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Traveling solo, looking for others at same destinations

Newburgh, New York
Level Contributor
10 posts
3 reviews
Traveling solo, looking for others at same destinations

Does anyone know of places online where fellow travelers can find each other in advance of the trip? I found one (travelmatesonline.com) but it doesn't seem very active and is more geared toward those looking for a single other person to share accommodations with. It also has a bit of a dating service feel that I'm not going for.

Rather, I'm just open to finding others at one of my destinations (specifically Belgium in July '09) to enjoy seeing sights with. I like meeting folks while traveling, but I'm not the type to start up a random conversation in a pub with a stranger.

It seems some here may not consider this solo travel but it seems the right place to ask the question. Apologies if that's not the case!

Thanks,

~Doug

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
68,142 posts
72 reviews
1. Re: Traveling solo, looking for others at same destinations

The odds of someone here going on the same exact trip as you are planning is kind of low. I'd go to the Belgium forums and start asking a lot of questions and in that way you might meet others interested in visiting Belgium.

Other than that I'd suggest you get better at starting random conversations. It doesn't have to be in a pub.

When I travel I talk to people on the train,at restaurants, in stores, cafes etc. Lots of places to chat with folks.

Seattle
Level Contributor
51,615 posts
22 reviews
2. Re: Traveling solo, looking for others at same destinations

In advance of the trip, I would post your question on European forums. Here on TA - is there a Belgium forum? And the Western Europe forum at Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, maybe Fodor's (though that board skews a bit older generally).

Also try to get some leads to internet forums specific to the places you will be visiting.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
Level Contributor
11,045 posts
28 reviews
3. Re: Traveling solo, looking for others at same destinations

Progfrog, If you fill in your TA profile, you may get a more focused reply, whether here or on the Belgium Forum.

As it is, no one would know whether you like history or underground clubs (or both), whether you are 18 or 60 and whether you care that your sightseeing companion is one or the other.

The Guardian had a recent series about "couch surfing" which sounded like a really interesting way to meet people while travelling. The age range of the hosts and of the travellers was much wider than I would have expected.

I have just discovered that Japan has "volunteer guides", Belgium might as well. That would be a good quesion to ask on the Belgium Forum, as would something like "Is anyone going to be in Bruges on the xx July who would like to ....?"

The TA London Forum (TALF) has "meets" a couple of times a month at dates which appear on the London Forum. They include both visitors and locals and are often great fun. An enquiry on the Belgium Forum (or even a suggestion, might yeild results.

And IMO, just because you would like to meet up with someone for some aspect of travel doesn't mean you aren't travelling alone.

Seattle
Level Contributor
51,615 posts
22 reviews
4. Re: Traveling solo, looking for others at same destinations

Another way to possibly meet people is signing up for specific things like a cooking class, language class, walking tour, bike ride, museum tour, etc.

Littlehampton...
Level Contributor
643 posts
452 reviews
5. Re: Traveling solo, looking for others at same destinations

Hi Progfrog

You could try posting on the forum of

www.realtravelmag.com

The website has only been active for a few months but I've seen a few similar posts on their forum, as well as a good tips and photograpy section.

Sounds pretty much like solo travel to me! Where are you planning to visit in Belgium? I especially loved Bruges, with it's canals, winding cobbled streets, sense of history and chocolate shops! It will probably be quite crowded in July, but...it's beautiful.

One guaranteed way I've found to meet people while travelling is to wear my slr camera around my neck - it automatically starts conversations with fellow photographers. Obviously I don't try this if I'm walking about alone at night...!

Newburgh, New York
Level Contributor
10 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: Traveling solo, looking for others at same destinations

Thanks for your thoughts, everyone! As several have suggested, I have put up a post on the Belgium forums. I've also updated my profile.

Couchsurfing seems like a great idea, and I'm going to look into that. Here's the website if others are interested:

http://www.couchsurfing.org/

As for where I am going, I will be using Brussels as a jumping off point, and in all likelihood will do a day trip to Brugge one of the days.

I'm definitely traveling solo, but I was aware that a post like mine could get a "this is not a meetup site" kind of response, hence the cautious tone.

London
Level Contributor
8,329 posts
98 reviews
7. Re: Traveling solo, looking for others at same destinations

Staying in hostels is an easy way to meet people, since there are almost always others in the same position as you. There are natural points to start up conversations, such as in the communal kitchens, or when you first arrive in your dorm. You can often stay in private rooms in hostels, but I have found that dorms afford the best chances to chat to people.

Cardiff, United...
Level Contributor
1,067 posts
271 reviews
8. Re: Traveling solo, looking for others at same destinations

Totally agree with north west londoner. its easy to meet others but you have to strike up convo.

Just get into a conov about where they have been , where they are going etc. Can they recommend places to eat and drink at and it will go on from there.

9. Re: Traveling solo, looking for others at same destinations

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