Nothing gives you the feeling of freedom like booking a flight to a new destination, solo. With a plethora of travel apps and websites to choose from, satisfying your inner travel bug is as easy as the quick click of a button. As an adventurous nomad, you can go where you want, when you want to. But going it alone has both benefits and drawbacks, so when you’re sick of only taking selfies, it might be time to look for a travel buddy.
Finding the right travel partner can give you the added security of someone standing by when the unsuspected occurs. Ready to find your perfect travel companion? Here are some great methods to help you meet your match!
Book Your Trip, They Will Come
This method almost always works if you are lucky enough to have a large network already. Got the perfect trip in mind? Pick a date, book it and advertise, advertise, advertise. Consider booking a ski chalet, a cottage by the lake, or a group yoga retreat.
Many friends are reluctant to commit to something that is not set in stone, but if you do the planning and set the itinerary ahead of time, we bet a travel buddy or two will jump on board fast. If you can afford to plan a trip ahead and ask for payment later, book now and see who shows up.
Tap Into Your Social Network
If the above method is too risky, try picking a date and putting it out there on social media to see who might be interested in tackling the next amazing thing on your bucket list. You may be surprised to find that some of your acquaintances may turn into close friends. Broaden your search even more on Facebook and search your destination followed by the word “backpackers” to meet an even larger network of potential travel pals beyond your list of friends.
Use Travel Apps
For the extroverted among us, finding friends along the way is a breeze. But if you’re on a tight schedule, or worried about making the first move, you might need more of a plan. Here are some great apps to tap into before or during your trip to help you meet the perfect travel buddy.
- Facebook Local Search your destination, plug in the date and time, and find endless opportunities to meet others with common interests.
- Couchsurfing Try booking your accommodations with Couchsurfing. The perks: staying with a local, cheaper than a hotel, making friends around the world. Not keen on staying with a stranger? Search the backpacker or travel buddy forums on the site and find other travelers headed your way.
- Meetup If you are traveling with a specific activity or event in mind, it pays to try seeing what groups may be using Meetup to organize.
With new apps popping up all the time, your perfect travel companion is never far away.
Meet Friends on the Way
Still no takers? Don’t cancel your travel plans yet. Go solo, and plan to meet a travel companion on the way. If you can, stay in hostels where other solo travelers are sure to be found. This method works extremely well for finding a travel buddy on European adventures. Scan the bulletin board at your hostel and find events meant to bring traveling friends together, like walking tours or evenings out.
If bunking with several others is not your style, try searching for hostels with private rooms, or stay with a local family in an Airbnb. Try a yoga or silent retreat for a change of pace. Your hosts can help you navigate the ins and outs of the area and advise you on the best activities for meeting fellow travelers nearby.
Booking a city tour with a group of like-minded individuals is a classic way to meet people quickly. We recommend spending at least the first day in a new place on some kind of group tour to help you fast-track your way to meeting a travel buddy. If you hit it off quick, make sure to have a plan in place and invite your new friend to the next destination or tourist site. Bus tours are a great (but often bumpy) way to do this, so grab your Cabeau travel pillow and hop aboard!
The best way to meet the perfect travel buddy is to make sure you always maintain a sense of adventure. Have an idea in mind, and make sure you follow through on your own plans. Always wanted to do a regional wine tour or cooking class? What about tickets to see that amazing Broadway show? Skydiving? Paddleboard yoga? Fellow travelers flock to people who seize great opportunities and try new things.
Don’t forget to shop Cabeau for the best deals on travel accessories to keep your comfortable on every leg of your journey.