Publié le by NmNomador
The best sites and resources for… making local friends when travelling near or far
House-sitting allows you to settle down in a different region for a few weeks or months – and sometimes even at the other end of the world. But it can be a bit sad to say goodbye so quickly to the family entrusting their home to you while they go away. Especially when they are your only connection to the new city and community you are now living in!
So what resources can you use to meet other friendly people when you are travelling, or when you are on a house-sit?
Many among you are curious to know. But you’re in luck! The members of the Nomador community love sharing their tips with us – and we’re here to help spread the word! Here is a list of the Nomador Community favourite websites to make local friends when house-sitting near or far. Be inspired!
Sleep at locals
Opportunities for a free night or two at a local’s home, in most countries of the world helps make couchsurfing.org one of the most popular communities for travellers. Believe it or not, there are heap of fantastic people out there who are happy to share their homes with travellers, offering either their couch or even a guest-room. The website allows you to search the cities where you need accommodation and browse locals offering a place to rest your head for the night. Most testimonies you’ll read on the internet are unanimous: it’s a fantastic way to meet locals, and those international exchanges help foster international appreciation and create meaningful connections.
Visit your new city with the help of locals
When it comes to visiting a city, top spot goes to the Greeters! They are locals who will offer you their time to guide you through their cities and help you discover special places that mean something in their lives – and all for free! Too good to be true? Nope! They are all volunteers who are passionate about their city so much that they love helping travellers discover it in a more meaningful way. And their network is increasing all the time. They are very active in France (you’ll find them in 34 French cities, who said that the French aren’t welcoming?). They are also active in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane so far), in North America (too many places to list!), and new groups have recently popped up in India, Sweden, China, Japan and more.
Or maybe you’d like to meet other travellers like yourself? Then have a look at Links&Go, a new platform that allows you to make friends during your vacation, wherever you are. Use the map to indicate where you’re staying, and you’ll connect with other travellers who will be happy to join you for… well, almost anything really! Hiking, shopping, or a bit of sightseeing: the more, the merrier!
Other websites exist too, in the spirit of the sharing economy (with a paying model, like Airbnb or Uber) that allow locals to earn a living by showing visitors like you places they like, or by offering unique local experiences, for example: exploring the Sagrada Familial in Barcelona with a retired Art History teacher, shopping with someone who knows the hippest boutiques in London, or kayaking around the coast of North-West France. If you like the idea of being guided by a local, then take a look at Vayable or at GoodSpot.
Meet people who share the same passions
Meetup is the world's largest network of local groups. A Meetup group is a local community of people who gather around a shared interest: culture, sport, art, cooking, pets – any subject in fact! And each Meetup group hosts “Meetups”; meeting arranged online that happen face to face. Their emphasis is on meeting fantastic like-minded people who share the same passion as yours! So wherever you go, browse their map and have a look at the groups in your area. Maybe you’d like to join one if your house-sit is long enough and you really want to build local connections. Or maybe you’d like to propose a Meetup yourself as a keen photographer, lover of literature, or avid organic cook? Whatever you’re interested in, we’re sure there’s others out there who love it too. Bring new friends to you!
Share a meal with locals
Attending a dinner party with a whole heap of people you don’t know is a wonderful opportunity to chat for a while and meet new friends around the dining table (and potentially make plans to meet again during your stay).
On VizEat, you’ll find locals who will cook at their home in 55 different countries of the world – and some who even offer cooking classes. So what would you like to try? Maybe eating homemade pasta in Rome is your thing? Or learning to cook paella in Barcelona, before sharing it with your host? As long as you are willing to chit-chat with new people, chances are you’ll have one of the best meals of your life!
Find rides with locals to drive from A to B
Sharing a few hundreds kilometres together is a savvy way to not only save on transportation costs, but also to have enough time to chat with locals. As one of the original peer-to-peer car-sharing websites on the market, BlaBlaCar have built a huge community: they operate in 18 countries and have over two million members travelling with them each month. Blablacar was one of the pioneers in the building of trust on the internet, with verified profiles. Just enter your origin and destination, and Blablacar will help you find a ride with locals to travel from a city to another.
In other countries, just google "car-sharing" and have a look at the solutions, there’s certainly one on your roads!
Ready to go on your house-sitting adventure and make new friends at your doorstep or at the other end of the world?
Register on Nomador and start searching for a new destination today!
At Nomador we are always interested in hearing feedback from members and we are always delighted if they can help the community by sharing their experience.
We would love to hear your feedback, questions and/or suggestions about any of the above - just comment below, it’s that easy :)