The modern traveler has many options when it comes to motorized conveyance, so when does it make the most sense to fork over the money to ride in a limo?
Limousine rides go hand-in-hand with celebration, power, luxury, riches, and class. Most stars of stage and screen arrive to awards ceremonies in limos. Newlyweds and their wedding parties ride to their receptions in a limo, passing around bottles of high-end champagne. And very important businesspeople conduct business from limo phones.
But really, isn’t riding in a limousine almost more of a “hey look at me, I’m riding in a limo” status symbol than it is a must-do experience? At the end of the day, you’re still just riding from Point A to Point B, only you pay an exorbitant fee to sit facing other passengers, drink alcohol, and listen to music very loudly on the way.
It may all sound glamorous, but is riding in a limo the right mode of transportation for you and your group?
Answer the following questions to make the determination if a limo is the best ride for you.
- How many people need to be transported? If the answer is more than 5, a limo may be an option for you. There’s nothing sadder than a limo with four people spread way out.
- How far are you traveling? If your destination is between 4 and 40 miles, a limo is a practical method of getting there. They sure as hell aren’t known for their eco-friendly gas mileage, but when everyone can ride together in one car, it does make some degree of sense.
- What is your budget? If you’re looking to transport a group on the cheap, you might look to public transportation. If everyone in your group is willing to shell out $10 or more, or you have Mr. Moneybags McGee in your group wanting to pay for everything, then by all means, call a limo.
- Is time of the essence? If you need to be somewhere now, a limo isn’t a great option. They aren’t going to blow too many other vehicles off the road, and they have to take extra precaution to make wide turns. If you’ve got all night, well shit, get the limo!
- What is your destination, if any? Sometimes the limo ride itself is the destination—get in, ride around for a while, and get back out where you started. If you have a real destination, you need to think about whether or not it would be weird to get out in a limo. Good places to take a limo might be prom, a fancy restaurant, or even a strip club. Bad options include funerals, Little League baseball games, and fast food drive-thrus. If you’re getting out of a limo in a corn field, why even bother? No one will see you!
- Do you wish to explicitly be seen by others getting into, riding in, and/or getting out of your mode of transportation? Because guess what, people are always gonna look. There’s always going to be a chance that a celebrity is the one riding in that long car.
- Is it important that everyone in your group ride together in one vehicle? If not, you could take several cabs or Uber rides. But getting a big group together in one car might actually require a limo.
- Is conversing with your group while riding important? If so, there’s no better option than a limo, because you’re all facing each other. A party bus might require that you sit and look ahead, thereby making it challenging to talk to each other.
- Do you wish to drink alcohol legally while riding? Limos are A-OK pretty much everywhere for imbibing in spirits. You’re totally separated from the driver, after all.
- Do you wish to be able to isolate your driver from any potential conversations? If you are about to discuss a major bank heist, then roll up the window and tell your driver to mind his own bee’s wax. The limo is your best friend for those scenarios.
- Do you wish to stick your head out of your mode of transportation with your friends and yell “wooooo!” while traveling? If yes, the limo might be your only option. Consider bringing a collapsible selfie stick too!
- Do you think you’ll want to go through a fast food drive-thru on the way to your destination? If so, you’re screwed, because limos would get stuck.
- Are you concerned with potentially being seated next to a thumping speaker? Because you very well may be. That’s a big gamble. You might actually not be able to even hear your friends seated in a different area of the limo.
- Do you want to be repeatedly photographed while traveling to your destination by others in the vehicle and have it posted to social media ad nauseam? Limos are a magnet for social posts. You will have hundreds of likes before you ever step foot on the sidewalk.
- Do you hope to incidentally brush up against an attractive woman? Then a limo is for you, because there are no divisions or barriers between most of the long rows of seats. And if you cram enough people in, well, just about anything could happen!
- Are you against tipping? If so, better start walking. Any chartered mode of transportation is gonna expect a tip. It’s customary, bro.
One situation to potentially avoid is someone offering you a free limo ride. At the end is usually a strip club or bar with a cover charge. Still unsure? Then a limo probably isn’t for you.
My Hot Take
I’ve ridden in limos many times, usually for weddings and bachelor parties, but quite a few times in Vegas just because it was the same price or cheaper than a cab! We also took a limo across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco once just for fun. For as long as they are, I still managed to feel cramped because there are usually a lot of passengers and I’m a very large 6’6”, 250-lb. man. As I approach age-36 and have experienced a dozen or more limo rides, I am beginning to think the idea of riding in a limo for a special occasion is a little played out. But I will say this—when I step foot in a limo, I do immediately feel more important than before. And the attention I receive getting out of a limo is fun, and really that’s what it’s all about.