Are you wondering how to make friends around the world?
Would you like to see the world from another perspective?
Do you like adventures?
Are you looking for the cheapest way to travel?
Do you want to see the most beautiful places where only the locals know of?
Then you’re at the right place. Here at travelbackpackgear.com I want to help everyone in their search for the best vacation, trip, adventure,…
Make a trip like you never did before
There are multiple options for you here to make your trip just a little bit different from the normal trips you would make with a travel agency. Yes, I know these are the ”care free” vacations but if you are adventurous just like my wife and I, you want more. You want to see things that travel agencies never even heard of… You want to be in a foreign country and feel how it is to really life there. You want to life like a local, eat like a local, and explore like a local.
I know this may all sound exciting but at the same time it can make you a bit anxious. Thinking about traveling without an agency that looks over you or a guide that takes you everywhere can be a bit scary. All the stories you’ve heard of people getting into the wrong places and get robbed or whatever. Well I understand this can keep you from doing the things you really want but think about it this way:
- There has never been safer time to live than this very moment!
- Preparing your trip is everything!
- Asking people for help is free!
- Thinking out of the box makes you grow as a person!
- Opening up to other cultures can give you a totally different view on life!
See the world from another perspective
So please don’t hesitate to try another way of traveling this year. It can and definitely will change your life tremendously! Knowing that the world is waiting for you and that it wants to be explored. It would be sad if you’d stay most of your precious time in your hotel just because the food is included…
I will show you in this post how you can make your travels unforgettable and adventurous. It’s all about taking the first step into the unknown. When my wife and I started traveling in the USA we didn’t know anything. We didn’t know anybody, so we couldn’t ask for help or rely on anyone. We just had faith that everything would be OK.
After taking the first step, we ended up having the time of our lives and we are not even close to ending our adventure. This way of traveling is so addictive that you just can’t stop ;).
So how did we get so far? How did we manage to make friends around the world? What did we do to have the time of our lives and how come everything went so smooth?
- We planned and did a lot of research.
- We used a lot of websites/apps that make our travels a lot safer/easier.
- We got in touch with locals through these websites/apps.
Plan your trip
When you want to travel on a low budget, a travel agency will not be your best option. So you’ll have to do the research yourself. Thanks to the internet all the information you need is just a couple clicks away. There are some really nice websites that can help you on your way, wherever the journey may take you. I’ve listed some of the most important ones here below:
Click on the names if you want to get transferred to their website.
- Trip Advisor: Information about hotels, tours, flights, restaurants and much much more!
- Skyscanner: In my opinion one of the best ways to find the cheapest flights!
- Couchsurfing: THE way to make friends all over the world!
- Airbnb: Lodging for every price range!
- Lonely Planet: One of the best platforms for information, advice and tips about traveling!
There are much more relevant websites and apps with the same intention. I just like these the best and always found all the answers to my questions here. That’s why I wanted to share these with you.
Let’s go a little deeper into these websites so you know exactly where they are for and how to use them.
Trip Advisor is a website/app that is completely free. You can find information about almost everything concerning traveling. From plains to tour guides to hotels to activities,…
Here at Trip Advisor they focus a lot on reviews of fellow travelers. That’s why there are more than 320 million comments online.
Definitely a website to do some research on, they even have a nice app for your phone where you can easily read comments, compare prices and book your next adventure.
For me this is the best website/app to find the cheapest flights. I like the way you can compare prices on a monthly schedule. This gives you a good view when the flights are cheaper. Trust me if your departure is a day or two earlier or later, it can make a big price difference!
One of my favorite websites/apps of all time. This is the main reason I wrote this post. With couchsurfing you can easily make friends all over the world.
The program works like this:
There is a community you can join for free (or become a premium member), you get access to the platform where you can ask every member to stay in their house. The beautiful part of this app is that your accommodation is FREE. See it as a place where you can give and take. You can ask members to stay at every location you can imagine knowing that when you are back home you can do the same in return for other members traveling in your country.
Meeting people and making friends from all over the world is made very easy this way. And yes it’s scary to let people in your house you’ve never seen before, and yes it’s weird to stay at people’s place you never saw before. But the beautiful thing about is that you’ll get a chance to cross your boundaries and leave some of your fears behind. You’ll have to trust people.
There are steps, built in the system of Couchsurfing, that help you gain confidence and make you trustworthy.
- You need to fill out your profile as complete as possible.
- You can go Premium; this gives the people you are staying with a good impression that you really want to use this website/app for the good reasons.
- Once you’ve let people stay in your house or the other way around you’ll get a review and write one yourself. Other travelers will then see that you were either a good or bad host and that you left a good or bad impression. If so, you’ll be taken much more serious and people will trust you without even taking a look at your profile.
- Read the profile of your host completely.
A lot of people use keywords they want you to mention in your request to stay at their place. It’s logical that people do that. The reason for this is: you already let a “stranger” in your house, so you want them to know what they can expect. Not that they just send a couple requests to just anyone in the area and hope for an approval. This is not the way it works.
People want to know why you want to stay with them in particular. In some cases (when you’re traveling for a longer amount of time) it’s possible to ask for help to the community because you’re in need of a place to sleep for the day after or even on the same day. Most of the time there will always be someone who will help you out as this is a good and big community. If possible, ask people at least a couple days to a week in advance if you can stay with them. That gives them the time to arrange their own things so everything can be scheduled.
We use Couchsurfing all the time and have met numerous people that became good friends. For me this is THE best app for traveling on a low budget.
Airbnb is an amazing website/app where you can find nice places to stay for a good price. It’s similar to a hotel or hostel but you get in direct contact with the owner. So most of the time the “local” host can give you information about the area you stay in.
The price depends on the size of the house/condo/studio, the location and if you want the full accommodation for you alone. Most of the time if you want to make it on a low budget you’ll be better of renting a room instead of the whole place. The kitchen and living room are available as common rooms but your bedroom is private.
The difference between Couchsurfing and Airbnb is that you’ll have more privacy. Yes we use Airbnb once in a while to settle down for a week. As a couple we love to have our own place to rest and just do whatever we want. It’s not free but it’s a nice way to treat yourself after traveling for a while.
The Lonely Planet is definitely one of the best websites out there where you can find most of the information you need for your travels. We used this website many times for information about our next destinations, tips and tricks about pretty much everything concerning hiking, sightseeing, hotels and much much more.
Definitely check out this website, I’m sure you’ll find answers to most of your questions.
Like you see there are a lot of ways to make friends around the world and these are just a couple of ways to make your adventures easier. Start traveling, on a low budget, see the world and meet wonderful people. They will definitely become your friends for life.
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