Virail is the ultimate traveler's helper, created for you to find the best deals on a range of transport routes around the world. Whether you want to travel by rail, car, or bus, or use a carpooling service like BlaBlaCar, Virail finds the best possible solutions to make your journey more convenient and stress-free.
BlaBlaCar is a French carpooling service that works via a website and cell phone app. It allows you to find private routes and cars, sharing costs on transportation with fellow travelers. Launched in 2006, the company's headquarters are in Paris, France, but its services are accessible throughout Europe and further afield. As such, BlaBlaCar is now the world's leading carpool service for both long-distance journeys and shorter commutes. The carpooling company itself had humble beginnings in France as a simple ride-share website. As it grew, an app was introduced to make things easier for users. Today, it is a household name in many European countries. It's easy to include BlaBlaCar as part of your travel itinerary – once you are on on Virail, you will be able to see the carpool options from BlaBlaCar. Unlike its competitors, BlaBlaCar has a very unique approach to customer and driver ratings in the form of chattiness: "Bla" means a driver is not very talkative; "Blabla" means they're chatty, and so on. This unique form of customer rating allows you to choose a car based on how talkative you want your ride to be.
BlaBlaCar is available in 22 countries around the world. At the moment, it's most popular in Europe, where it has a very large presence. However, it has also expanded across continents, and is now available in Brazil, India, and Mexico. Users appreciate the fact that it connects not only major cities, but also smaller towns. Places that might otherwise be accessible by changing bus or train several times are now easier to reach.
Pricing differs in each country. Although BlaBlaCar suggests a price, using a country-specific algorithm, drivers are free to adjust it upwards or downwards – but only to a certain extent. One of the principles of BlaBlaCar is that the driver's costs will be covered, but he will not make a profit. Therefore, the company sets a maximum price ceiling that drivers cannot exceed. A journey from Barcelona to Valencia, Spain, could cost between 15€ and 30€, with drivers adjusting their price based on factors such as comfort, speed, willingness to carry luggage or make detours, etc. Each driver must charge the same price for every passenger in his car; you don't have to pay a premium to ride shotgun.
BlaBlaCar is fundamentally a carpooling service, so drivers use their own private vehicles. They can choose the number of seats they want to make available to passengers. Generally, it's easier for lone passengers to find a driver to take them. If there are three of you looking to travel together, things might be a bit trickier.
This is all up to the driver you choose. If you have several options to choose from, you can pick between smokers, music-fans and talkative drivers. Amenities essentially depend entirely on the driver and his car. To check out what other people have to say about your driver, be sure to read his user reviews. One important tip is to check out which languages the driver speaks. After your initial booking, your communication will be direct with the driver, so it helps if you have a language in common.
How do I book a ride? In order to find a ride with BlaBlaCar on Virail, type in your departure and arrival points as well as your desired travel time. You will then be given several options. Simply click to confirm your pick-up. How do I change a trip? You can change your trip easily through the BlaBlaCar website, including cancellation and re-routing. You will be charged if your trip is altered within 24 hours of traveling. How do I get a refund? Refunds work in several ways. If you cancel more than 24 hours before departure time, you will receive a full refund (excluding service fees). If you cancel within the 24 hour departure period, you will receive a 50% refund. For same-day bookings, you will receive a refund if you cancel within 30 minutes of booking. If a driver cancels the journey, you receive a full refund including service fees. For all other issues, check the "bookings" page for updates and queries. How do I reach BlablaCar's customer service? You can find the help team both in the BlaBlaCar app and on the website. On the website, look for the pop-up form in the corner of the page. This allows you to get into direct contact with the help team. What is the luggage policy? Luggage space differs per car. Remember to look at your driver's profile to see what their limits are. What is the pet policy? Pet policies are up to the driver. If you are traveling with a pet, make sure that the driver offers pets in their profile. All drivers must state whether they do or do not accept furry friends. How can I travel cheaper with BlaBlaCar? Take a look at the different journeys offered. If you're flexible about departure and arrival times, you might be able to find a cheaper car. When traveling from one big city to another, it may be cheaper to meet your driver closer to their departure point. This will save you the hassle of driving slowly through traffic. Do I need to print the ticket? No, this is not necessary. When you start your journey, there is usually no need to show your booking to the driver, but you should still carry your ID with you to confirm your identity. Carrying a document that allows you to leave your country is, of course, necessary when you plan to cross a national border.
Now that you know all about BlaBlaCar, you can go ahead and book your inter-city adventure. Here at Virail, we wish you a pleasant journey with BlaBlaCar. You can search our site for the most accurate break down of costs and routes to help you make the best decision before setting out on your travels.