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There’s something warm and fuzzy about a travel website which is set up to help solo people meet and enjoy their travels, whilst also giving its profits to charity. The fact that this is a not-for-profit website is somewhat reflected in the haphazard design of the site, but its members’ dedication is clear, with plenty of content to read and enjoy.
The big stand out feature of CSTN.org is the sheer amount of creative content. If you want to read about a particular country you’ll find several articles written by the site’s members, including pictures and advice. This makes it a really useful resource for any traveler.
Unfortunately, though, membership numbers are pretty low with between 1,500 and 1,800 paid-up current members. Around 48% of those are from Canada, another 48% from USA and the remaining 4% from other places in the world.
If you’re interested in meeting Canadians and people from the US, this is fine, but otherwise it does seem quite limited. If you’re from those countries maybe you do want to meet people who share your cultural similarities, but if you want to experience a range of cultures, then this could be restrictive. The choice, as they say, is yours.
The site doesn’t work in the same way as some other travel companion websites. Essentially it provides information, contacts and planning advice for going-solo trips.
However, you can also locate “single friendly” organizations and companies which plan trips for solo travelers who don’t want to be alone for the whole trip. There are no profiles on here, except sometimes information is provided about people who have written articles for the site.
Membership is cheap, particularly given that it’s a life-long subscription. However, you only really get access to information and contact details, which you can probably find for free if you put in the effort. That said, this does make it a bit easier, and there’s a lot of advice from real travellers which you might not get elsewhere.
It would make sense, however, for there to be more community features so that members could chat, ask questions and generally pass on advice, even arranging to meet in a particular place. This would give the site another dimension.
Connecting Solo Travel Network has a lot to offer but it is more like an information resource than a tool for helping you to locate specific travellers to have adventures with. Still, life-long membership is cheap and it’s good to support a charity, so it’s not a rip off, but it might not provide what everyone is looking for, particularly if you want to meet people outside of North America.
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