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BootsnAll Traveler Connect: Internet Tool for Solo Travelers

People who know me (and many who don’t) know that when I started working for BootsnAll back in 2006 I was, by any measure, the atypical BootsnAll traveler. At that point I’d never stayed in a hostel, I hadn’t taken off backpacking around Europe (or anywhere, for that matter), and I really didn’t relish the idea of traveling the world by myself. Despite having successfully navigated the subway in Paris alone (and thereby thinking I’d conquered the universe), at that point in my life I preferred traveling with other people.

Now, more than four years later, I’ve come to understand that although loads of people take off on what they call “solo trips” every single day, most of them don’t stay solo for long.

One of the obvious perks of traveling on your own is that you don’t have to compromise your travel plans one iota. Feel like spending an extra day or two in a city you’re really enjoying? Go for it. Want to skip a stop you’d originally planned on? No problem. You have only yourself to answer to, and someone else’s conflicting travel style or agenda never has to get in the way.

But something most people who aren’t into solo travel don’t realize is that solo travelers are constantly meeting people when they’re out and about. Sometimes they strike up conversations with fellow travelers in hostel common rooms, sometimes they share drinks with locals. The bottom line is that whether you set off by yourself or not, you have to be really anti-social to avoid interacting with other people the whole time you’re on the road.

If you’re not as extroverted as some of the people you know, however, but you still prefer to travel by yourself, the internet has become a great tool to help bridge the gap. Your trip planning might be all about the solo travel ideas, but if that research leaves you with no tips on how to connect with people, you might get lonely quickly. Of the many online tools you can use to “meet” people before you meet them, the one we’re partial to (for obvious reason) is BootsnAll’s Facebook app, BootsnAll Traveler Connect.

Not only does BootsnAll Traveler Connect help you find locals in the places you’re visiting (so you can ask them questions and get travel advice before you arrive), it also helps you find people who are visiting the same places you are (so you can meet up if you’ll be there at the same time). It all happens through the Facebook interface you already know and love, but you don’t have to “friend” a bunch of strangers and give them access to your prom photos. We think it’s a grand tool, and we hope you do, too. Please let us know what you think of the app!

photo by Peter Gene