5 Apps To Meet New People When Traveling Abroad

Traveling is a beautiful way to discover diverse cultures and open our minds. It allows us to expand our horizons, explore the world, and learn in ways that are nearly impossible without stepping outside of our comfort zones. There's no denying that the freedom to travel and move from state to state, country to country, or even continent to continent is a truly priceless privilege. One of the most exciting and fulfilling things about traveling is meeting and connecting with new people, often from different cultures and backgrounds. These chance encounters or planned meetups offer an opportunity to expand our worldview and look at things from new perspectives. Whether we form lasting friendships or 30-minute bonds over a cup of coffee, each meeting and conversation is a chance to learn and grow as a human being.

But meeting new people while traveling can be tricky, especially if you don't speak the local language. Even if you're surrounded by other tourists and travelers, approaching random people can be awkward and challenging. You can try your luck the old-fashioned way, meeting strangers in a bar or cafe, and you may be successful. But, thanks to modern technology, you can also meet new people via apps. 

Nowadays, various mobile applications and social media platforms are designed to help travelers connect with and meet new people. Many of these apps even have specific themes to help you connect with people who share your interests. So, whether you're looking to explore traditional cuisine, check out the local party scene, or find love, here are five apps to help you meet other travelers and locals alike. 


Couchsurfing is a popular and well-known app whose history can be traced back to 2004. Its purpose is to connect travelers with locals who want to open their homes to strangers — or, as Couchsurfing puts it, friends you haven't met yet. The app is home to a global community of more than 14 million users in over 200,000 cities around the world.

Signing up for Couchsurfing will instantly connect you with users all over the globe. Find locals who will let you sleep on their couch for free, or simply use the app to meet new people while traveling. You can create your profile and include details about your interests, like what you plan to do on your trip and whether you're looking for a place to stay or just want to connect with new people for coffee or sightseeing. While the app implemented a small subscription fee in 2020, the rest of the app's services, including assistance with finding lodging and facilitating meetups, remain free.


For many, discovering new and delicious food is one of the best things about traveling. Exploring an unfamiliar city and uncovering a tasty spot to eat can be extremely rewarding. But consulting a local is often the best way to find the yummiest restaurants and food stalls. Eatwith allows you to do just that and more. It's home to a global community of food lovers and culinary experts and helps wanderers connect with locals and other travelers for delicious adventures.

Use Eatwith to explore top-rated culinary destinations, meet up with locals for a custom meal, or showcase your culture by hosting your own dining experience. The app also features food tours, cooking classes, and homemade meals typical to the area you're visiting. Wherever you travel, food is an excellent way to get to know the local culture. With dining experiences in more than 1,100 destinations around the world, Eatwith is a fantastic way to explore the world and delight your tastebuds.


When it comes to apps and online activity, social media tends to dominate. Backpackr is a social media-inspired platform designed to help travelers connect with other like-minded wanderers. The site does not have a downloadable app but is easy and pleasing to use on mobile devices. It will even send you push notifications when someone is traveling to your area so you can view their profile and choose whether to message them for a meetup.

Backpackr allows you to browse thousands of user profiles. Find someone interesting who shares your hobbies and reach out to set up a time to explore together. There's also a common room where you can chat with other users, ask questions about specific destinations, and organize group meetings. Also featured on the platform are exclusive offers, like local tours, pub crawls, drink specials, free events, cheap food, and deals on hostel stays. Whether you're interested in planning a group museum visit or just meeting some fellow wanderers to exchange stories over coffee, Backpackr is a great way to connect.


One of the great benefits of exploring foreign countries is the ability to learn about different cultures and customs. However, doing so can be challenging due to language barriers. Not everyone has access to language courses in school, and most of us grow up speaking only one language at home. Even if you do start learning a new language on your own, it can be scary trying to talk to native speakers. Fortunately, there are apps like HelloTalk to connect us with other learners and native speakers alike.

HelloTalk is a language exchange app that connects learners with native speakers and includes various features to facilitate accessible language learning. The app has millions of users worldwide and supports more than 150 languages. It has built-in translation tools to help with pronunciation, punctuation, and transliteration, as well as integrated text, voice, and video chat. Users can connect with each other to practice and exchange their languages, meet other learners and travelers, and interact with the entire community by sharing "moments." Moments are public posts that reach all native speakers of a user's target language and are a great way to ask questions and make friends.


Dating apps often get a bad reputation for being full of creeps or people looking for quick flings and one-night stands. But, as is the case with most things, people tend to focus on the negatives and overlook the positives. Not only can dating apps be a great way to connect with people romantically, but they're also a wonderful way to meet new friends while traveling. Bumble, in particular, is an excellent way to make new friends thanks to its BFF feature.

The BFF or Bumble For Friends feature allows users to search specifically for platonic friendships. It works like the dating app — you input your location and swipe through profiles looking for people who interest you. When two users swipe right, they'll be matched up and can start messaging each other. Use the BFF tool to find people to explore with while traveling or meet locals who can guide you through their city.

Of course, you can also use the regular Bumble app, too. Whether you're looking for love, friendship, or a mix of both, Bumble can help you connect with real people at home and around the world.


Before wrapping up this article, we need to discuss safety. Each app covered here can be a great platform for making new friends while traveling abroad. But it's essential that you practice safe habits when exploring a foreign country, especially when traveling solo or meeting strangers.

Some excellent tips to help keep yourself safe while traveling include sending regular location updates to a loved one back home, avoiding sharing personal information with strangers, and meeting up in secure, public spaces. If you plan to go out with someone you don't know, it's a great idea to stick to group activities. Avoid getting black-out drunk or taking drugs, and use secure transportation methods like Uber.

To further increase your safety, there are several smartphone apps to help protect yourself while traveling. From keeping up to date on the local weather to staying in touch with family and friends back home, these apps can add an additional layer of security to your trip. It only takes a second or two to download the apps, and you'll be glad you did if you encounter any emergencies. Remember, to ensure your safety and enjoy your adventurers to their fullest, follow these guidelines and practice safe travel habits. Then, go explore.