How it works
Sometimes you just don’t want to hit the open road alone. Maybe you’re nervous about going some place alone where you don’t speak the language. Perhaps you don’t want to pay a single supplement for an amazing tour package that’s priced for two people. Maybe none of your friends and family aren’t ready to leave the nest when the quarantine rules are lifted.
Here are a few ways to find a travel buddy:
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Join a tour group
There are least 15 people in the world who are interested in seeing,hiking, swimming, sailing or touring the same places you want to. These individuals turn to tour operators. These individuals become a group. You can find your travel buddy with a travel agent. While these are not the most flexible itineraries, all the arrangements are made for you. You don’t need to figure out where to sleep, what to visit or how to get there. Tour operators handle all the logistics. Plus, you have someone you can ask questions or get advice. You can find tours to fit every budget and interest.
Of course, with most tour groups, you don’t get to meet your fellow travelers until you land in your destination. You could be stuck with people you would never speak to or you could be happily grouped with people who become friends for life. Unpredictability is part of the fun of travel, right?
Become a seat filler
A trip for four suddenly becomes a trip for three when one of the travelers becomes ill, loses a job or experiences some other unforeseen calamity. To avoid higher rates, most people look for a substitute. You can be this substitute. Check with tour operators for groups that need to find a travel buddy.
Turn to specialists
Use companies and websites that specialize in organizing individual travelers into groups. SCUBA diving, snorkeling and sailing should never be done alone. Same goes for heliskiing or rappelling. There are agencies that will match adventurers based on skill levels, interest and destination.
Back to school
Individuals can take part in group activities when they join a camp or school focused on their interest. There’s surf and ski camps, yoga retreats, food tours, language academies and many other ways for solo travelers to find travel buddies. Not only do you find someone to keep you company, you are hooked up with people who share your interest, so you can bond. Plus, you will be linked with people who are at your skill level, so you can pursue your activity at the rate that makes you happy and as much as you want. Hopefully, the instruction will make you better.
Use your social network
There’s an old saying, “There’s a lid for every pot.” Well, in 2020, there’s an online community for every interest. Look for groups dedicated to your interest. This could be a general interest you have, like reading Harry Potter books. People who like doing what you doing in their everyday lives probably have other things in common with you. You may find a travel buddy from among your Internet “friends.” Obviously, you may find a travel buddy in an online group related to your vacation pursuit. Obviously, with anything connected to the Internet find out as much about potential travel mates before you make any deposits. Even better, meet them in person. Don’t be afraid to tell your online friends to tell their online friends that you want to find a travel buddy. There’s a level of trust that cannot be found in anonymous connections.
If you're still wondering where to travel to with your new-found travel buddies, then check out our blog on the coolest cities to visit in Europe and worldwide. Or our blog on the best places to visit, some cool new places you may have never thought of visiting before.
Click for company
There are lots of organizations that use locals around the world that will show solo travelers around their cities for free or for a small fee. Check out the Global Greeter Network for a free friend for a day. For a £37 (42€) annual membership, Women Welcome Women Worldwide offers female travelers connections to places to stay, company for meals or a cocktail, sources for travel advice, and even a ride from the airport. Bolder travelers flick throw dating apps like Tinder to find a drinking buddy or get insider information about a destination. Obviously, couch surfing websites offer users free places to stay and access to a wealth of information about your vacation paradise. When you sleep in someone’s home in a neighborhood, not a tourist hotspot, you get to really live like a local.
Roll up your sleeves
Research has shown that money doesn’t buy happiness; helping people makes people happy. Solo travelers can find their “people” when they do volunteer work. International groups like Habitat for Humanity and local ones gladly accept the talents and sweat of anyone with a willing heart. You’re bound to find some interesting people in a group of people focused on improving the lives of others. You may even return from your vacation with a renewed sense of purpose and recharged batteries.
If you're still wondering whether group travel is a good idea, read our blog on five reasons why everyone should travel in a group.
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