5 Reasons to Use Uber in Panama
I like to minimize hassle when traveling, especially when I’m tired and jetlagged, and Uber made my brief stay in Panama City easy in ways I hadn’t even thought about.
- Alleviates the language barrier
My Spanish is very minimal and I’m sure my pronunciation is so bad as to be incomprehensible, so I was a little daunted at having to communicate my destination (and haggle the price) everywhere I wanted to go. With Uber I just put in where I was headed and my driver automatically had the address.
- No negotiations necessary
According to all the guide books you want to negotiate the cost of your Panama City taxi upfront. I’m only good at haggling when I’m in the mood (probably less than half the time) and I get disproportionately upset when I feel like someone is trying to take advantage of me. Thank you Uber for setting the price!
- No currency exchange
Since I was only in town for about 36 hours and not planning on shopping I was hoping to get by without having carrying a lot of cash or exchanging to the local currency. Uber bills directly to your credit card. (Though it turns out US dollars are accepted almost everywhere.)
- It’s cheaper
A taxi or car service to/from the airport runs about $40, an UberX about $25. Prices around town are also cheaper, it was only $4 from Casco Viejo to the Panama Canal. And unlike my experience in Thailand, any US ride credits are applied. So make sure you’re not wasting a $10 refer a friend or first ride credit on a $4 ride!
If you’re traveling solo and/or late at night, using Uber adds an extra bit of safety. Not only has your driver already been vetted, you can share your ETA/trip with friends and family.
Best of all, you only need wifi to use Uber. I don’t have international data (I know, I really need to figure that out) but all you need is an internet connection to connect to Uber on your phone. And since most restaurants and even the Panama Canal visitors center offer free wifi, you can get around most of the city
If you were curious, the main difference between UberX and Uber in Panama seems to be the age of the car. I had a BMW UberX on the way to the Panama Canal and a brand new Toyota Corolla Uber on the way back.
If you’re new to Uber, sign up via my link and you’ll get your first ride up to $20 free!
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