How do I find a travel companion

Online portals: Find the right travel partner

In travel partner portals, strangers come together who have a common goal. We have tips on how to do this

From Cape Town to Cairo by bike, who will come with you? A user named Tim had posted this question on a travel partner portal. And Fabian Nawrath from Aachen asked: The tour sounds exciting, he wrote, when and how exactly Tim thought everything? He mentioned that he had already hiked the Alps on foot and cycled from Iceland to Istanbul. "We emailed back and forth a couple of times, realized that we have a similar sporting level, are more careful than risk-taking. We didn't want to set records, we wanted to get to know the country and its people," he says. Telephone calls followed, and there was a meeting with Tim Starck from Konstanz, who was two years his junior. Result: "We were sympathetic to each other and pretty sure that it would work out with us as a travel team."

The adventure lasted seven months and it was the beginning of a friendship. For "Reiselady", another user, the search for a travel partner didn't have a happy ending. In a forum she reports that none of her friends have time to fly to Canada. A lady answers with the offer to be her driver on site, but against payment of the flight and hotel costs. And some gentlemen are also interested: "The first one asked about my age and type. The next one wanted to make sure that I had booked a double room." The Canada plan is on hold for now.

Matchmaking is a game that depends on luck, but also on tactics, and it's booming. The forum www.reisepartner-gesucht.de alone lists around 1000 search entries. When comparing, it is noticeable that many users have more than four weeks to spare, or they want to explore exotic destinations such as Kazakhstan or the Fiji Islands. The majority of seekers are between 30 and 55 years old, and about as many women as men advertise, with women predominantly looking for female companionship; Men seem to be less committed. Experience reports are almost entirely positive: "Everything worked out fine, despite the age difference." And often: "I can only recommend travel partner fairs." Fabian Nawrath gives tips for the success of the travel partnership: "The most important thing is that everyone has about the same amount of travel experience, because it is stressful when someone has to play the guide." It is also advisable to clarify the basic principles before the trip: separate or joint cash registers? Tent or luxury hotel? "We started with a separate cash register, but soon found it too complicated and we got thrown together." "The itinerary and priorities should be defined and roughly coincide," advises Martin Lenhoff, operator of www.reisepartner-gesucht.de. "But if you stick too strictly to your own ideas, you miss the chance to experience something new."

And: "If it turns out on the way that you are not harmonizing, there should be a plan B." Fabian and Tim had agreed to continue cycling alone in this case. Which was not necessary, however. Tim only drove ahead once because Fabian had to recover from a gastrointestinal virus for a few days. "We were really looking forward to seeing you again."

Serious travel partner exchanges

Unfortunately, some offers are camouflaged single, sex or advertising sites. We have had good research experiences with these free sites:

The all-rounder:www.reisepartner-gesucht.de

For rather young users:www.joinmytrip.de

Expert for long-distance travel:www.weltreiseforum.de

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