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It just occurred to me while reading a blog about a backpacker travelling alone in Somalia, that backpackers might benefit from a website or similar where they could find others doing a similar trip during the same dates, and meet up or even travel with them.

It then occurred to me that this probably exists already; I'm just unaware of it.

Does it exist? Or something like this?

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You mean kind of like a dating website and/or meetup.com? –  Andrew Grimm Dec 30 '11 at 6:28
    
not a dating site, and meetup tends to be specific places. This would be like 'I'm overlanding from Cairo to Timbuktu in November, anyone else in the area?' –  Mark Mayo Dec 30 '11 at 11:25
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I think that's another business idea –  RoflcoptrException Dec 30 '11 at 12:50
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2 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Thorn Tree - Travel Companions

The Thorn Tree travel forum on the Lonely Planet Web site has a branch called 'Travel Companions' where you can post about your plans or current location and people can respond to it.

I am reading it via RSS and have sometimes 'talked' to people who have similar plans as I, but I have not met up with anybody yet.

You usually get more replies if you are female.

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+1 for Thorn Tree - I have found these forums useful for advice. –  therobyouknow Jan 3 '12 at 12:41
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Some more ideas

  • Dopplr.com (for user generated content reviews on destinations, share your plans with others, get notifications if plans overlap)
  • Location aware services like foursquare or Facebook check-in perhaps? (But depends on people you already know, are "Friend"ed with)
  • CouchSurfers "A volunteer-based worldwide network connecting travelers with members of local communities, who offer free accommodation and/or advice." A good friend of mine in Crystal Palace, south London UK has joined CouchSurfers and offers free accomodation as per this quoted goal of the site.

Update CouchSurfers: just used a quote from their website and also my good friend's experiences - see also @hippietrail's comments about their experiences

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No CouchSurfing has a section called "groups" where you discuss lots of stuff and often asking for accommodation is not allowed in these groups. Many of the groups are for specific destinations. Right now I'm in the Georgia and Tbilisi groups for instance. –  hippietrail Jan 3 '12 at 17:07
    
+1 Thanks @hippietrail - I'd be interested to learn of your experiences over time. A good friend of mine in Crystal Palace, south London UK has belonged to CouchSurfers for a few years and offers free accomodation and advice as per this quoted goal of the site. –  therobyouknow Jan 3 '12 at 20:31
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