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How to meet new people and make friends on a worldtrip?

Are you feeling lost and lonely at vanlife or overlanding? Here you find some suggestions and ideas how to get in touch with other people nearby

Socializing, meeting new people, making new friends - these are all topics that apply not only to us travelers. When you move to a new city, when everyone in your circle of friends has children, emigrate, travel - suddenly you want to meet new people.


Here are some tips and tricks I used to meet new people in new cities, while traveling or because I had moved.

Especially with vanlife or overlanding, with wild camping and cooking yourself - is after a few days times again a social evening nice.Whether BBQ together, play cards, restaurant, theater, clubbing or beer pong an evening in a group is once again nice. How can we get in touch with like-minded peoples?

Often you can read at social media how other travellers are looking for accompany. Sometimes solo travellers, but also couples seems too look for some cozy days. In this article I will show you some ways how you can connect to other people. 

Also when you did move to a new city or new location you have to find new accompany and probably even new friends. In this case you often have support because of the expat communities are pretty good organized. But meet other expats arent helpful for a local integration, so I will try to show too some alternatives. 

Camper tribe (previously named as "Traveler Map")
Are you feeling lost and lonely at vanlife or overlanding? Here you find some suggestions and ideas how to get in touch with other people nearby
With this App you can register an account and add your profile optional with pictures. After registration you can see on a Google-Maps like Mapview all nearby travellers (not exactly). You can add each others as favorites for sharing your exact location, or you can start using the builtin Messenger. Very nice to get informations about border crossings and required Paperstuff. Our Review: Traveler Map

Couchsurfing
Are you feeling lost and lonely at vanlife or overlanding? Here you find some suggestions and ideas how to get in touch with other people nearby for a cozy evening, BBQ or a dinner at a nearby restaurant
Are you feeling lost and lonely on your trip around the world? With the app Couchsurfing you can usually get hold of a couch to sleep on, which for us then means finding a safe place to park. The idea is that it's free. If you cook for the host or take them out for a meal. You are usually expected to spend time with the host, who will be more than happy to show you around. Most people react very positively if you are just looking for a cosy evening :-)
Couchsurfing did start to use a monthly fee since 2020, since the income situation and marketing didnt run well during the covid pandemic. With around 2$ per month it is still affordable.

Couchsurfing Hangouts
Are you feeling lost and lonely at vanlife or overlanding? Here you find some suggestions and ideas how to get in touch with other people nearby for a cozy evening, BBQ or a dinner at a nearby restaurant
Cosy socialising on the road, how do you make friends? Another feature of Couchsurfing is "Hangout". When you activate this you have to specify what you want. From your own text to "drink a beer", "go out for a meal" or "explore the surroundings", there are also templates. As soon as you have activated yourself, you will see other participants in a 20km radius. In urban areas you can quickly get in touch with other travellers.
Attention: You can see where someone is coming from. I have had great experiences with travellers, but locals (i.e. from the respective city) are often a bit lost souls.

Spontacts (App / Web)
Are you feeling lost and lonely at vanlife or overlanding? Here you find some suggestions and ideas how to get in touch with other people nearby for a cozy evening, BBQ or a dinner at a nearby restaurant
Here you can participate in an "event" such as dinner, sightseeing, hiking, clubbing or create your own event. The project is not yet widespread internationally, but offers many activities by locals, depending on the country.
Participants are usually single, friends have children and kids and no one has more time. So like-minded people quickly find each other for joint activities. People are open to travellers, often expats themselves. If you can't find anyone else in your circle of friends for go-carting, you have an enrichment here in your home country, too.

Meetup.com
How to meet new people and make friends on a worldtrip?
At meetup you can look for groups and events in a given location. Like spontacts it is made for people who are looking in their hometown for new friends to get in touch with others.
They do it because they are new in town, or because their friends enter a new stage of life with kids.
It dosnt matter if we feeling lost and lonely during our journey or if we are new in town - meetup is a great tool to get in touch.
Yes, you may have guessed it - it's more for urban areas! 

How to meet new people and make friends on a worldtrip?
Internations.org
Internations is done for expats. It is about how to connect with other expats in your city. You will have a warm welcome and will be able to meet a lot of new people at their regular meetings in pubs and bars who are often exclusively booked for their appointments. Expatriate, or expat for short, often refers to a professional or manager who is temporarily sent to a foreign branch by an internationally active organization that employs him or her as part of a foreign assignment. So you will meet well educated people who too like to get in touch. Too with travellers like us.
Like you can see at the right - there are too many special events beside of the regular group meetings of a given town. Link: https://www.internations.org/

Helpful tools for meetup non virtual
I suggest to use whatsapp public group chats for simplyfy your life. They are easy to create. This will avoid that you have to exchange your phonenumber in front, will avoid that you have to write where you are with your probably changing location during the time on severall plattforms.
A whatsapp public group chat allows to join-in just by providing a link. That way anyone can send their location and it is much easier to get totgether in bigger groups. Helpful inside of Meetup/Spontacts/Hangout Groupchats, where you miss a way to share your location. 

Conclusion
Personally I did love the feel of beeing lost or lonelyness for journeys of 2-3 weeks. But at a 2 month journey it would be nice to meet others, to hangout, kill some beers, playing cards and have nice discussions, specially if I am travelling solo. And even more if you are doing fulltime vanlife and are working remotely. 

Guess for fulltime vanlife travellers the need of accompany from time to time will be a lot higher, social media and the followers arent really an replacement for personal interaction.

Please write us a feedback about how it did work for you, or for any additioal suggestions. You can add a comment even without registration below!

I did optain a couchsurfing membership to see, if there are hangout still available since it requires a membership. At my last test at the 13.9.2021 in Zurich, Switzerland. I was happy to see that it still work, even with the corona pandemic sitation. 

Just "Camper tribe aka traveler map" is able to cover remote areas, the other options are more done for city`s and more urban areas. 

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