Kind reminder: trust your instinct and always put safety first.
1. CouchsurfingCall it old-school all you want but in my humble opinion, Couch Surfing is still the best way to meet locals. This website has been around since 2004 and now it had grown into something bigger than hosting and staying. Nowadays, you can even request for a meetup (or breakfast, sightseeing... anything!) and if you are in town at the right time, you might be able to join a CS event held in the park of a local bar.
2. Twitter & InstagramWhile CS is undoubtedly the top choice to make local friends, twitter and Instagram encounters tend to be more casual (at least that's what I think.). The magic word is tags! #hashtags and location tags enable you to stumble upon interesting people living in your destination (locals or expats). You don’t even have to meet them face to face to ask for their recommendation! Simply leave a comment and if he or she feels like answering it, Viola, you have one local recommended street food stand to check out!
Some even find friends through LinkedIn and Facebook but personally do not like receiving emails or messages out of the blues… most of them ended up in the hidden “request” inbox anyway.
3. TravBuddySome of my friends use this website to find like-minded traveler and locals. Although it has a huge user base, I did not proceed with the registration due to the $10 member fee (lifetime access).
4. EatWithEatWith is a fun platform for foodies to meet local chefs. Travel, make friends while eating good stuff? That's the perfect combination.
5. Party with a LocalIf you’d love to check out what it’s like to live and party in a particular city in its most authentic form, Party with a local is the app to download. Free
6. AirBnBI call it the paid Couchsurfing. Although not as friendly as CS host (experience varies), Airbnb host can definitely recommend some hidden gem when you check in. If you are lucky, they might even invite you for dinner.
7. MeetupHaving a common hobby is one of the fastest ways to connect people. Meetup.com is a site to bring people who are into a particular interest together. And what about joining one of the free activities organized by local enthusiasts?
8. Others: Travel ForumsAlthough I don’t really consider online forums as a safe platform to meet new people, but if you are confident, just give it a try! Examples: Yelp, Virtual Tourist on TripAdvisor, Lonely planet Thorn Tree Forum.
📌For more travel tips, like Eat Love Travel Breathe with Miss HappyFeet.
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Thank you for reading.
Do you know more useful websites to meet locals? I am all ears!