How am I going to get around while on holidays? Can I take an Uber with a baby or toddler?
We get asked a lot of questions about how to get around with a baby while traveling. Parents naturally want to keep their baby safe while traveling, but bringing your own car seat and understanding foreign car seat laws isn’t always easy. Which is where taking Uber with a baby comes into the equation. Wouldn’t it be easy to just Uber with your baby while travelling? Read on for everything you need to know about how to Uber with a baby while traveling.
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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. Car seat laws for ridesharing services and taxis are different in every location around the world, but as a rule of thumb, rideshare companies always require the use of a car seat for a baby passenger.
In some cities around the world you may bring an infant in a taxi without a car seat. While this may be tempting to leave your car seat at home, traveling with your baby or toddler in a taxi without a car seat huge safety risk, which we do not ever recommend. There are safer alternatives to consider to get around with your baby while traveling.
Below you will find a summary of the baby-friendly services currently offered by the Uber, Lyft, Bolt and Grab ridesharing services. Unfortunately the baby-friendly ridesharing services offered are currently limited in nature, but the general trend seems to be expanding.
If taking an Uber 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”.
How to Uber with a Baby or Toddler
Uber is the world-leader of ridesharing services, operating in over 10,000 cities worldwide. The ease of use and widespread availability of Uber drivers makes it our go-to ridesharing app around the world.
To travel in an Uber with a baby or toddler under 2 years old, you must bring your own car seat and you will be responsible for installing it. Uber drivers have a reputation for being in a hurry, but don’t let this dissuade you. In our experience taking an Uber with car seats – all the Uber drivers we have had while traveling have always been very patient and supportive while we installed our own car seats.
Your Uber 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 24 months old, you can get an Uber with a car 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.
The criteria to use the Uber Car Seat program are, Children must be over 12 months old, weigh between 22 – 48 lbs and be between 31-52 inches tall. If your baby is over 48 lbs or taller than 52″, they are too big for the Uber Car Seat Program.
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 the Uber Car Seat 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 call it “Lyft Car Seat Mode”, and 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 2 years old, weigh between 22 – 48 lbs and be between 31-52 inches tall.
If you want to take a Lyft with a baby, but the car seat mode is not available in your destination or if your baby is under 2 years 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 has expanded to offer ridesharing services around the globe.
Originally, parents using Bolt with a baby, could only get car seats in Budapest. The May 2019 trial run in Budapest must have gone well, as they have made it easier to ride Bolt with a baby in more markets. Bolt doesn’t publish a list of cities where they offer the “Bolt Child” service, but our research shows you can now get a Bolt with a car seat in Budapest, Malta, Rīga, Tallinn and Stockholm.
Given the expansion of the Bolt Child service, parents who wish to ride Bolt with a baby should look for the car seat service at their destination.
The Bolt Child programs provides a car equipped with at least one booster seat for a child weighing 15-36 kg (33 – 79 lbs)
Outside of these locations, if you plan 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 the safety requirements to ride Grab 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. Since the original version of this “Uber with a Baby” article, Grab has expanded their GrabFamily offering into two categories:
- Babies aged 1-3, less than 1 m (39″) tall. Parents riding Grab with a baby 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.
- Children aged 4-7, between 1 m – 1.35 m tall (39 – 53″). Parents riding Grab with children aged 4-7, will be provided a mifold booster seat. (We used the travel-friendly mifold booster seat in Colombia with our kids).
Grab drivers must complete mandatory safety training and pass an exam before being accepted to drive for the GrabFamily service.
So, Can You Uber with a Baby While Traveling?
As you can see, in most markets taking an Uber with a baby isn’t the best way to get around with a baby while traveling. Don’t despair, there are still many great options available to you to safely get around with your baby on vacation.
If you are visiting Europe with your baby (or another walkable destination), one strategy which we have used often in our travels is to arrange a private transfer from the airport to our hotel. Once at our hotel, we either walk everywhere or take public transit to get around with our baby.
A private transfer is an very affordable luxury, especially when traveling with a baby or toddler. Your driver will meet you at the arrival gate (with your name on a sign!) and will walk you to your car, then drive you direct to your hotel. Private transfers are usually comparable in cost to a taxi and are just so nice after a long day of travel with kids.
When in Europe, we use Welcome Pickups as they offer complimentary car seats if requested at the time of the reservation. For most non-European destinations, another private transfer company which provides car seats is Suntransfers.