email exchanges to actually get to the point just for them to cancel or pull a no show. 

Sure, Craigslist is full of listings but what security do they offer to their members aside from allowing you to keep your email address private. There’s really no jaw-dropping features or screening process provided for their members. But you put up with it because it’s free and your expectation to have a risk-free experience is usually non-existent. Like what they say, you get what you pay for or in Craigslist’s case, not pay for.

Websites with free memberships vs paid memberships

Should you pay for a membership? In a lot of cases, you get what you pay for. A lot of free sites do not offer any safety features or require a verification process which allows anyone and everyone to sign up including members that aren’t really serious candidates. If you are paying for membership make sure you have a clear list of features or services that you’re paying for. Majority of the long distance ridesharing websites are free as they only verify members identity through phone and email. Haydash.com charges $9.99 for a Standard Membership and $19.99 for an Elite Membership which covers the cost of the verification process, background check, and motor vehicle check. The membership is good for one year and you get peace of mind knowing that everyone you communicate with has completed a background check. If you’re offering a ride you can easily make that money back and more during your first trip. Plus, they also offer the ability to post ads for roommates. To learn more about its memberships, click here.

How do you trust the riders and drivers on these website?

When talking about long distance ridesharing it’s important to talk about safety. No matter how long you stalked someone’s social media account before finalizing a long distance trip, they are still strangers.

1. Verify Members Identity

Verifying the rider’s or driver’s identity is crucial. Although ridesharing websites are focused on offering safe rides,  a lot of the work is still up to you. A website that verifies user identity by phone or email verification is just not enough. Haydash is the first long-distance rideshare company to make it harder than ever to impersonate someone and is really focused on being more than just a middle man by offering a true pre-screening service and safety features.   

Backgound Check

A background check is completed to check for any possible serious criminal history.

Haydash Blog - Top Long-Distance Rideshare Website Safety Features

Driver License Check

Members DL is used to verify the name submitted for the background check and the photo is matched to the members profile photo.

Haydash Blog - Top Long-Distance Rideshare Website Safety Features

Profile Picture Required

The profile picture helps with your verification process by confirming the person verified is the person you will be sharing your ride with.

Haydash Blog - Top Long-Distance Rideshare Website Safety Features

Motor Vehicle Check

A motor vehicle check is completed on all members that offer a ride. A MVR check is not required for members that want to take a ride.

2. Video Chat and Meet Face to Face

This is the one safety step most people skip generally because it’s time-consuming but it’s such an important step. Always make sure to schedule a video chat with your potential rideshare to match the actual person to their profile photo. Face to face meeting allows you to confirm who the person behind the computer screen is.

3. Request a Drivers License 

If you choose to use a website that does not require drivers license verification then you should consider requesting a copy to verify the rider or driver’s identity. So that if you need to contact the rider/driver or if you need to contact the authorities, you know their real name. There is some pretty sensitive information on a drivers license such as the address and date of birth that you should not share. The easy way around it is to grab a Post-It note to cover up the sensitive information before you take a snapshot and send it off. Just make sure that it includes your photo and full name. As we’re all little private investigators nowadays, do a quick Google Search to see if anything worth knowing. 

4. Read Reviews

Read all the reviews to give yourself a good sense of how your ride will go. Check to see if any riders or drivers offered advice to make your experience more enjoyable such as bringing headphones to block out the heavy metal music blasting for 8 hours.  

Avoiding the Most Common Ridesharing Problems

Why is finding rideshare sometimes frustrating? Why do you have to message 5 different people just to find the right person? Here are some common rideshare problems and how to avoid them. 

The back and forth messages.  This can easily be avoided by writing a detailed rideshare post. If you’re the person responding to the post be sure to give them as much information as you can besides “Is this rideshare still available?” If the post is active the recipient will be grateful with such a detailed response. Be sure to include what time you can go and what city you expect to be picked up in.

Unwanted solicitations. You wrote a professional post with a professional picture but you received a message saying “I’ll go anywhere with you just tell me when and where.” First, hit the report and block button and let the website know. Second, as much as you may want to reply with a sharp retort, it’s important to not respond as you don’t want to give them any reason to write a bad review or give them the satisfaction that you read their message. 

No call no show. It’s very common that rideshare drivers and riders start dropping like flies. Unfortunately, there’s no way to completely avoid this as unexpected incidents happen all the time. If you have found rideshare make sure you continuously keep each other in the loop. Make sure you message the rider/driver the night before and the morning of to let them know everything is still a go. Make sure you have a plan B. Check out flights and bus ticket prices in advance so you’ll be ready to book the day of if needed. This will highly reduce your stress level on the pick-up day if the unthinkable happens. For additional safety net, find a rider or driver “possible”. If you’re a driver find multiple riders to come along and if you’re a rider ask one other driver if you can be their possible.  

Getting more views means more rideshares

Post a detailed ad. When a member can see that you really put time and effort into completing your profile and the ad, it shows that you’re a more serious candidate for them. Make sure you’re clear about the destination, time, and pick-up location. Do you allow or will you be bringing any pets, children, or other passengers? Do you have to make any stops along the way or have any special needs? If you receive a message with a good question make sure you update your ad to mention the detail that was left out.    

Fill out the “About Me” section of your profile. Let’s face it, no matter how serious the vetting process is, you are still a stranger to your travel buddy and it’s up to you to make them feel comfortable. Include some interesting facts about you on your profile like how familiar you are with ridesharing, your favorite types of music, etc. The more they learn about you the more they will feel at ease to share a ride with you.  

Select a professional profile picture.  It’s not an online dating website. Your pictures should be just as professional as your Linkedin profile picture. Keep in mind that everyone’s going to zoom in on your pictures and try to judge your character based on your appearance. 

Ridesharing DO’s and Don’ts

Check out our Dos and Donts to ensure you have a safe and comfortable ridesharing experience. 

Do’s 

  • Keep your wallet/debit card in your pocket. It may be best to keep some of your valuables on you or in the trunk if possible. Try to put them in a place that is less obvious and harder for anyone to access.
  • Share your location on your mobile device with friends and family.
  • Trust your instincts.If they are hesitant to provide any information or their replies are in one-word sentences without answering your questions, it’s best to consider other candidates that are more serious about taking a trip.
  • Discuss the route and expected stops in advance.This will ensure everyone gets to their destinations at their expected time. It also reduces fear when everything’s going as planned.
  • Meet them outside of the vehicle. Make it a habit to be picked up/dropped off in a lit public area such as a store front. A greeting even if you met prior will make all the difference and give you time to assess the person and car.  

Don’ts

  • Don’t get in the vehicle without meeting the driver face-to-face. Suggest a video chat or public meeting to confirm their identity.
  • Don’t approach the car with your hands in your pockets or in a bag. This can make the driver or rider uneasy and fearful that you might have a weapon. This can be avoided by having your items or hand(s) free before approaching the vehicle.
  • Don’t get picked up or dropped off at your residence. Provide an address of a nearby well store or clubhouse.
  • Don’t give your contact information out too soon. Wait until you’ve asked all the important questions to avoid giving your information out to too many candidates. This includes email address, home address, and phone number. Social media has made it easy to use this information to find out where you work, live, and even hang out.
  • Don’t leave the keys in the car when you make stops. Of course, you want the passengers to feel comfortable but it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Ridesharing Etiquette

  • Discuss payment arrangements upfront. Pay or collect the money as soon as you get in the car. This way, there are no unexpected stops to the bank, and everyone can relax and enjoy the ride. Avoid making cash payments.
  • Discuss unexpected stops as soon as possible. Fuel up your car, get snacks, stop-by the bank, etc., before you pick up the rider. If you forgot to mention or discuss a stop, be sure to share it with the driver or rider right away. So they can accurately calculate their time of arrival.
  • Have the car serviced and cleaned before offering a ride.Keep in mind that riders evaluate the condition of your car as soon as they sit. Creating a pleasing visual appeal and don’t forget smell can make a big difference when traveling. Clear out the clutter to make sure there’s nothing in their way so they can have a pleasant experience.
  • Never text or try to operate your phone while driving.Everyone’s expecting you to offer a safe ride. Please don’t text while driving. If using a navigation system, ask the rider to update the navigation system, if needed.
  • Ask before eating or drinking. Pay attention to the details of the ad. It will generally state if food and drinks are allowed. Drivers should ask their passengers if they are comfortable with you eating your meals while driving. You can also plan short breaks to eat your meals at the rest area.
  • Throw away your trash when you take pit stops. Don’t wait until the end of your trip to throw away your trash. Everyone will enjoy less smells and clutter in small spaces.
  • Keep your hands to yourself. When taking rideshare, we can’t help but feel familiar to the other person due to the stories and laughter we share that we start throwing our hands in the air or high-fiving in agreement which may not be well-received by others. Remember to respect each other’s personal space.
  • Keep everyone updated. Confirm your trip or notify the rider/driver of any change of plans the night before. On the day of the trip, send a text when you’re about 30 minutes away to confirm everything’s still on schedule.

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