One of the most daunting aspects of traveling solo can be worrying about loneliness.
Usually, it’s super easy to meet fellow travelers. You can connect with other travelers in your hostel, on the bus, at restaurants in the tourist area, on day trips… the list goes on.
But sometimes, its tough, especially if you’re traveling in an area that doesn’t get many other tourists. Or, if you happen to be shy or introverted.
So, how to meet people while traveling when the happenstance meeting just ISN’T happening?
For iPhone and Android, it’s hands down the best app to find people near you while traveling.
Seriously, FINALLY!!! A cool app to meet other travelers, locals, and to get advice that isn’t Couchsurfing.
I’d describe it as a Tinder for travel, without any of the hookup culture, and a focus on platonic friends. (Side note: I did formerly use Tinder as a way to meet and make friends when I lived in Thailand a few years ago, but apparently it was used MUCH differently then and in Asia, as compared to what I’ve been hearing now from my American friends. Definitely was not just for hookups when I was using it… or maybe I’m just naive!)
When you download and sign up for Outbound, you fill in information, including one photo, a brief description of yourself, your home country, where you are currently, and any upcoming trips planned.
Your profile will show all of the information you’ve added, including your upcoming trips, travel history, and if you’ve publicly signed up for any Outbound events.
Search and Meet Friends
After you sign up, you’ll have access to the profiles of other people in your area who speak your same language.
the people nearest to me who speak English
The search tab is the best part of the app for meeting people while traveling. Here, the app shows people near your location who also speak your language.
Because I’m in Brazil, and not that many people speak English, you’ll see that only a handful are within 10km of me. As the app ages and more people get involved, I’m hoping more English-speakers will sign on in Rio.
The Noticeboard Forum
My question, and a question from a girl who mistakenly put her Italy question in the Brazil category
One of my favorite features of Outbound, though, is the question and answer forum called the Noticeboard. If you’re traveling somewhere, you can ask a question about the city. It is really similar to Crowdsurfing’s forums.
When I went to Sao Paulo, I asked the Noticeboard for recommendations on must-sees and insider information. I got a lot of advice, all of which I ended up using! This is also a great opportunity for meeting people while traveling to the location you’re asking about, as you can connect with other travelers and locals that already live there.
You can also read others’ questions and answers, and take advantage of previous information shared.
One of the tabs that I haven’t really used yet is the Events board. You can sign up for events in your area, or add your own. This would be a great way for someone who holds events for locals and foreigners to get some added publicity for an upcoming event, and to connect with new attendees.
I would love to see Outbound add more detailed profile options (right now, it’s just a sentence) and maybe some interest categories, so that it’s easy to meet up with travelers with similar interests.
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