Meeting new people is one of the best parts of traveling the world, but for those solo-traveling making friends is not always easy. Luckily, there are plenty of options that can help travelers meet new people and make amazing memories.
Of course, you could meet people the old-fashioned way by going out to a bar or coffeehouse and striking up a conversation with someone, but many people prefer to download an app that connects you with other travelers looking for friends in the same city.
There are plenty of apps that offer these services, and some you may already have on your phone. BumbleBFF and Tinder Passport are facets of the popular dating apps: Bumble and Tinder. Each has a “friend” or “travel mode” which allows you to market your profile to people in the region who are also looking for friends. In international cities, these are often travelers who are looking for people to explore the area with. After you enter the friend or travel mode, use the apps as you usually would. Swipe through users and match or chat when you see a potential friend or travel buddy.
Other apps like Hostelworld, which is typically used to book hostels, have functions that allow you to join group chats with other people at your destinations. These group chats are divided by country. So if you’re planning a trip to Spain you can download the app, join the Spain group chat and message the group to see if anyone will be in Barcelona at the same time as you. Once you join the group you’ll see that groups of travelers make plans to meet up for dinner or drinks on a daily basis all over the world.
Hostelworld also just launched Roamies, their newest program that organizes trips with hostel stays and adventures to be enjoyed by like-minded travelers.
Workaway, a global work exchange platform, also features this function. Once you make a profile, you can opt in to chat with other travelers and accept message requests. Some travelers will even make plans to travel together after meeting on the app.
If you really want to put yourself out there, try your luck with Couchsurfing, where you can make a profile, meet up with other users, and eventually…sleep on their couch for free. This option, if utilized correctly can make you new friends and get you free accommodation.
Meetup features group activities and plans so you can make friends through shared interests. You can join a specific travel group in your area, or you can select the type of activities you’re hoping to engage in like dining, nightlife, hiking, adventuring, and more. Just filter through a list of the most popular travel groups near you. For the more timid solo-traveler this app offers more safe and structured ways to interact with new people. It also offers the opportunity to not just meet new people, but make amazing memories with them.