Inside a grocery store

Can I Shop for Instacart While Traveling?


Many people have ambitions of earning a living while traveling, asking themselves “can I shop for Instacart while traveling”? While Instacart used to require workers to call in and have their location and hours updated, the platform has since shifted to an entirely on-demand basis.

This leaves delivery workers able to accept orders from anywhere in the United States. Some workers even make entire road trips delivering for Instacart, roaming about all of the United States and taking orders (batches) whenever they need to fund their travels. 

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How does the Instacart app update your location?

The Instacart app will focus on the driver’s market once the app is open using a given phone’s GPS device. For individuals traveling while working with Instacart, this means that it is generally advised to wait until they have reached their planned working destination.

Opening the app before reaching a target market has sometimes been reported to lock delivery workers into whatever market they open the Instacart app in.

It should be noted that this is reportedly only a problem for users who have not installed the latest version of Instacart. Workers who have their software entirely up to date remark that their location and, therefore, market center continuously updates automatically.

Can you work with Instacart in different countries?

At this point, Instacart only operates out of the United States and Canada, but users will need to call Instacart to check if their current software will allow users to work across the US-Canadian border.

Instacart is not available in Europe, but there are similar services that operate out of Italy, Poland, France, and the Czech Republic for workers who wish to go international. These companies are not affiliated with Instacart in any way, but they may be useful avenues to explore for workers who are looking to extend their travels.

People also ask:

Can you use a different store to fill a batch order?

Some Instacart workers may be in a position where it would be faster or more efficient to fill an order at a different store. This is permissible as long as it is another location of the same company. An order from a particular “X” supermarket can be fulfilled at a different “X” supermarket. Delivery personnel have reported having brands and items replaced with substitutes.

This may be unacceptable to the customer, so Instacart partners are cautioned to use their best judgment and be cautious when changing stores in such a manner.

Do you have to pass a background check to work for Instacart?

Like many delivery and passenger driving platforms, Instacart requires all applicants in the United States to pass a basic background check through the company Checkr Incorporated. This consists of a routine investigation into an applicant’s driving and criminal history to ensure the safety of both the delivery personnel and Instacart’s customers.

There are no absolute terms on Instacart’s hiring and refusal of applicants based on the results of the investigation, but Instacart reserves the right to hire or refuse to hire individuals based on Checkr’s findings.

Applicants looking to drive in Canada will also be investigated through Checkr Incorporated. Any questions about the processing of one’s application or disputes about Checkr’s findings are to be reported directly to Checkr and not Instacart.

Do I need a vehicle to work for Instacart?

Drivers who wish to pick up batches and make deliveries for Instacart will need access to his or her own personal vehicle with valid registration and automotive insurance per state laws. He or she will also need a smartphone that can accommodate the Instacart app. This requires either an Android 5.0 or an iOS9 (if not a more contemporary platform).

Fortunately, there is an option for drivers that either do not have a personal vehicle or cannot meet the subsequent insurance and registration requirements. In-store shoppers are part-time positions that Instacart offers. In-store shoppers purchase and prepare orders for delivery within a particular store. It should be noted that they work scheduled shifts rather than the more flexible nature of delivery drivers.

Are full-service shoppers responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of his or her vehicle?

Because Instacart couriers are considered independent contractors, each individual is responsible for fuel and any maintenance that their vehicle might require. Fortunately, these expenses (along with tracking miles traveled) can then be used as tax write-offs on one’s state and federal returns as long as the vehicle expenses coincide with working for Instacart.

There are multiple applications for both Androids and iPhones that can help drivers keep track of their driving statistics and expenses.

How does Instacart pay its associates?

Instacart partners are paid on a weekly basis via direct deposit. Pay for drivers depends on the number of deliveries completed and the particular market they are located in. Because full-service drivers are considered independent contractors, the amount of time worked and ultimately total income is dependent on the driver.

This differs from the in-store shoppers, as they are scheduled for shifts in stores based on availability (up to but not exceeding 29 hours per week). In-store shoppers will be paid an hourly wage according to state and local policies. These details will be explained upon an in-store shoppers letter of employment by Instacart.

Instacart partners can also make money by referring friends or family to shop using Instacart. This is contingent upon certain areas and periods. Referral programs can vary in reward type and magnitude.

What are the most common tips for new Instacart shoppers?

While shopping with Instacart is a relatively straightforward process, some drivers have noted mistakes that they and other couriers made when they were first starting to make deliveries.

Many drivers are hesitant to take orders at large co-op stores. Some of these orders have been so large that drivers report not being able to fit entire orders into their vehicles. Couriers recommend others to be cautious when taking orders from big-box stores, ensuring that the orders are not too large unless the pay is too great to ignore.

Some drivers refuse to deliver to downtown city centers as parking can be difficult. One should always know the market they are delivering in and consider if the extra logistics of completing is worth it if parking and navigating an apartment will be a complicated hassle.

Couriers also caution new drivers against accepting too many batches at one time. While it can be tempting to line up multiple deliveries, some batches might contain foods that can defrost or melt such as ice cream.

Taking multiple batches at a time can complicate one’s delivery route which will even further increase delivery times. Some drivers make a rule to never take more than two batches at a time and sometimes even refuse that if the two orders are both very large.

Keeping this advice in mind, individuals wondering “Can I shop for Instacart while traveling?” can use their opportunity within the company as a way to fuel their journies. After the screening and approval process, the application will update couriers about batches available in their local market throughout all fifty states in the US as long as the software is kept up to date.