Solo travel is arguably one of the best, most rewarding ways to see the world. You get up when you want and explore on your schedule according to your own interests.
But, even the hardiest souls get lonely at times. These three unique travel matchmaking services provide temporary companionship for solo travelers seeking a little connection while away from home.
Icelandair Celebration Stopover Buddy Service
Iceland seems to be on everyone’s hot list these days. But, the country’s long list of must-see’s can feel overwhelming. Icelandair’s awkwardly but accurately named Celebration Stopover Buddy Service connects travelers with locals to provide tips and advice from actual Icelanders. Each of the program’s “buddies” is an airline employee, including pilots, flight attendants, and ground crew with a thorough knowledge of their country. The plan is especially targeted at travelers honoring a special occasion — birthdays, anniversaries, or honeymoons — which the airline vows to help celebrate in a uniquely Icelandic way. The service is completely free and available to anyone making use of Icelandair’s Stopover Service which allows travelers to pit-stop in Iceland for up to a week on their way to Europe.
Kauai Dog Loaner Service
If human companionship isn’t your thing, the Kauai Humane Society sets travelers to Hawaii up with free “loaner dogs.” Given the island’s endless outdoor opportunities, borrowing a canine for a day is an awesome way to entertain both the dogs and their human companions. The pups are all at least six months old, spayed/neutered, and current with their vaccinations. The staff also ensures that they’re good with people before setting them free. They provide everything the dog needs for a day of play, including bottled water, a leash, a towel, poop bags, and a bright “Adopt Me” sign. The Society’s hope, of course, is that every traveler will ultimately adopt the dog permanently.
A number of websites and mobile apps cater to travelers seeking temporary companionship. Relationships can range from dinner dates to finding a travel buddy for an entire day. The HelloTel app (available for Android and iOS) treats every hotel like a mini-social network. Simply arrive at your destination, check in at your hotel via the app, and you’ll instantly be alerted to other HelloTel app users at yours and other nearby hotels. The app is extremely feature-rich with GPS tracking, private messaging capability, one-click social sign-on, and it even integrates beautifully with Apple Watch. It helps that the app’s design is simple, elegant, and super easy to use.
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