Solo travel can be an incredible experience. So can traveling with your best friend or significant other. But nothing beats seeing the world with fresh eyes and a new perspective, something that can be achieved by traveling with someone different.
This could mean traveling with someone you just met, traveling with someone who has differing beliefs to you, or traveling with an acquaintance that doesn’t immediately come to mind when you think of the term “travel buddy.”
You would be surprised at how a conversation about travel with a random person can lead to travel plans and then to a lifelong travel buddy. But where do these conversations start?
Here are five of the best places to meet your future travel buddy:
Once you enter the workforce, even if you decide to quit your job and travel the world, it’s unlikely you’ll have a colleague looking to do the same thing at the same time.
When you are a university student, though, you are still at a point in your life where your peers are just as flexible as you are. Talk to your classmates and get to know them.
One of my favorite trips to date was with a friend I knew from the honors program I was in at university – we were both finishing our study abroad programs (me in London, her in Madrid) and planned a week through Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest, and Bucharest.
This is the meeting place that most travelers are most familiar with. Whether you are traveling solo or with a group, the people you meet at a hostel are most likely doing the same.
Some will just be on weekend trips, but many will be on long-term travel, and a large percentage will not have booked their next destination.
Be flexible, meet new friends, and go with them! It was by coincidence that two girls I met at a hostel in Vienna ended up in the same room as me at a hostel in Budapest, but it definitely made the trip a heck of a lot more fun.
All guided tours come to an end – it’s inevitable! When it does, you (being the wanderluster that you are) will probably want to keep traveling.
Somebody else in the group will probably feel the same way. You’ve already been traveling together for a little while, so why not continue?
Talk about the region you are in and the things you didn’t get to do that you would have liked to do – then go do them together.
Your Social Network
Remember when you first got a Facebook and you thought the objective was to have the most friends, so you went and added anyone you slightly knew? Well, now is the time to take advantage of the time you spent searching and friending people.
You never know when someone you knew way back when is going to be at the same stage in life as you, ready and willing to travel the world. Or maybe you’re looking for someone to travel to Europe with you and you find out you know five-six people who have moved there and are happy to meet up with you in their home city.
Reach out to your networks as you are planning a trip, or even just dreaming of one – you never know who you might reconnect with.
Online Groups & Forums
There are so many amazing groups on the internet, including Girls vs. Globe.
Online communities like this are filled with likeminded individuals, so they are perfect for finding others to share your passion with! Whether you want to meet up with another group member in a city you’re visiting, or plan a whole trip with them, these groups can be a great resource for meeting a new travel buddy & friend!
Disclaimer: With this one, of course, internet common sense and caution is important. If you are meeting someone for the first time, try to arrange a FaceTime session or Skype call with them ahead of time. Meet in a public place. Do not book to stay in the same room at your first destination – instead, give yourself time to know them and to trust them. And make sure someone else knows of your plans.
If you prefer to travel alone and are not interested in meeting new travel buddies, this article is probably not for you. And that’s completely okay!
But if you are, give these five places a try. Be outgoing and honest – tell the world you want to travel! – because it’s highly likely that someone out there feels the same way.