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How to Choose the Right Travel Companion Website

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Imagine you had a mound of money and didn’t need to go to work or take the dog for a walk. What would you do? Most people we know would decide to go travelling. There’s nothing quite like setting off to a foreign land where the food tastes better, the sun shines brighter and the people seem friendlier. Making that step into the wild unknown is exhilarating and life-affirming. You can discover just as much about yourself as you can the countries you visit, and people often find that travelling the globe makes them view the world completely differently. Suddenly the insular life we’re all too used to explodes and our eyes are opened to the possibilities around us.

Years ago, journeying to another country was a chore. If you were rich enough to get a plane you’d have to go through a travel agent, who took commission. Then, what if you didn’t have anyone who could come along with you? Travelling alone isn’t always much fun, and the pressure of having to make new friends at each stop on your journey is fraught with disappointment and awkward coffees. Stop your bleeding heart, our fellow adventurer! We’ve just the thing to help you remove the shackles of solo-travel: travel companion websites.


What are Travel Companion Websites?

Travel Companion Websites allow you to find like-minded people who love to travel. Some of them are veteran travellers (with dodgy accents and even dodgier tan lines) whilst others are fledgling chicks flapping their way out there for the first time. All’s fair game online and you can learn from the experiences of others whilst also deciding to travel forth, hand in hand (or just one behind the other if you’re not into holding hands). 

So how does it work? In most cases you build a profile, outlining what you enjoy doing, where you’d like to go and when you’d like to do it. Then other people can look at your page and get in touch. Of course you can take the metaphoric bull by the horns (unless you’re planning on a trip to Spain) and make the first move. Once you’ve found people you like, you can talk about the plans, and meet up. The world awaits! Not all sites use this formula, but it gives you the basic idea of what to expect. 

We’ve looked high and low to bring you the best travel companion websites around. But they’re all a little different. Whilst some offer package tours where you’ll meet other solo-travelers, others are designed for couples, or for people who are looking to find love abroad. We’ve sites that are designed just for women, or sites for individuals and groups who like to have the whole trip arranged for them. Whatever you’re looking for in a travel website, we think we’ve got you sorted.


What Important Factors Should Be Considered?

We’ve reviewed each of these sites in an attempt to help you to decide which one will suit your needs. We use a star ratings system to give a quick overview of the most important aspects of a site, plus we’ve completed a comprehensive write-up on each one. This written element explains how much a site charges for its services (or whether it’s free), the main features you can use, and an “editor’s verdict”, where our reviewers outlines the key differences, strengths and weaknesses of one travel companion website compared with its peers. 

So, to fully understand our reviews we’d like to explain, briefly, what each star rating means and what you can expect to find as you browse the websites:

  • Chances of finding a travel buddy: this seems pretty self explanatory doesn’t it? We take into account how many people use a website and how often they do so. If the website requests that you pay a fee to make contact, we think about how many of the members have done so. After all, there’s not much point in being the only member who can chat. We also think about things like whether there are community features available, like forums, which allow you to talk to groups of people and plan trips. 
  • Choice of destinations: you might find that some of the travel companion websites online don’t cover the whole world. It’s a big place, you know! Some focus on a particular continent, whilst others spread their wings a little further. One site might specialize in city trips, whilst another aims to bring people together on trips between countries. 
  • Search features: with so many members, it might be hard to find someone who floats your boat. Traveling with someone can be great fun but it can be stressful if you find out that you rub each other up the wrong way. Searching for people based on interests and personality is a great way to help reduce the risk of ending up on a boat with someone you can’t stand. We consider how many options you have when searching, as well as how the results are displayed.
  • Other features: can you chat to members? Can you share videos and photos? Can you talk about your experiences abroad, make blog posts, share articles? Can you rate hotels, trips and guides? We take into account what the site has to offer beyond merely helping you to locate a travel buddy, as all of these things can make or break a trip.
  • Ease of use / navigation: as with most websites, if it’s hard to use then it quickly becomes frustrating. The best sites are simple to use but allow you the control and complexity to explore them fully. 
  • Customer support: whilst you’ll be doing most of the research and networking yourself, these websites do offer support. Whether it’s help with something technical, advice on how to travel safely, or recommendations on where’s best to rent a canoe in Mongolia, they each have different levels of experience and support available. If you think you need this kind of help, then you might wish to look for a website which offers help with bookings, or live chat to guide you through the process.
  • Value for money: there are free sites out there, so there’s nothing to lose from your wallet. However, some cheaper sites aren’t particularly well put together or offer nothing in the way of support or membership numbers. This doesn’t make them good value for money. Meanwhile more expensive sites might have a whole range of extras which will help you to plan a trip and engage with its active members. Think about your trip as a whole: it’s likely going to cost you a lot. Do you really want to skimp at the start and have a bad experience thereafter? Some of the best sites are a little more expensive, but, equally, you might find a website which is free that offers you exactly what you need.


The Bottom Line

“All you hear is time stand still in travel, and feel such peace and absolute.” REM might have been onto something there. That’s all we have to advise for now. Take a peek at our travel companion website reviews and remember that each one supplies something different. If you know what you’re looking for, it’ll be all the easier, but we’ve looked at a wide range to help offer you enough choice to make your next trip one to remember!