Is Uber Safe to Use as a Solo Female Traveler?

woman sitting on the curb holding a phone
Photo by David Preston on Unsplash

Should you be using rideshares as a solo female traveler? Women often wonder if Uber is safe, especially while traveling. Hint: I think it’s safe! But I’m sharing some tips for using rideshares while traveling alone to help you feel more comfortable.

Using Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services while traveling has been a huge help for travelers over the last few years. They make getting around new cities easier than ever, and they’re often more affordable and convenient than taxis, car services, or even public transport.

While I typically use public transport or my own two feet to get around while traveling, rideshares are a great option when I’m in a hurry, when I need to go quite far, and especially when I’m going to or from the airport.

As a solo female traveler, I absolutely love using rideshares when I need them, both at home in the U.S., and abroad. However, I know many women are hesitant to use them alone. There are horror stories out there, and there are plenty of people who will say that Uber is unsafe.

If you’re curious whether or not Uber is safe for women, especially while traveling, my answer is yes. Rideshare companies seem to be constantly improving their apps, ratings, services, and procedures to ensure passenger safety.

Of course, the system is not perfect as it is, so I’d be lying if I said it was 100% safe. That being said, most things aren’t 100% safe, so this is no different. The last thing I want to do is scare any woman away from using rideshares on their travels, and I DEFINITELY do not want to scare any woman away from traveling solo.

But just like solo travel in general, using Uber as a woman can be made better by following a few tips and guidelines.

In all my time using Uber and other rideshares while traveling solo, I’ve never had an issue or felt uncomfortable. Unfortunately, I know this is not the case for everyone, so keep both perspectives in mind.

These Solo Female Traveler Rideshare Tips will help you to navigate the process in a way that makes you feel comfortable and keeps you safe.

Rideshare tips for Solo Female Travelers


Is Uber Safe for Female Travelers?


Are rideshares safe for women?

Yes, rideshares are safe for women. Of course we are always more vigilant when it comes to everyday situations like this, because 1.) we have been conditioned to believe that we are not safe alone, and 2.) women are more often targeted in cases of harassment.

It would be irresponsible for me to say that we don’t have to be alert and cautious using rideshares, but no more so than in many other situations we go through while traveling (or in daily life).

Should I use rideshares while traveling solo?

As a solo traveler, I use rideshares alone all the time. Often times they are actually the safer option for transportation when you’re on your own. I highly recommend using them on a solo trip, just be sure to follow the tips I’ve shared below to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Disclaimer:

I have NEVER had a bad experience using rideshares as a solo female traveler. I have never felt uncomfortable or anxious during a ride. My drivers have always been lovely, and I’ve never even felt the need to give less than a 5-star rating to a driver.

man driving a car
Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

16 Rideshare Safety Tips for Female Travelers


    1. Take note of the car model, color, and especially the license plate. These will be on the screen once a driver accepts your ride request. Be sure every detail matches up before approaching the vehicle.
    2. If you can, snap a quick photo of the car and license plate before getting in. Even though you have the info on the app, a photo can be helpful if you need to file a report or complaint in the future.
    3. When you approach the driver, ask who they are picking up. Let them say YOUR name, to ensure they are genuinely there to pick you up/they are the driver you have been connected with on the app.
    4. Check the driver’s photo on the app and try to get a good look at their face to make sure they match up. This can be tough to do in a hurry, especially if the lighting isn’t good, but it’s an important thing to check.
    5. If you don’t want to be dropped off in front of your actual accommodation, put in an address for a public spot nearby. Then you can just walk around the corner after being dropped off. This is a precaution people often take to make sure no one knows their residence or accommodation.
    6. Always keep an eye on the in-app map during your ride. Make sure the vehicle is following the correct route. If you notice the driver is going in the wrong direction, or that your estimated arrival time is going up instead of down, those are red flags.
    7. Uber has a feature called RideCheck, which will check in on you if your trip doesn’t go according to plan. Notably, if your driver goes off-route, a screen will pop up asking if you need help.
    8. Uber also has an in-app feature that allows you to send your ride information to a friend. This means they’ll be able to see where you’re going and can check in to make sure you arrive at your destination. I believe Lyft has the same feature.
    9. If you are using a rideshare service without this feature, just text a friend or family member and let them know you are taking a rideshare, your estimated arrival time, and then they can check in with you if you don’t text on arrival.
    10. To take this a step further, just call a friend (or Facetime) while you’re in the vehicle. Just talk and have a normal conversation, tell them where you’re going, etc. This makes it more obvious to the driver that someone would notice immediately if something strange happened.
    11. If you’re traveling in another country, you might not be able to call someone directly (no service, no way to call internationally, etc.). But the driver doesn’t know that! Pretend to make a quick call, act as if you’re meeting them at your destination. A fake call can do the trick just as well as a real call.
    12. Many people advise you to sit in the front seat of a rideshare to avoid child locks. I’d say this really depends. Sometimes sitting right next to the driver (within reach) could be uncomfortable. Use your best judgement.
    13. Keep your most valuable possessions with you. While traveling, you’ll probably put your suitcase in the trunk of the car. But if you have a carry-on bag filled with your electronics, wallet, chargers, etc., keep that with you in the back seat. I personally feel more comfortable knowing that’s never out of my hands.
    14. Avoid using rideshares alone at night. This is probably the most convenient time for you to use them, but if it’s dark and you can’t see where you are (especially being in a place you’re unfamiliar with), it might take longer for you to realize there is an issue.
    15. If something happens, you can call 911 directly from the Uber app and driver and location information will be immediately shared with the police. Lyft has a similar feature.
    16. Give honest reviews on your rideshare apps. If your driver made you feel uncomfortable, don’t feel guilty about giving them a low rating/negative feedback. If something really suspicious happened (even if you arrived at your destination without issue), or if you noticed any red flags during your ride, contact the rideshare company with the driver information and a detailed explanation of what happened. It’s important that we take these matters into our own hands to make sure other women don’t end up in uncomfortable or dangerous situations with these drivers. I know there are a lot of people out there that will try to diminish your experience, or make you feel like you’re “crazy” for how you felt, but we have to trust our instincts in these situations and pay it forward.

hand holding a smartphone that says Lyft on the screen
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

These tips are all meant to prevent anything suspicious from happening in the first place. I think the most important way to stay safe when using rideshares is at the very start of the ride: check those vehicle and driver details, make sure they match up, and let the driver say YOUR name before getting in the car. This ensures you are in the right vehicle with the right driver, and not getting into some random person’s car.

Calling someone on the phone during the ride is also the best way make sure you are in immediate contact if something does go wrong.

I want to reiterate that I have NEVER had a bad experience using rideshares as a solo female traveler. I also don’t want this post to sound negative or fearful in any way. My intention is not to add to the messages that tell us traveling alone as women is unsafe. I don’t believe that for a second! The world (generally speaking) is much more welcoming and kind than the media would have you believe. Rideshares and the rest of the sharing economy are built on communities of trust, and I think you’ll find most people are trustworthy.

Do you use rideshares while traveling? Please share any other tips you have below!

More Details:

I mention Uber & Lyft specifically in this post a lot because they are some of the most popular rideshare options. I also mention some of Uber’s specific safety features so that you are aware of them. However, this post is in no way sponsored by or affiliated with Uber, Lyft, or any other company.

Uber Safety Features

Lyft Safety Features


Read More Solo Travel Tips:


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Rideshare Safety Tips for Solo Travelers

By Courtney Minor

Wandering around and writing about it.

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