For some people, travel joy tastes the best when it can be shared with others. But, if you don’t have your steady travel partner or your friends are not available during your best travel time to join you, then you may have to start your trip solo. The greatest thing about this situation is that on the road you can always meet travellers to share your adventures with.

You will often have opportunities to meet travellers from different regions while travelling solo. Hostels, rail stations, or festivals and other events are perfect places to find travel buddies. But usually, this happens unexpectedly and without any planning on your part. If you want to act with intent and look for fellowship actively, you can actually look for travel companions even before you begin your journey nowadays. The era of the Internet, social media, and online travellers groups allows you to create new relationships even before you leave your house.

Laptop on a desk and a woman sitting in front of it

 

Couchsurfing app – a great way to find travel buddies

Personally, I think the Couchsurfing app is the best place to meet travellers online. Usually, travellers use this application to find hosts and a place to sleep in their destination. But Couchsurfing has also a great secondary feature – to find other travellers currently hanging around in the same place that you are.

So let’s say, you plan to go for a mountain hiking trip. Of course, for safety reasons, it is always better to go with others. On the Couchsurfing website, you can switch your search results from “find hosts” to “find travellers”. This way you can reach any person who will be travelling in your desired region at the same time. All that is left for you to do, is to send your chosen persons a polite message, asking if they would be interested in sharing the journey with you. The answer to the perennial question of how to find a travel buddy is that easy!

 

How to meet travellers online – my own experiences

Besides using the Couchsurfing app for finding accommodation, I’ve been using it also to meet travellers online. And thanks to it, I collected a few great memories from my journeys, which might not have been so exciting if I had travelled on my own.

Romanian road trip

My first experience with finding travel buddies online took place when I was travelling to Romania. The travel was kind of spontaneous since I found cheap flight tickets and simply decided to go in the nearest future. Unfortunately, none of my friends could go with me on those dates. The place that I truly wanted to visit in Transylvania was the Poenari Castle and the Transfăgărășan road. But I couldn’t reach those places without renting a car. So I decided to find travel buddies, so that I could share the costs and the adventure with someone else.

I used exactly the same method that I described for you above. I sent a message to a few different persons and received two positive answers. My new companions were a French from Paris and an Indian living in Finland. On the Internet, I convinced them to modify their travel plans a little and visit Transylvania with me, and I hope they did not regret it at the end! I met the first one personally in Bucharest, where we rented a car. The second we picked up in Sibiu. We spent three great days in the car, travelling in Romania, visiting the best spots of Transylvania’s region, and having a really great time.

 

Two men seen from behind standing on a ruined brick structure
Couchsurfing travel buddies at the ruins of the castle in Romania

 

Caribbean adventure

I used the Couchsurfing app to find travel buddies for the second time when I was travelling in Martinique, in the Caribbean, with my boyfriend.

We wanted to join some other travellers on day trips to the best spots on the island. Once again, we used Couchsurfing to send a few messages to other people visiting the island. In the end, we joined a Polish family, travelling with a 5-years-old boy. We had some great adventures together, including hiking the jungle in search of a hidden waterfall, which was amazing. Before meeting them, we had not even heard about this place, which finally became one of my favourite on the whole island.

Looking for the hidden waterfall in Martinique
Looking for the hidden waterfall in Martinique

 

The joy of sharing memories

Some people might love travelling solo or even as a couple. But sometimes we need to find travel buddies for practical reasons. For instance, sharing car rental costs will definitely help your budget. In some cases, travelling in a group of like-minded people is safer and more reasonable than acting alone. You can always ask for help, and it’s easier to find clever solutions in emergency situations.

Today, if you wonder how to find a travel buddy, the answer is simple. Use the Internet, where all travellers meet these days. If you look around well enough, you will find some new friends for certain. And usually, this adventure will bring lots of joy and awesome memories.

 

This Travel Tip Tuesday post is a guest post by Dominika Bys.

Dominika recently decided to start a life as a location-independent person. She describes herself as a multipotentialite and aims to lead different ways of life. In the Caribbean, she founded a blog Sunday In Wonderland, where she shares her passion for looking for the beauty in this world. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook

 

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Learn how you can meet travellers online and on the road through Couchsurfing

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22 Comments

  1. This is a really interesting idea! I don’t use Couchsurfing for places to stay, so wouldn’t have known of this other option, finding fellow travelers. It sounds like you had some fun adventures. I especially like when I learn about a new place to go explore from someone else on the road, so love how the waterfall was a fun find like that for you!

  2. Couchsufing is great, we’ve done it a few times whilst travelling and not only is it a great way to stay on budget but more importantly you can see some amazing people, travellers and locals. Through couchsurfing we’ve seen some amazing places that we would never have know about other wise!

    • Neha Reply

      I know, right? I hadn’t really figured out the benefits of the platform beyond getting a place to stay initially, till I got into the whole community aspect of it.

  3. I like how the CouchSurfing app also includes “How to find other travellers.” Great if you are looking for a hiking buddy! I travel solo a lot and haven’t used Couchsurfing although I was signed up. I currently prefer hostels and Air Bnb. Maybe I will make my way back to CouchSurfing, particularly as a great way to meet locals.

    • Neha Reply

      Ah my travel style is pretty much like yours, mostly solo and a lot of Air Bnb/hostel/small b&bs. But I do like the idea of using Couchsurfing to meet up with locals as well as other travellers in the area.

  4. This is really interesting! We’ve never done couchsurfing because it’s very complicated when traveling as a couple. But this must be great for solo travelers. 🙂

    • Neha Reply

      I suppose couchsurfing is easier for solo travellers although I have seen quite a few people using it as couples too 🙂

  5. A lot of my friends are couchsurfing and I’ve heard stories of how they made amazing friends. I have never really hosted anyone or couchsurfed. Limited to airbnb as of now but would to bgive it a try.

  6. Couchsurfing is definitly the way to go for some folks … just not for me. I like my space too much. 😉 But then even traveling solo, I have never had any issue finding new friends whereever I go … I like to talk to people and now have friends all over the world as a result.

    • Neha Reply

      Ah I know what you mean about wanting your own space. It’s great that you enjoy meeting and talking to people, that much be great on your trips. I am on the introvert side of the scale so can find that a little difficult to do sometimes 🙂

  7. Couchsurfing is intimidating as well as fun! I stayed with my great hosts during my trip to Seattle and would like to try it more. Good to know that you can meet other travellers through it…not something I had given much thought to. Have you couchsurfed in India? Would like to know your thoughts about it.

    • Neha Reply

      I’m glad to know you enjoyed your Couchsurfing experience. Oddly enough, I haven’t used Couchsurfing in India. I have used Airbnb but not CS. I’ve been on some discussion forums and know that people do these real-world meetups, but I didn’t get around to actually attending one during a trip within India.

  8. I never would have thought to use couchsurfing as a way to meet up with other travelers. Great idea, especially as a way to plan something in advance like this Romania trip. Typically when I’ve banded with other travelers for an excursion it’s been a last-minute thing.

    • Neha Reply

      I felt the same way when I heard about it from Dominika! I wish I had realized this sooner, would have been great to try it while I was moving around solo on previous trips 🙂

  9. I have heard a lot about couch surfing and I think it’s great for people who like to meet others and don’t mind not having their own space/privacy. I’ve used apps for finding accommodations and it’s great to be able to book a room right at your fingertips. I’m not sure if I would every give couch surfing a try, but I have friends that would do it in a heartbeat. I just prefer my own space when I go to sleep 🙂

    • Neha Reply

      Ah but you see the whole idea here was to use Couchsurfing not to book accommodation but to actually find other travellers to meet up with. I think that is, to me and a lot of other travellers, one great advantage of an app like this.

  10. My partner uses Couchsurfing to meet new people when travelling too. And he made some afew good friends he kept contact until today. Just need to be more vigilant cause some people misuse the platform to take advantage of others.

    • Neha Reply

      That’s great. Yes I agree, there are people who misuse the platform, so one needs to be cautious and check the profiles and only go with folks who are verified and have good reviews etc.

  11. A good friend of mine has been couchsurfing for a while now and she has shared so many amazing experiences with it and met locals too. While I’m a bit hesitant to use the app for accommodation, finding some travel buddies makes it more appealing to me. Will consider it next time we (my husband and I) go on our next trip this year. 🙂

    • Neha Reply

      Yes, I too have been a little unsure about getting accommodation through Couchsurfing but I loved the idea of finding people to hang out with. Hope you can try it on your trip 🙂

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