Meeting people, in general, can be hard. Meeting people while solo traveling can be even harder, especially for those of us who may be a little shy or uncomfortable around strangers. Luckily in this digital age, meeting others and making friends doesn’t have to be hard anymore! Expand your opportunities (and your horizons!) with these five best apps for meeting people while solo traveling.
In my opinion, Couchsurfing is one of the best apps for meeting people while solo traveling. Couchsurfing was the first resource I used to meet people while solo traveling in Albania during my birthday. I had great success! Almost three years later at the time of this post, I’m still in contact with some of the people that I met. I’ve continued to use the Couchsurfing app both on and off the road for meeting people, whether in Stockholm or my current base of Boston.
For the best success using this app for meeting people, I suggest posting publicly about a trip before you go. That way, you can get a head start on contacting others who will be around when you’re traveling. This could be locals or fellow travelers.
However, you can also have great success posting on the app once you’re there. Just open the app and click “Hangout Now” on the home page to post about what you’d like to do with others. From there, you can approve or reject people from joining your hang out. This will ensure that you always feel safe and comfortable.
PRO TRAVELER TIP!
As a general rule, never meet someone from Couchsurfing alone for the first time. Make sure that you meet in a public place and that there is more than two of you around. Also, if there is any reason whatsoever that you feel uncomfortable on the app or at a meetup, remove yourself from the situation. There are rarely incidents using Couchsurfing anymore because of extra safety measures and tips they have introduced in the past couple of years. But follow these guidelines, and you’ll be sure to have a safe meetup.
Couchsurfing is also of course a great way to travel around cheaply by staying with locals! The idea of it is that it’s an exchange, however, not just a free couch to crash on. So if you use the app for a place to sleep, make sure to offer your host something that shows you appreciate their hospitality. This could be an offer to cook a meal for them or give them language lessons – the possibilities really are endless.
PRO TRAVELER TIP!
Pay the one-time, lifetime membership fee of $60 to get a verified Couchsurfing profile. It will increase your chances of having others hang out with you, as well as getting potential hosts to accept your request to stay with them. What’s more, you’ll also appreciate when others are verified, as it makes using the app safer.
Related: First time solo traveling? Check out my complete guide to traveling alone for the first time, plus a FREE printable travel checklist + blueprint for first-time solo travelers so nothing is forgotten!
Another one of the best apps for meeting people while solo traveling is Facebook. The number of groups dedicated to solo and female travel on Facebook is growing every day. This offers not only a way to meet others but also a great supportive community! You can ask about pretty much everything having to do with travel (as long as you follow the admin guidelines, of course). From recommendations for traveling to a specific destination to looking for a travel buddy, Facebook is definitely one of the best apps for meeting people while solo traveling.
Meetup introduces hundreds of different opportunities to meet with others in thousands of cities across the world. This makes it one of the best apps for meeting people while solo traveling. The groups range from general travelers to super-niche special interest meetups, so pick what you like! Use the app to see what’s going on at your destination ahead of time and RSVP to an event if you can. The same safety guidelines from Couchsurfing apply to Meetup.
Many have mixed feelings (or really strong feelings) about Tinder. But I maintain that in your single days, Tinder is one of the best apps for meeting people while solo traveling. If you use your best judgment when meeting with someone, it’s actually a tremendous way to meet others and get the chance to be shown around by a local.
Of course, using the Tinder app depends on where you go. If it’s not a popular app to use in your destination and/or it seems like there are only creeps, then probably don’t use it. But if you’re into the people on there or there’s a cool meetup, definitely check it out!
Bumble is one of the best apps for meeting people while solo traveling because of the “making friends” function. Like Tinder, you can use Bumble to find romantic connections. But unlike Tinder, you can use Bumble to find friends, too. Open the app in your destination and see if there are any girls buzzing around looking for a travel buddy or someone to hang!
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