Finding a Travel Partner: Understanding the Good and Bad of Traveling with...

Finding a Travel Partner: Understanding the Good and Bad of Traveling with Strangers

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Thanks to both social media channels and dedicated sites/apps for finding travel buddies, if we want to go somewhere, we don’t necessarily have to depend on friends, relatives or even family anymore! Like everything else in the world though, this prospect comes with two sides; good and bad. In case you too have plans to go on a trip with strangers in the near future, wait until you have gone through the following points.

The Good

Be it via Instagram, or through dedicated traveling groups on Facebook, it’s easy to find traveling partner/partners for exploring nearly any place that one might possibly want to see. Then, of course, there are the more dedicated traveling applications such as TourBar and GAFFLE for the frequent travelers.

Neither do we need to wait for the convenience of friends or family nor do we have to commit to a trip that we don’t want to or don’t have the time to be on. The whole idea centers around finding travel buddies instantly, or at least within a very short time, which eliminates the need to plan a trip months ahead, although that can also be done and is recommended if you want to save a good chunk of money on your trips.

Being ardent travelers themselves, the people from such sites are not only less likely to complain about harsh situations, if and when they appear during your travels, but it’s quite possible that you will have a few expert outdoorsy types in your group to help the whole group out of most untoward scenarios quite effectively. After you have been with a traveling group on social media or a dedicated traveling app for a few years, you too will become a veteran traveler yourself by learning from them. Also, by then, it’s very much possible that you will have multiple well-acquainted traveling groups to rely on every time you feel the need to go on a long hiking trip or dive deep underwater in your scuba gear.

The Bad

Until that time comes when you have made yourself a few groups from your travels, you would essentially be traveling with strangers. That can be a bad idea for so many reasons. Although it would be in poor taste to distinguish between men and women, there is no denying the fact that the dangers are significantly higher for women in such scenarios.

Your travel partner could very well have a violent felony record against them, or they could be a registered sex offender. Men are not safe either, especially if the stranger or group of strangers decide to rob them in the middle of nowhere. Since criminals like that usually do not leave behind any witnesses, disappearances are common for both men and women. In fact, sexual predators and organized criminals often use these sites to lure clueless travelers into their insidious plans.

Granted that such incidents are rare these days, thanks to both travelers and the websites being particularly careful about who they let into the group, but every once in a while, unfortunate cases are still reported, so it pays to stay alert.

What Can We Do to Travel Safely on Such Trips?

In order to travel safely with people that you hardly know, the most important step is to do a small background check to see if there really is anything in your potential traveling partners’ municipal court records to be alarmed about. Check all of your travel partners’ municipal court records on a site like Public Records Reviews first, before deciding whether it’s safe to go on that trip or not.

Municipality court records can contain vital records, property records, criminal records (including sexual offenses) and even details regarding whether the person was found guilty or not at court. This is a crucial and legally accepted step that you can take without them ever finding out about it.  It falls within your rights to find out more about the people with whom you are going to be spending multiple days together in distant lands.

Aside from checking the public records, you should also practice a few basic safety measures, with the most important one being the act of trusting your instincts. Instincts, sixth sense or gut feelings are scientifically proven to be a collection of senses that go beyond the five primary ones we are taught at school. In other words, your brain or your enteric nervous system (ENS) may have picked up information while meeting your new traveling partners subconsciously and the warning is originating from that.

Perhaps it’s better to just wait and travel with people you trust, rather than complete strangers, but if the wanderlust in you is too great for all that waiting around, be sure to follow the basic safety measures before venturing out on your own with fellow travelers.