Unless you live in a big city, you might not have a huge amount of experience using rideshare services, and particularly not with your kids.
However, if you have any travel plans coming up, you will more than likely use a service like Uber or Lyft.
Rideshare services are one of the most efficient ways to get around when you’re traveling, and they’re also great if you’re not comfortable driving in a strange or very congested city.
There’s nothing quite as easy as using a rideshare app when you’re on your own, but what if you’re a mom with kids? What should you consider before hailing an Uber or Lyft?
Aside from comparing the prices of Lyft versus Uber using a Lyft fare estimator or an Uber estimator, the following are some things to think about for moms who are going to use a rideshare service.
Car Seat Vehicles
Both Uber and Lyft have introduced options that let you specifically request drivers that have car seats.
With Lyft, you can push something called the car seat button, and you’ll get a vehicle that will fit one child and up to three adults, for an additional fee. This isn’t available in all cities, however, and there are certain restrictions for eligibility. For example, children must weigh between 22 and 48 pounds.
Uber also has a car seat service available for an additional fee, and the child must be older than a year old to use these services.
So what do you do if you have a child younger than one or who doesn’t fit the height requirements?
Bringing Your Own Car Seat
Sometimes it’s a better option to just bring your own car seat or booster for a few different reasons.
First, you may have more than one child, or you may have a child who’s too young or too old for what Uber and Lyft offer.
Second, it can take a lot of time to find drivers that actually have car seats, so rather than having to wait for one of these drivers you can bring your own.
You might not want to be traveling around with a full-size car seat, however.
If you have a child who’s a preschooler or a little bit older, there are inflatable car seat options available, such as the Bubble Bum. These are booster seats for children aged 4 to 11 who meet certain weight requirements, and it inflates and deflates, so it’s easy to carry around with you throughout the day.
There are booster seats that are specifically designed to be small and portable but also safe.
For toddlers, there is an option called a travel vest, which is a restraint system that attaches via the car’s seatbelts.
Finally, if you’re going to be traveling with your kids, you might get nervous about the idea of just hoping you can find a ride on the app when you need one.
Luckily, they let you schedule ahead of time in certain situations, such as for airport transport. This can be a good way to make sure you have a ride waiting, and you’re not scrambling last minute with your kids.