Thursday, August 4, 2016

Websites or Apps to Meet Locals In A Foreign City

All thanks to a plethora of websites, befriending a local or two has never been easier. I like to talk to locals before my trip, it helps with my trip planning and makes discovering local hidden gems possible even before you set foot in the city. Don't you just love the internet? 
Kind reminder: trust your instinct and always put safety first.   

1. Couchsurfing

Call 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 & Instagram

While 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. TravBuddy

Some 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. EatWith

EatWith 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 Local

If 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. AirBnB

I 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. Meetup

Having a common hobby is one of the fastest ways to connect people. 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 Forums 

Although 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. 

πŸ“ŒFor 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!  

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