This Tool Is A Great Way To Meet New People While Traveling

Something they don't tell you when you're growing up is that it gets much harder to meet people and make friends as you get older. Sure, you will still interact with plenty of people on a day-to-day basis while you're out in the world. However, very few of them will be new social or romantic additions to your life.

Older generations will typically say that you should just go out and strike up a conversation with someone. It's what's known as the "old-fashioned way" now. But due to changes brought about by shifting cultural perceptions toward strangers and anxiety — thanks to a lockdown courtesy of a global pandemic — people go out very differently than they did in the past. Typically, people will go to bars or restaurants with friends that they already know rather than making new connections. In fact, if someone goes up to another person in public, many times they're considered a creeper — or an influencer, which may or may not be worse.

With that being the case, how does one find others who are open and willing to become new acquaintances or even friends? Or simpler yet, how does someone traveling alone find a friendly face that isn't being paid to pay attention to you like a bartender? Just like many other things in this day and age, there's an app for that.

App-ily ever after

If you look at your phone right now, there's a good chance that the majority of its storage is being taken up by apps. Uber and Lyft will get you around town. Grubhub and GoPuff will bring you food if you decide to stay in. And if you're looking for a significant other to help you decide which option sounds best on your night off, then you probably have Hinge or Bumble. If you're looking for more of a platonic companion to spend some time with, then Meetup is the app for the job.

As Her Packing List points out, the options are limitless. After you sign up, you can search for groups based on your interests. Maybe you're looking for groups that meet up for happy hour at the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in the area. Or you want to venture out with a group that takes walks while practicing their photography skills. You might even be interested in some alleycats to join you for a game of bowling. There are groups specifically for each of those interests and more on Meetup.

For more information on which groups are worth your time, look at their previous events before joining. The past meetups will give you a good idea of what to expect in terms of what events they organize and how many people show up. Are their outings interesting to you? Are the turnouts massive or small but mighty? This is how you find out.

Trust the process

If you're looking to Meetup in order to connect with others while traveling, make sure that you start your search for groups weeks ahead of your travel dates. In many cases, events will be planned well in advance and require an RSVP. Plus, groups may deny your admission for not being a local. In both cases, if you plan ahead, there's still time to find an alternative course of action.

If you're not much of a planner and looking for more of a go-with-the-flow type of adventure, there are other ways to find your interests in a new city. While Ticketmaster or LiveNation spotlight more mainstream acts, Eventbrite features concerts or performances in smaller venues. For example, if you're interested in the local burlesque scene of the area you're visiting, this site is a good place to start your search. For the more social media-savvy travelers, Instagram hashtags and Facebook events can offer similar results.

However, the whole idea is to find stuff you want to do AND meet people while doing it, right? Well, if you decide to take the Eventbrite or Facebook routes, you're halfway there. You would just need to try your hand at the old-fashioned way of meeting people to get the rest of the way.