Long term solo travel is something that will not be for everyone, but those that do travel long term will often find that one of the most challenging aspects is actually keeping their budget balanced and on track, otherwise they can find that the funds run out. Finding friends to travel with is not only a good idea in terms of having company and the additional safety that traveling in numbers brings, but it can also really deliver in terms of making trips off the beaten path more affordable.
There are many different ways that you can use to find people to travel with, and while it may not be suitable for everyone, it really is worth considering.
Inquire At The Local Hostels
Hostels are a real hub for independent travelers, and if there have been people asking about how to travel on to different locations, or particularly asking for advice on arranging trips to out of the way locations, the staff behind the counter will usually know about it. These people are often travelers themselves, which is why others who are exploring will ask for their advice, and they will often be able to put you in touch with others heading in the same direction.
Use Social Media To Find Others Traveling In The Same Area
While Facebook and Twitter are at the height of social networking among your existing group of friends, there are also more specialized travel social networking sites that are ideal if you are looking to find friends to travel with, or simply looking for someone wanting to go to a particular destination.
One of the biggest players in this field is travbuddy.com, a website which has nearly 600,000 members, and there is also a vouch system that allows other people to confirm that you are a reasonable person to travel with. Another good resource for women looking to find other travelers is thelmaandlouise.com, which works in a similar way, but for women only.
Put An Ad On The Hostel's Board
If you are staying in a hostel, it won't always be possible to speak to everyone individually to see if anyone else is looking for ways to travel in the same direction as you. Indeed, in many cases, placing an advert on the hostel's notice board will actually inspire someone else to go to that destination, who may not have originally planned the same activity as you.
Talk To Others In Social Areas
There are many areas where travelers will gather when they have a little down time, and whether it is in the kitchen or in the lounge of the hostel, or in the local backpacker bar, talking to others about your travel ideas may just reveal someone with the same idea, or someone who is enthused by your plan. Even if you don't meet someone who is going to join you on the current trip, you may find that someone is planning a trip in another part of the country that you were also interested in, and the more you socialize the more likely you are to find others to travel with.
Speak To Travel Companies That Hire Equipment Or Arrange Trips
For those who are really struggling to find people to travel with, it can also be worth speaking to the local agencies who provide trips to the destinations that you are looking to visit.
While they may not always have someone else who is looking for the same trip, they can keep your details on file and put you in touch if anyone else comes in looking to carry out the same journey.