5 Apps to Meet Travelers: Make Friends Around the World
Is there anything more freeing or empowering than traveling alone to a new place?
While solo trips are wonderful ways to spend some quality time alone, they’re also ideal for meeting new people.
Thanks to modern technology, we can use apps to meet awesome people while traveling solo.
- Facebook Groups
- Other Ways to Meet Travelers Abroad
Website | iOS
Eatwith provides an incredible opportunity to meet people who share the most delicious passion out there: food!
This community focuses on food experiences with local people, and it’s available in more than 100 countries.
The process is simple: Go to the app, select the city you’re visiting and see what food experiences are available.
From Italian cooking classes in Rome, Sunday brunch in Napa Valley or a traditional Hungarian dinner in Budapest, you can find multiple events to join—either alone with the host or with a group of fellow travelers. You select the event, find the date and book your seat. That’s it!
If you love food and everything surrounding meals, you’ll absolutely love Eatwith. By using the app, you can enjoy local hospitality and have the authentic time of your life.
Website | iOS | Android
I know Tinder might seem like a sketchy option for making friends, but stick with me.
Tinder is a great tool to meet people in countries all over the world.
The secret is that it all depends on your profile. Update your description with a disclaimer that you aren’t on the app to look for hookups—just for people to show you around the city or to hang out for an afternoon.
There are plenty of people on Tinder only looking for friends. You can even set your profile to both women and men to see all your options. The most important part: just make sure you both have the same goals.
Website | Android
Use Couchsurfing to find locals whose couch you can sleep on. For free!
The Couchsurfing community connects you with people who have free space in their house and are willing to offer it to like-minded people.
But even if you’d rather stay in a hotel or hostel, Couchsurfing can still be a great tool for meeting new people.
First, you can create a profile and select that you’d like to grab a beer or coffee with people, not necessarily stay in their homes.
Second, there’s a feature that lets you post what you’re planning to do that day. People can join your group to participate in your plans. Locals and travelers alike can get together to have some fun!
Couchsurfing is by far one of the most popular communities of like-minded people who are passionate about traveling, meeting new people and making friends.
Website | iOS | Android
If meeting people with similar interests is your idea of a good time, then Meetup is the app for you.
This app connects people who share passions and hobbies.
From training for a marathon, to practicing a language, to having deep conversations about philosophy, Meetup is one of the most incredible tools for people looking for friends in a new area. Especially in big cities like Berlin, London and Tokyo! You could join a different Meetup every single day of the week.
Women who code? Yep.
Solo travelers in Amsterdam? For sure.
Fellow travel photographers? Absolutely. It’s all there!
Make sure you read the description of each Meetup group before you join. Some of them require you to bring an item, pay a fee or just read something beforehand. Have fun!
Website | iOS | Android
Initially, the Facebook app may seem more suited to staying in touch with loved ones back home than to making friends in new cities.
But Facebook Groups are incredible tools for meeting people around the world.
Before hopping on a plane, find a Facebook group targeted toward travelers with your needs and interests.
For example, if you’re a solo female traveler, you can join Girls LOVE Travel® and meet other women who will be traveling to the same location.
Want to get even more specific? Try Facebook groups such as South America Travel with Kids or Chat food travel in TW (Taiwan).
Facebook groups are incredible assets for meeting people in different cities. These groups are filled with posts and invitations to local events, where you can meet tons of fellow explorers.
Other Ways to Meet Travelers Abroad
Downloading apps is definitely the most convenient (and arguably the most effective) method of meeting fellow travelers.
But there are other steps you can take to meet people. Combine apps with these strategies and you’ll have a new crowd in no time.
Know the Local Language
It may seem like common sense, but if you want to meet locals, it helps to know their language. Sure, wherever you go you may find people who know some English. But if you really want to interact with locals as you travel, learn the local language.
You might find yourself picking up the language through sheer immersion—that is, just by being surrounded by the language.
Give yourself a boost with a language learning program like FluentU. This immersion program will prepare you for real spoken languages since it teaches through authentic videos like movie clips, music videos, vlogs and more.
Watch videos to pick up on vocabulary that you might encounter on your travels like food and local customs. You can save vocabulary directly from videos and study them through personalized quizzes that also let you practice pronunciation with speaking questions.
FluentU is available in 10 languages, and has an iOS and Android app, so it can come on your travels with you.
Keep an Open Mind
Keep an open mind when you meet people abroad. Don’t judge them based on your preconceptions of their culture, race or gender. The entire point of traveling is to open your mind, right?
The best thing about meeting people abroad is that you probably wouldn’t have met anyone like them back home. Differences in age, style, music preferences and many other tiny details are easily forgotten when you both share a passion for traveling and experience adventures together.
There are interesting people in hostels, cafes, stores and shopping malls. Make sure you keep an open mind so you can spot them.
Find Tours About What You Love
Going on guided tours is a great way to both learn about the culture and meet fellow travelers. And since those travelers on the same tour you are, they probably have similar interests! That makes tours a convenient way to meet people.
Take a food market tour in Taiwan. Or a walking tour of historic Sydney. Or a bike tour around New York City.
Mutual interests are the glue of new friendships.
Stay in Hostels (or Join the Parties)
There’s something magical about the common area of a nice hostel.
Everyone there is open to making new friends. You all always have something in common, even if it’s just that you’re travelers to this new city.
One of the best ways to meet fellow travelers is to stay in a hostel.
Even if staying in a shared room isn’t your taste, you can still look for private rooms in a hostel. In the end, you can have the best of both worlds: the privacy of a solo room and the social aspect of the common area.
Meeting people around the world with similar interests has never been easier.
You won’t just finish your trip with new friends. You’ll also have new experiences and a ton of stories to share.
I’d call that a win!
Debbie Corrano is a digital strategist and writer. She works remotely while traveling the world full-time with her two dogs. Over the past few years, Debbie has lived in more than 10 countries, learned a few languages and worked with dozens of agencies and brands.