Travelling solo can be very exciting and rewarding at times, but it doesn’t work for everyone, nor it works for every destination. There are some countries, cities or very remote areas, as well, where travelling alone might not be the best idea. Travelling with somebody isn’t only great fun, it can become also very budget friendly. You can share the costs of food, accommodation, transportation and enjoy more things, visit more places with the money you save this way. Having a travel buddy by your side makes your travels much safer as well, since you can look after and help each other.
How to find a travel buddy?
Friends and family
If you think that travelling solo isn’t your thing, you can try to convince your friends or family to go with you. But beware, because travelling with somebody, regardless they are your best friend, sibling or partner, can be tough. Travel is a very intense experience, people are together 24-7, often in uncomfortable or stressful situations. You will regularly see each other at your worst, so it is possible that even the most harmonic relationships will go south sometimes. Although, if you passes this test, your friendship will most likely endure everything else.
Find a travel buddy while on the road
Your friends aren’t up to a trip? Do not be despair. One of the best way is to find a great travel companion is to travel alone. The backpacker community is generally known to be open and kind. Backpackers are usually extremely friendly and if you are open many people will be really keen to go out for a drink or to have a wander around together for a while. If you meet somebody along the way whose budget, itinerary and personality attracts you, just give it a shot. You might become friends for life. If it doesn’t work out, you still can part your ways.
Find travel buddies online
Thanks to the growing number of travel companion websites and online communities it has become quite easy to find a travel buddy before you even hit the road.
- Couchsurfing isn’t only working well to find free accommodation. It is a great place if you wish to find somebody to travel with. The best groups/forums to look in are the ‘Backpacker’ group and the ‘Travel buddies’ group. Otherwise, you can check out the specific group for whichever country or region you are visiting. Or join a local CS meeting in your area where you can meet fellow travellers.
- Travel Buddies it is what you think it is. A website to find partners for your travels. Signing up is free and you can either create your own trip and see if people want to join or just scout a person and route you like.
- Trip Giraffe, similarly to Travel Buddies, lets you create trips and matches you with other travellers. The premium membership usually costs $15/ month. (Right now they launched a promotion where you pay $15 per 3 months of membership).
- TripTogether is a social platform which connects you to people who want to travel. They claim it is a very active community of travellers making it easy to find the right companion. You can join the community as well as a local and share information about your home location.
- Workaway if you are planning to work while traveling, you can use Workaway not only to find a gig but also to meet great people to travel with, all in one place.
- Travello is a mobile app (available both on Android and iPhone) positions itself as a social network for travellers and nomads alike. It a has a social feed, forums and travel maps, it offers travel plans matching and makes easy to join local meetups or meet fellow travellers.
- Mapahub is a platform where you can see on the map where your fellow travelers are today and where they will be heading in the future. Here you can find house sitting opportunities and other international meetups organized by different nomadic communities. The premium membership costs $1/month.
- Global Greeter Network is, how the name suggests, a global community of locals who gladly show you the hidden gems of their towns, invite you for a drink or meal or give you useful hints on where to go and what to see in the area.
- Thorn Tree Forum by Lonely Planet is probably the best and largest collection of travel forums out there. You can expect responses to most queries within a few hours.
- 5W: Women Welcome Women WorldWide is a service and community which tailors female solo travelers. Their goal is to make everyone’s journey safer and more pleasant by just welcoming and helping women through their travels. This organization is usually attracts a somewhat older crowd but there aren’t any limitations to age, cultural or ethnic background.
- Travel Sisters it is a travel buddy finder app for women. They creat a global community of travel ladies, which provides safety, companionship, advice and hospitality.
- Meetup.com is a wonderful resource for solo travelers to meet people of similar interests basically anywhere in the world. These meetups are often organized by locals, and they are usually free. You can find all imaginable activities from hiking to cooking etc. If you need a little change, join a meetup, hang out with like minded people and do something that you enjoy doing also when you are not traveling.
- Facebook groups. Travel for free, Travel Buddies – Travel Companions – Travel Partners, The Solo Female Traveler Network, Travel Buddies, Adventure and Travel Mates, or Better Together Events & Travel are good sources to find a travel partner.
Doesn’t matter if you travel solo or with a partner, the important thing is that you enjoy your trip, have fun and stay safe. You have to know that when you are in need, you can ask for help and assistance. Use your peers, use your networks because somebody will be always there for you.