While traveling alone is an experience that some people love, and do all the time, many solo travelers are choosing to partner up with travel buddies. A travel buddy is another adult that travels with you, whether for safety concerns, cost cutting, or simple companionship.
However, many solo travelers, especially older adults, travel solo because they don’t personally know anyone that can or wants to travel with them. This can make finding a travel buddy a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. Luckily, there are tons of different websites, apps, and forums dedicated to connecting like-minded travels for adventures around the world.
If you’re interested in finding a travel buddy, check these out:
- GAFFL – This website connects travelers by allowing them to search for trips based on budget, location, and experiences. You can join existing trips, or start your own.
- Trip Together – This free social platform has an app and a website that allow you to filter potential travel buddies by various criteria like age, gender, destination, and travel dates. The platform also highlights common interests so you can message people you like.
- Trip Giraffe – You can either create a trip for other people to join, or join a pre-existing trip on this website. Trip listings usually have details like the trip style, budget, and rooming type, and sometimes have message boards where other travelers can leave tips and personal stories.
- Travel Sisters – Sorry men, this app is for women only. Designed to connect female travelers from all around the world, Travel Sisters seeks to empower women to explore on their own while giving back and meeting other like-minded women.
- 5W – 5W, or Women Welcome Women WorldWide, has been connecting female travelers from around the world sine 1984. 5W seeks to create a network of women from across the globe to offer hospitality, companionship and guidance throughout travels.
- Global Greeter Network – This nonprofit is platform that allows locals to create greeting programs to welcome and educate travelers. The most common program offered is free personal walking tours given by volunteers. It takes a few weeks to go through the entire process, to be sure to plan well in advance.
- CSTN Google Group – This Google group is all about connecting solo travelers through message boards, forums and ads. The group currently has over 1900 active members, most of whom are older adults.
- Travello – Billed as a “social network for travelers,” this app allows you to build a profile, create a trip, and search for potential buddies with similar interests and goals. The app also has great features like tips on where to find local WiFi spots and meet-ups.
All of these websites, apps and groups have security and safety measures in place to help protect members from scammers and other potential threats. However, even with these measures, it’s always a good idea to exercise caution when meeting someone from the Internet. Keep these 3 tips in mind for safety:
- Stay in Public – Stay in public places for a day or two when you first meet someone. This gives you a chance to really get to know them before you commit to travel.
- Be Proactive – Rather than simply waiting for others to contact you about traveling together, be proactive and reach out to people that interest you.
- Take Your Time – Traveling with someone can be a big commitment, so you should take your time and really consider the decision. Don’t feel pressured to agree to meet someone else’s timeline.
Traveling alone can be wonderful, but so can traveling with a travel buddy. Use these dos and don’ts to help you find the perfect companion for your next adventure.
Have you ever traveled with a buddy? Let us know in the comments!