Finding travel companions is a great way to save on total travel and vacation costs.
Traveling with a group of people willing to share travel services and expenses is an extremely powerful tool to significantly reduce the costs of your vacation.
What precautions should be taken before starting to find travel companions?
First of all, we must be sure that we have understood well (and that our travel companions understand well) the terms of the agreement to share travel expenses.
Too many holidays are ruined because we were not clear enough before leaving.
Cost sharing is the first thing you think about but it is also the easiest to establish and clarify: in equal parts and proportionally.
But the most difficult thing (which is often taken for granted) is in the terms in which participants can use the services:
- the arrangement of the rooms in the hotel or apartment (it is better to establish the distribution of the rooms and beds before leaving)
- use of common areas (times to be respected, shifts, cleaning)
- transport boarding agreements and methods (airport check, ship boarding, seats to be occupied on the plane, train, bus or car)
- use of common goods (rental car, extra services provided by hotels)
- travel program: departures, arrivals, returns, itinerary: traveling together so all participants must undertake to arrive on time for departures and to respect the agreed itinerary
- activities to be carried out during the holiday (do you always stay in a group or once you arrive everyone manages their time independently?)
- mutual fund (is it necessary to create it? for what expenses? of what amount?)
- emergency management (early returns, illnesses, thefts)
each of these factors could represent a reason for a dispute during the holiday that could last and have consequences (including legal ones) during or after the holiday / trip.
All these factors must be discussed and clarified before departure and represent very specific agreements that all participants undertake to respect.
What is the best way to find travel companions willing to share the expenses?
The temptation to be able to save significantly on travel expenses could lead you to underestimate the criteria to follow when choosing your travel companions.
Do not make this mistake and carefully consider all the points I have listed for you in the previous paragraph.
Consequently, the best possible choice is to leave with real friends.
People you have known for some time, with whom you have a good relationship of friendship and mutual respect.
In this way the possibilities of quarrels and misunderstandings will be limited to a minimum.
If, on the other hand, you have to find travel companions using channels outside of your friendships, Social Networks will once again be a very valid tool.
How to find travel companions using Social Networks
Search and sign up in Facebook Groups where people interested in your travel destination gather.
Publish your post and ask the community for information. Invite Group members to go with you or join trips organized by others.
One of the most active groups in Italy is ViaggioDipendenza in which tourists who are in the planning stage of a trip publish the itinerary precisely to look for travel companions with whom to share the expenses (as well as the adventure of the trip).
Other Italian groups that I recommend are
Viaggi in Compagnia!
Viaggiatori Intraprendenti (e non)
Uniamoci e Viaggiamo
Viaggiare che Passione!
where you can post a post asking members to join your trip to share expenses (and experience).
These are just a few examples of Italian groups but you can also easily find other groups, perhaps dedicated to your travel destination or the type of trip you want to organize and for which you are busy finding travel companions.
There are Groups dedicated to particular trips that bring together fans of a particular way of traveling. For example if you are passionate about motorcycle travel you could write your post in groups such as Moto Viaggi e Amici or World Adventure Riders where you will find a community of people who are certainly interested in your motorcycle travel proposal.
Searching on Facebook won't take you long to find the right Group for your trip and the right community to look for tourists willing to go with you to share travel expenses.
If, on the other hand, you are a true global traveler and you are interested in traveling all over the world then you will also have to search in non-Italian communities (Groups). among these the first one I recommend is
Looking for a Travel Buddy one of the world's largest communities of people committed to finding travel companions in all countries of the world!
Other international groups to look for are:
Travel Addicts Life
BEST Travelers of the world
Backpaker’s the Traveler World
Travelers Around the World
Obviously you will have to be a person with a predisposition for socialization and public relations (you can be shy even on the net) and present yourself at best in your digital personality.
The first thing your potential travel companions will do is go to your profile and Google to see who you are.
So if you want to have any chance of gaining the consideration of the community you have to take care of your online presence and, at the very least, you have to try to have a clear and information-rich Facebook profile (with photos!).
The ideal would be to also have
- a website / blog that talks about your travels
- well-kept profiles on all social networks
- contact information (e.mail, social network and telephone number)
How to find travel companions using specialized sites
Another possibility you can use to find travel companions is to use specialized websites.
The good Francesca di Pietro mentions in her post entitled “9 Siti per fare amicizie in viaggio” some of the main web portals that can be useful for finding travel companions:
On this site you can register and create your own profile to share your travels and try to find travel companions.
On this platform you can design your travel itinerary and then propose it to the community.
This platform was created to find contacts with people who live in the country you intend to visit but it could also be useful for finding travel companions with whom to share part of your itinerary.
In this case the main function of the site is to aggregate people based on interests and activities that can be proposed. It is a dating platform but you can also propose a trip and try to find travel companions.
- Trip To Share
This is an App that allows you to find people to share trips. At the center of the activities, however, there are people and not travel.
- Garden Sharing
This site offers you the opportunity to camp for free Do you love camping?
This app, on the other hand, is designed to help you find travel companions directly at the airport. After the last-minute search for the cheapest flight, now there is the one in search of a travel companion. Will it be prudent?