I don’t know about any of you, but I’ve been thinking in my head for quite some time now that there needs to be a better way for travelers to connect while they’re on the road. The greatest part of travel is meeting new people with similar interests and sharing new experiences together. Whether you’re a female solo traveler, a couple traveling the world together or an expat in a foreign city, making new friends brings its own challenges to each. Sometimes, it would be nice to know that there are a group of travelers from your home country meeting up for a drink or attending an event you didn’t want to rock up to all on your own.
There needs to be a safe, easy-to-use app where all I need to do is plug in my location, and BOOM – Travelers in the area pop up in my newsfeed. While I’d like to think I’m quite the genius for coming up with an idea like this all on my own, I have to give major credit to the masterminds behind the travel app, Outbound.
Outbound is the first of its kind when it comes to apps that connect travelers to each other. Outbound helps you find and connect with fellow travelers who have similar interests and may even match up itineraries. It’s an outlet to share ideas, travel tips and plans. It allows you to find a long-term travel buddy or maybe even just a short-term drinking buddy. It’s really up to you!
Even though I’ve been living in Sydney for 9 months, I still find it challenging to meet new friends. So I was more than happy to try the app out. Eagerly, I downloaded the free app, and set up my Outbound account with ease. First, you either sign up through Facebook or through your email. Once you set up your account and profile, you can search for travelers within your vicinity or even throughout the world. You can see who else is using Outbound within 1 kilometer of where you are, which is great if you want to meet up for a cheeky beer in the arvo without having to travel too far!
Outbound allows you to filter what type of traveller you wish to connect with – whether that is fellow backpackers, solo travellers, adventure travellers, corporate travellers, RV/caravaners, families and more! You can also filter your search even further by including age, gender, nationality, current country or different destinations. The app can be tailored to fit your needs anytime, anywhere. You can contact other users through individual messages or a group message. There’s also a noticeboard/forum type feature where you can ask anyone in the area for advice, tips, questions, etc.
One of the most beneficial features of the app is the Events tab. You can search for events created by fellow users, and join in on an event in the area, find someone to share a ride with, join a group on a pub crawl, make friends going to the same music festival or even go on a trekking tour the next day. You can also organise an event yourself!
And that’s not all… It’s not just about finding travelers in the same area as you. If you know you’ll be traveling to, say Bangkok, in April, you can click on the “Explore Trips” feature, which allows you to find people traveling to Bangkok around the same time!
Personally, I think one of the best aspects of Outbound is that it doesn’t define who you are as a user based on what type of traveler you chose for your profile. Many travel communities or networks I’ve found are based solely for one type of traveler – many are the solo female traveler. I’m all for Girl Power, but I’m also an expat, an adventurer and a couple. Outbound allows you to search and connect for any type of traveler you wish to connect with – despite what your “category” says on your profile. To me, this is huge. I find that as an expat, many travel communities don’t recognise someone who’s lived in a foreign country for 9 months as a traveler. Outbound allows you to be who you want to be.
It also begs the question, “Is this app safe?” I mean, all of the users can see where I am. So I spoke with the co-founder of Outbound, Ryan Hanley, and he assured me the app was made with solo female travellers in mind.
“In the settings you can decide if you only want to be seen by other females. There is also a block/report feature if anyone is acting inappropriately on the app. They will be immediately banned from the app. No second chances on this one,” Ryan said.
As a beginner on Outbound, I’m already seeing huge benefits by connecting with people in my neighborhood in Sydney. I’m excited to make new friends and maybe even join a meet-up or two! For anyone about to embark on an adventure, already on the journey or just got back home from a trip, be sure to try this app out! You never know what or who you may find!
Note: I was not compensated for this article, and I only offer reviews for services and products that I would want my readers to know about and use 🙂