How am I going to get around while on holidays? Can I take an Uber with a baby or toddler?
These are a very good questions and in fact, are some of the most common topics we get asked about from our readers. This isn’t always an easy question to answer given the safety requirement to have your toddler or baby in a car seat.
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Ridesharing services such as Uber, Lyft and Grab make it super easy for most people to get around while traveling, but traveling with a baby is a little harder. Child seat laws for ridesharing services and taxis are different in every location around the world, but as a rule of thumb, ride share companies always require the use of a child seat for a baby passenger.
In some cities around the world you may bring an infant in a taxi without a car seat, but given that traveling in a taxi without a car seat with a baby or toddler is a huge risk, there are safer alternatives to consider.
Below you will find a summary of the baby-friendly services currently offered by Uber, Lyft, Bolt and Grab. Unfortunately the baby-friendly ridesharing services offered are currently limited in nature, but the general trend seems to be expanding.
If ridesharing with a baby is not an option in your destination, don’t despair; you can still get around with your baby on your trip. Learn from our experiences in “5 Things You Need to Think About BEFORE Traveling With Car Seats”.
Uber with a Baby or Toddler
Uber is the granddaddy of ridesharing services, operating in over 785 cities worldwide.
If your baby is under 12 month old, you must bring your own child seat and you will be responsible for installing it. (Don’t panic; all the Uber drivers we have had while traveling have always been patient while we installed our own child seats). Your driver is supposed to (and very likely will) refuse your ride if you don’t have the proper restraints for your baby.
If your baby is over 12 months old, you can get an Uber with baby seat in a few select markets around the world. For an extra $10USD per ride, the Uber Car Seat program (also known as uberFAMILY) will send an Uber car with an approved car seat. Children must be over 12 months old, weigh between 22-48lbs and be between 31-52 inches tall.
According to the Uber website, the Uber Car Seat service is only available for parents traveling to NYC with a baby or toddler, but I’ve seen reports of it being available in Orlando, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Istanbul. Please email us if you see this service available anywhere else and we’ll add it to the list.
Unfortunately, Uber doesn’t have a publicly available master list to know where Uber Car Seat (uberFAMILY) services are currently available, but you can easily Google “Uber Car Seat [YOUR DESTINATION]” or “uberFAMILY [YOUR DESTINATON]”
Sign up for Uber and get a discount on your first your first ride…
Lyft with a Baby or Toddler
Lyft is a rapidly growing competitor to Uber, but their operations are currently limited to the major markets in the United States and Canada.
Lyft offers a similar car seat program to Uber in New York City only. They make it sound like they are expanding the service to new markets, so watch for Lyft Car Seat mode when you book your ride.
As with Uber, babies using the Lyft car seat service must be over 12 months old, weigh between 22-48lbs and be between 31-52 inches tall.
If the Lyft car seat service is not available in your destination or if your baby is under 1 year old, you must provide and install your own car seats.
Bolt with a Baby or Toddler
Bolt (formerly known as Taxify) is the largest ridesharing service in Europe. Bolt also provides ridesharing services in in Australia and Africa.
Bolt is behind it’s North American counterparts, but they are trying to catch up. Bolt just started to offer child seat services with a trial run in Budapest in May ’19.
Outside of this trial though, to ride Bolt with baby, you must bring and install your own approved child-seat.
Grab with a Baby or Toddler
Grab is the dominant ridesharing service in Southeast Asia (in fact, Grab bought Uber’s SE Asia operations). Safety standards in Asia are often thought of as lower than in the US and EU, but Grab’s safety requirements for traveling with a baby are every bit as stringent as in North America.
If you use Grab with a baby less than 1 year old, you must provide your own rear-facing car seat – no other devices may be used, including baby carriers or harnesses.
Grab offers a baby-friendly service in Singapore and Philippines called GrabFamily. Babies between the ages of 1-3 will be provided a driver installed car seat which meets the same safety standards as the USA, Canada and EU. Drivers must complete mandatory safety training and pass an exam before being accepted to drive for the GrabFamily service.
As of now, ridesharing is not the best option for most parents traveling with a baby or toddler around the world, unless you travel with a car seat. Don’t despair, there are still many great options available to you to safely get around with your baby on vacation.
We cover some of the options in these posts:
If you have any questions about this post or travel tips to offer other parents, join us over in our private Facebook group for traveling parents! Join here.