Steven Couch (traveler)
2 years ago
Heading off to a foreign country with a
complete stranger makes a good start to a horror story. Joining forces
with a friend is ideal, but if none of your buddies can make the trip,
get them to help set you up with someone who can. Social media is
perfect for this purpose. Write a detailed post on Facebook about the
dates, itinerary and estimated cost of the trip you're planning. Briefly
describe yourself, your travel style (for example, are you a schedule
follower or a free spirit?) and some traits of your ideal travel buddy.
Post it and ask your friends to share it with anyone they think might
fit the bill. If you get any responses, ask your mutual friend to tell
you what he knows about the person before you sign off.
If you need it, the Internet has it. Numerous sites and apps have sprung
up to help people in your exact situation find travel buddies. Sites
come and go over time, so when you're ready to find a travel companion,
head to the platform that you use for downloading apps and search
"travel buddy." Alternately, search the Internet at large using that
phrase and surf through the top sites, or go right to your favorite
travel company's site. For example, Lonely Planet hosts a forum
dedicated to helping people connect with travel companions.
warned, though: Some of these sites and apps are popular with people who
are just looking for hookups. Whenever you post or respond to someone
else's post, be upfront about what you are – and are not – looking for.
Don't give out any personal information or give too many specifics about
your exact itinerary, and arrange at least a few video chats before you
commit to meeting.
Ready to set sail but
still without a travel buddy? Start your adventure with a short guided
tour designed for solo travelers. Offerings vary by country, but in many
places it's easy to find tour companies that market to single people.
You'll get an expert guide to show you the sights and plenty of travel
time that you can use to chat and bond with the other travelers. Even if
it's just a two- or three-day trip, you should have ample opportunity
to figure out whether you click with anyone. As the end of the trip
draws near, suggest that you strike out on the next leg of your journey
together. If it works out, you might end up with a friend for life.