‘The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page’
-Saint Augustine of Hippo
In recent times, it seems that more and more people are adopting the mindset of Saint Augustine of Hippo. They are venturing out into the world to seek out an adventure and discover their true selves. Travelling has become one of the most popular forms of recreation in the 21st century. Both young and older people are stepping out of their familiar surroundings to experience what the culturally and geographically diverse world has to offer.
Most people prefer to travel with family or loved ones. However, the number of solo travelers and thrill seekers are on the rise. They want to gain a more meaningful experience of the journey through meeting new people from different backgrounds, integrating with the culture of the place, having a greater amount of freedom in choosing activities for the trip and reflecting on oneself. Travelling with someone who shares your purpose and impetus is truly a blessing. They undoubtedly help you make the most out of a trip.
Having a travel buddy can make the journey more enjoyable and less lonely. It helps to have someone to divide the expenses with, so you can save up for your next travel plan. A companion minimizes risks associated with travelling alone. You will have someone to look out for you if trouble rears its ugly head your way. And so, the question arises – how do you find a reliable travel buddy?
The more traditional way of finding someone to travel with you is through friends and social connections. However, this method is outdated and often not as successful as you would like. It usually does not allow you to acquire a large enough pool of candidates to choose from. So, you might not end up with a companion who is compatible with you or your trip. The expansion of the travel industry and efficiency of the internet have made finding a travel buddy quite simple nowadays. The internet is one of the most effective instruments in obtaining the perfect companion for your journey. It makes the whole process almost effortless and offers you maximum benefits.
Travel Buddy Matchmakers
GAFFL is one of the most reliable and efficient websites dedicated to helping you find the most compatible travel buddy. It matches up travelers with similar travel plans and ensures the safety of travelers through their well-built verification process. The website’s multidimensional features match you with people for your own trip and allow you to invite other travelers. It also lets you join trips started by other users and helps you discover travelers at your desired location.
The name of the website being an acronym for Get A Friend For Life should be an indication of the fact that GAFFL not only caters to your travel companion needs, but it also allows you to build connections and have memorable experiences. Signing up is absolutely free, so begin your journey through GAFFL!
Similar websites and apps to GAFFL include Travello and Trip Together. Trip Together exists both as a website and an app, so you can access it from any of your devices. They all follow the same basic procedure in finding a travel buddy . You have to create a personal profile listing your interests and specifics of your itinerary, such as dates, destinations, activities, budget and type of trip, and you will get matched with registered travelers on the platform with similar plans. You can also join up with trips already started by other users. Travel Sisters accommodate specifically to the needs of female travelers. It encourages women to venture into the world on their own terms by providing a platform where they can pair up with other women travelers for their trips.
Servas, Workaway, Couchsurfing and 5W (Women Welcome Women World Wide) are international platforms. They allow you to connect with people across the globe and help you make lodging arrangements for your trip more convenient. All these platforms are built on the foundation of gift economy. They encourage travelers to gain a more fulfilling travel experience by interacting closely with the culture and customs of the locals.
Servas is a non-profit organization which allows them to stay with local hosts in different destinations for free. However, it does charge members a small annual fee, which we believe is definitely worth it for the experience. The Couchsurfing app has a similar principle, but here you can sign up for free! It allows users to be both hosts and guests and encourage guests to help out their hosts with small chores or bring small gifts to show appreciation.
Workaway is a more diverse platform which describes itself as a homestay and cultural exchange service. Members are regarded as ‘workaways’ who are expected to provide a portion of their time to help the host in exchange for accommodation and food. The website also helps you find a travel buddy by connecting you with travelers with similar itineraries, travel dates and destinations. You can sign up for volunteering events with registered NGOs, home sitting or pet sitting jobs for families while travelling, participate in sustainable projects and even go for farm sitting! The myriad of opportunities to engage and learn about another culture are seemingly endless with Workaway, and if you want a truly life-changing travelling experience, then this website is the best place to begin your journey.
5W is an organization for women, by women and about women. It helps women build friendships across the globe while travelling and connects them with female hosts for their accommodation needs during the trip.
Social Media Travel Buddies
Social media is another platform where people can find travel buddies through travel groups on Facebook, or by following and engaging with travelers on Twitter. Reddit is also a great social media website for connecting with other travelers through the various subreddits available on the channel, such as the Travel Partner Subreddit and the Solo Travel Subreddit. Travel forums have been around for a long time now. They are often regarded as one of the more traditional ways of connecting with travelers. Trip Advisor, Thorn Tree and Fodor’s Travel Talk are just some examples of some great travel forums. Here, you can communicate with people with matching travel plans. You can also discover information about destinations and activities to help you plan your trip better.
The age of the internet has certainly diversified your options for finding a travel buddy. Let us know which of the methods described here you are most likely to try and don’t forget to share your experiences with us!