How to find a Travel Buddy or Travel Friends

Tired of travelling alone, but not sure how to find travel buddies online or in person?  Planning a big trip but want a travel buddy for some company along the way?  Love solo travel but want to meet some travel friends to socialise with?  There are lots of ways to find a travel buddy so I’ve brought together all my tips and suggestions for the best ways to meet people while travelling – and before you even step out the door!

This website contains sponsored and affiliate links. If you click through the links on this page and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support. [Learn more]

As you read through this guide, remember that figuring out how to find travel buddies doesn’t have to be hard – or scary!  With all of the resources available for solo travellers these days you can find an awesome travel buddy to enjoy your adventures with safely.

Benefits of Having a Travel Buddy vs Travelling Alone

I love travelling alone, but there are definitely perks to having a travel buddy along for the ride.  While there are many benefits of solo travel, some of the disadvantages of travelling alone include loneliness, safety concerns and the stress of having to plan everything yourself!

Having someone to share experiences with can make the journey all the more enjoyable. Plus, two heads are better than one when it comes to planning logistics and navigating unfamiliar surroundings.

Splitting costs can also be a major advantage when travelling with a buddy, making it possible to stretch your budget further and perhaps even splurge on a special activity or meal. Then there’s the added safety factor of having someone else you trust to look out for you.

Whether you prefer solo travel and just want to make some travel friends or are always on the lookout for a travel partner, it’s important to find someone you get along with and who you can trust.

Group of Travel Friends on the Beach at Sunset
Group of Travel Friends on the Beach at Sunset

Identifying and Choosing the Right Travel Companion

Choosing the right travel buddy can make or break your trip so it’s important to find someone who shares your travel style and goals.

A good travel companion should be flexible, adaptable, and open-minded, and should also be able to compromise and communicate effectively. It’s also important to consider practical factors such as transportation, lodging, and budget when selecting a travel partner.

How to meet Travel Buddies while Travelling

If you’re already travelling alone but would like some company for the next part of the trip, or just want to socialise with some travel friends, I’ve got some great ideas for you.

Meeting people while travelling might not be as easy as you’d think, especially if you’re not a 20-year-old backpacker, but if you are brave enough to travel alone in the first place then you are brave enough to start a conversation with someone!

Solo travellers in general are quite open to new experiences and to meeting new people, so don’t be afraid to approach someone.  It can be nerve-wracking at first, but even just chatting about the weather or complimenting them on their clothes can be a great ice-breaker.

If you’re travelling slowly and are spending a long time in one destination or if you’re a digital nomad then you have more time to integrate with the social scene and the local community, so you can join a club or take part in more cultural events.

Here are some suggestions for how to meet travel friends and have fun while you’re travelling alone:

Stay in Hostels

Hostels are a great place to meet other travellers who are also looking for new friends. Staying in a shared dorm room means you have potential travel buddies staying in the bed right next to you!

Even if you prefer to stay in a private room you can still socialize in the common areas or join group activities organized by the hostel.  I love it when hostels arrange social events, it is a great excuse to talk to people! 

Playing pool and Socialising at the Hostel Bar in Wombats London
Playing pool and Socialising at the Hostel Bar in Wombats London

Attend Free Walking Tours

Lots of destinations offer free walking tours that are a great way to explore the city and meet other travellers. You can join a tour and strike up a conversation with other participants as you wander around.  If you find someone you like, ask them to join you for lunch or share your plans for the afternoon and see if they’d like to come along.

Join a Group Tour or Excursion

Group tours are a great way to meet other travellers who are interested in the same activities as you. Whether that is a day tour to visit a certain place or a multi-day trip around a country you can become firm friends with the people you meet.

Tours for Solo Travellers

Instead of finding a travel partner for your own trip, there are also several companies which arrange tours specifically for solo travellers.  Some are sold as tours for singles who may have more romantic ideas about meeting a travel partner or a life partner, whereas others are designed for solo travellers who just want to travel with other people and make some friends.

These solo tour groups can be a great way to meet travel friends, but before you book check what kind of travellers you might meet, in terms of age range, interests and expectations.

Group of Friends - How to Meet Travel Buddies and Make Friends While Travelling
Group of Friends – How to Meet Travel Buddies and Make Friends While Travelling

Attend Local Events or Festivals

Attending local events or festivals is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and meet other travellers. You can join in the festivities and strike up a conversation with other attendees.

Join a Sports Club or Fitness Group

Joining a sports club or fitness group is a great way to stay active and meet other travellers who share your interests. You can join a running group, yoga class, or even a local sports team if you’re staying for a while.

Take Part in a Language Exchange

Joining a language exchange program is a great way to meet locals and other travellers who are interested in learning a new language. You can practice speaking the local language and make new friends at the same time.  I joined a language exchange the first time I went to Barcelona and loved getting to know people while improving my Spanish skills!

Join a Co-Living or Co-Working Space

If you’re a digital nomad or a freelancer working as you travel, joining a co-living or co-working space can be a great way to meet other travellers who share your interests. You can work together, socialize, and even plan trips together.  As well as social activities you can make some business connections too!

Group of people smiling while working together on a laptop - Co-Living offers the chance to collaborate and socialise
Co-Living offers Digital Nomads the chance to collaborate and socialise

Participate in a Homestay

A homestay program allows you to live with a local family and immerse yourself in the local culture.  The host family welcome you into their home so you can get to know them and their friends as well as other travellers who are also participating in the program.


Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and meet other travellers who are also passionate about making a difference. You can join a local volunteer program or search for volunteer opportunities online. 

Do a Work Exchange

Work exchanges are a combination of homestays and volunteering, where you work for a few hours a day in exchange for free accommodation.  Work exchanges are usually for a minimum of two weeks, but can be a great way to learn about the local culture and meet travel buddies.

You can ask if the hostel you’re staying at has work exchange opportunities, or join websites like Workaway or Worldpackers to find placements all over the world.  One of my favourite work exchanges was when I worked in a hostel in Mexico City, and we had regular social events in the hostel and just for the team of volunteers too, it was fab.

My Welcome Dinner at a Hostel I volunteered at in Mexico - Make Travel Friends while working in a Hostel
My Welcome Dinner at a Hostel I volunteered at in Mexico – Make Travel Friends while working in a Hostel

How to Find Travel Buddies Online

If you’re struggling to find a travel buddy among your family and friends or the people you meet while travelling, don’t worry – the internet is here to help.  There are tons of online communities, forums, and social media groups where you can connect with like-minded people who love to travel.

You can use many of these online methods to find travel buddies while you are travelling, or before you set off on your trip.  These are some apps and online forums that I have used to meet travel friends:


Couchsurfing not only helps you to find a place to stay while travelling but also helps you to connect with locals and fellow travellers. You don’t need to stay in someone’s home if you don’t want to, you can attend local events or meetups to get to know people.  There’s a small membership fee to join.


BlaBlac Car allows you to share car rides with other travellers who are going to the same destination. You can search for rides based on your location and travel plans, and connect with other travellers who are going the same way if you’re the one driving.  Not only do you save money on your journey but you also get to meet cool people too!

Workaway & Worldpackers

These platforms have a database of hosts who are looking for volunteers to help with their businesses, social enterprises or personal projects. You can search for hosts based on location and interests, and connect with other volunteers who are working on the same project.

I’ve used both Workaway and Worldpackers to find work exchange placements, you can read more about my experiences here and get lots more advice about work exchanges here.  Both sites are free to browse, but once you’ve found a placement you want to apply for then you’ll need to pay a yearly membership fee.


Meetup allows you to join or create travel groups to meet like-minded people. You can search for travel groups based on location, interests, and activities.  It is free to join, although if you want to start your own group there is a fee.  Some events may charge an attendance fee, although it is usually minimal and well worth it.


Eatwith connects you with locals and local cuisine. You pay to attend events in people’s homes or businesses where they prepare authentic local food for you to enjoy.  I joined Eatwith in Barcelona and met some of my best friends through foodie events there!  I also joined an Eatwith experience in Rome and Budapest which was a lovely way to meet local people.


Wanderful is a worldwide community of women who love to travel. I joined Wanderful when I attended the Women In Travel Summit (WITS) in Riga in 2019, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know this amazing community of female travellers. 

There is a membership fee, and a special membership option for travel content creators.  Most of the in-person groups are based in the USA, but there are some in Europe and if you want to start a group in your own city you can apply to do that too.

Check out some of the benefits of Wanderful membership, like:

·       24/7 access to an online platform where you can meet other travelling women and make travel buddies

·       Multiple weekly virtual events like workshops, happy hours, and more

·       Free access to chapter events in 50+ cities

·       VIP perks at global events

·       Access to a global hosting network where you can find other women to meet and stay with on your next trip

·       Special deals and discounts



Internations is similar to Meetup but designed for expats to get to know each other in their adopted city.  If you’re travelling long term or as a digital nomad it’s another useful group to join for socialising and networking opportunities.

Dating Apps

Dating apps can be a good way to meet locals if you’re looking for a date or something more.  Some dating apps like Tinder are more associated with hookups instead of potential tour guides, but if you’re clear about what you’re looking for in your profile and when you chat to potential matches then you might get lucky in more ways than one!


This is a community of travel industry professionals and enthusiasts who share a passion for travel. You can connect with other members, attend events, and join groups based on your interests.  I’ve been to a few TravelMassive events, usually while attending a travel conference.

Facebook Groups

There are numerous travel-related Facebook groups where you can find travel mates and get advice and recommendations from fellow travellers. Search for groups based on your destination or interests and put up a post explaining what you’re looking for, or search for posts already in the group for others also looking for travel buddies.

There are various “Backpacking XX” groups where backpackers can post questions and requests for travel buddies.  There are also several Facebook groups exclusively for female travellers such as Girls LOVE Travel and Solo Female Travelers.

Travel Buddy Apps

There are lots of other travel buddy apps out there that I haven’t had chance to use yet – let me know if you’ve had some experience with these and how you got on meeting travel buddies!

Most of these apps allow you to search for potential travel friends based on your interests, travel dates, and destination.  I haven’t tried any of these myself but take a look and see if you want to give them a try:

  • Travel Buddies
  • Backpackr
  • TripGiraffe
  • Tourbar
  • Travello
  • Wandermates
  • Global Greeters
  • Skout
  • Travelstoke
  • AdventureLink
  • TravelwithMe
  • TravBuddy
  • Travel Meet Date
  • Tourlina
  • Hey! Vina

Safety Tips for Finding Travel Buddies

No matter where you look for travel buddies, it’s important to keep your safety in mind. Conducting background checks like looking at their social media profiles and reading reviews can be helpful in getting to know potential travel partners before meeting in person.

Additionally, take the time to get to know your potential travel buddy through messaging or video chats, and never forget the basics of online security. Remember to trust your instincts when it comes to who you choose – if something doesn’t feel right, move on and keep looking.

When meeting anyone in person who you’ve connected with online, make sure you meet them in a public place where there are other people around, just in case they’re not who they say they are.

With a little bit of patience and a lot of luck, you might just find your perfect travel buddy online. 

Two Travel Friends with arms outstretched - How to Meet Travel Buddies
Two Travel Friends – How to Meet Travel Buddies

Tips on Making the Most of Your Travel Experience with a Travel Buddy

Travelling with a buddy can be an amazing experience, but it can also come with its own set of challenges. To make the most of your travels together, communication is key.

One of the biggest risks when travelling with a new travel buddy is trusting someone you don’t know. It’s important to take the time to get to know the person and establish trust before embarking on any adventures together.

Before your trip, discuss your expectations, interests, and budget. This will help you both plan a trip that is enjoyable for both parties. Additionally, be open to compromise and try new things. You may not always agree on everything, but being open-minded can lead to some amazing adventures.

That said, it’s important to trust your gut instinct and be aware of your surroundings, especially when in unfamiliar places. Make sure you carry copies of important documents and always have a backup plan in case of emergencies.

Lastly, make sure to spend some alone time during the trip. It’s important to have some personal space and time to recharge, so don’t feel like you have to spend every moment together. With these tips in mind, you and your travel buddy can have a trip of a lifetime!

Final Thoughts on Finding a Travel Buddy or Travel Friends

There are lots of different ways to meet people while travelling, and if you don’t want to travel alone then I am sure you will be able to find a fabulous travel buddy to come along and share your adventures.  Have you found a travel buddy through one of these websites or travel buddy apps?  I’d love to know how you got on so please let me know in the comments below!

Safe travels and happy travel buddy hunting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *