There's nothing more liberating than simply booking a ticket and taking that trip you always wanted to. But just because you're willing to travel solo doesn't mean you necessarily want to be alone on your trip. And while making friends along the way is always an option, the uncertainty isn't for everyone.
That's where travel apps come in. Now, you can plan a vacation with like-minded people from any part of the world. You can also specify what you want to do when you get there. Whether you're a foodie or a museum fanatic, don't be afraid to put yourself out there. The narrower your goals, the better your chances of finding the right partner.
Whether you want to go on a road trip, explore a new city, or go on an adventure, GAFFL has you covered. The website will link you with other users planning trips to the same location and helps you split expenses beforehand, during, or after the trip ends. For example, when buying road trip insurance, simply upload your receipt and let the site divide the cost per head.
The community-based app lets you start a trip and list your itinerary or join plans other travelers have made. There is also an option to "discover" fellow travelers once you've reached your goal destination. The 4-step verification system keeps the entire thing safe and lets you verify your travel buddies well in advance.
2. Trip Giraffe
Trip Giraffe also gives you the option to start a plan or join an existing trip. Their listings are relatively detailed. Generally, a plan will show the location, travel dates, budget, vacation type, and preferred gender of the travel partner. This site's highlight is their blog, which shares stories, tips, and fun anecdotes by travelers.
3. Travel Sisters
Safety is often a primary concern for women who want to travel alone. That's where Travel Sisters comes in. The site links women with other female travelers, creating a global network of empowered women. Their company motto is to help preserve areas destroyed by tourism, which is why a portion of their profits are donated to charity.
Travel Sisters focuses more on direct communication than some of these other sites. Once you build a profile listing your interests and travel requests, you get matched with similar profiles. Then, much like Facebook, you can send them a friend request. If accepted, the two of you can directly message and chalk out a detailed plan. Of course, the option to start a larger event still exists.
One of the biggest websites in the arena of travel planning, Couchsurfing grows bigger each year. With thousands of members worldwide, the site has a strong network of travelers that it relies on. Members offer one another a place to stay. The system links you with a CS member located in your trip destination and lets you discuss details directly. Trips can range from a day to a week, depending on the individual. Other similar sites include Hospitality Club and Global Freeloaders, so make sure to check those out as well.
Meetup.com works off activity groups, which is an exciting concept. The local clubs will vary depending on where you're going. For example, Bangkok has multiple active activity groups for wine tasting, cinema, and photography. If you're looking for a specific crowd in a foreign city, Meetup.com is perhaps your best option.
What distinguishes Travello from other similar apps is the ability to link profiles. Once you have set up your account and listed your interests, you can connect it with your Instagram and Facebook pages. Since other people are doing the same, it gives you more information about your travel partners off the bat.
You can apply filters for age, gender, location, nationality, etc., but you can also join special interest groups. These can be activity groups like photography or cinema or demographic based communities like solo or female travelers. Overall, it gives you the best of everything.
All of these apps have multiple layers of safety protocols and authentication software. But even so, you should always approach strangers with caution. Take some time getting to know them before you plan a trip, and always keep initial meetings in public spaces. The basic principle is the same as going on a blind date. It may turn out great, but safety first.