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Picture this not-so-hypothetical situation. Hot July day in DC. Very tired four year old who traveled late the night before, and had to wake up on an Eastern time zone schedule for a 7:30 AM White House tour. Three adults taking turns carrying the now hot, tired, and sweaty kid parts of the way back to the hotel after the tour for a much needed nap.
Fun, right? Well, the White House tour was quite fun (more on that soon), but we knew the little one would poop out before too long after only a few hours of sleep, and she did. We could have continued walking slowly along with her and/or taking turns carrying her back to the room. It isn’t a far walk when you are actually walking, but under the current conditions it was further than we wished. Now in a normal world, you just suck it up and get back to the room eventually. You may be hot, really sweaty, and have a sore back, but you will make it. That was one option, but we opted for a better option. We called in a magical fairy named Uber.
I pulled out my iPhone, hit the Uber app, hit the SUV option since there were 5 of us, and about 3 minutes later a nice air conditioned Suburban SUV appeared. I knew the name of the driver before he arrived, could track his progress on the app, and knew what license plate number to look for. We hopped in, the driver turned the AC up, everyone’s moods improved instantly, and within a couple more minutes we were back at the hotel. It was like magic, and I think my dad and sister who had never used Uber before really thought it was magical that I could hit a button on my phone and then an SUV appeared to our exact location within minutes. It’s kinda like having a fairy godmother for when walking just ain’t gonna cut it any more. We certainly don’t use it everywhere we go while on vacations, but when we do use it, it is so appreciated.
Thanks to using it today I also got some first-hand experience on how their current “first ride free” promotion works. If you are new to Uber (and I think my dad and sister need to sign up ASAP after seeing how magical it can be!), you get your first ride free (up to $30) – my link, and then any overage on that you will be charged on your linked credit card. If you refer someone to Uber, then you also earn a free ride (up to $30). The $30 isn’t just added to your Uber credit totals the way it has been with some other promotions, but instead when you ride you will get one ride free per referral up to $30, and then the overage will be charged to you.
So if you are on a family trip like I am you can sign-up for Uber and get a $30 free ride, then have your spouse sign-up off your account so you get another free ride + they get a free ride, then have your parents do the same, etc. With my husband and parents here, we could conceivably get seven free Uber rides thanks to this promo by all referring each other and signing up…if we were all new to Uber. Remember that you don’t earn your free referral ride until the person you referred uses theirs, so you have to use some strategy. However, that many rides is more than enough to get to/from the airport with ease and get “rescued” like we did when you just don’t want to walk anymore.
Even though we find the Uber ride prices very reasonable, the price of getting rides around town can still add up if you are out of free rides, so we certainly don’t use Uber every time we leave the hotel. Still, being able to push a button and have what would have been a tough walk carrying a very big four year old turn into a quick and cool ride is pretty great. Being able to try your first ride free with the current promo is even better.
I recommend keeping Uber in mind to get you out of a similar situation on a future family trip…just in case!