Traveling solo can be fun and extremely rewarding, but it’s not for everyone. As a female travel enthusiast, we either have to be lucky enough to find a partner that understands our travel preferences, join a group tour, or go alone.
I travel solo quite often, but I would be lying if I told you I’m always entirely comfortable with it. For instance, I just returned from a cruise to the Mediterranean, with one port stop in Istanbul. With all of the travel warnings lately regarding this city (and the devastating bombing that took place just a few days before we were scheduled to arrive) I was thankful I had the option of exploring this city with my cruisemates.
As rewarding as it is to explore alone, I do love meeting new people when I travel. Over the past several years, I’ve had tons of great experiences with new friends around the world. Often, these new friends turn out to be wonderful travel partners and we make plans to spend a portion of our trip together.
The toughest part about finding a travel partner, for me, is finding someone who enjoys a lot of the same activities. I like to spend my time outdoors versus visiting museums or spending hours at a restaurant, but my travel buddies don’t always have the same agenda.
So when the founder of Tourlina contacted me about his new travel app that caters to solo female travelers, I was thrilled to tell you guys about it too!
Tourlina: The New App for Solo Female Travelers
What is Tourlina?
For those women who feel safer traveling with a partner or in a group, Tourlina attempts to help by acting as a way to get in touch with other adventure-seeking women around the world. This app is designed to offer women a safe and secure place to find other female travel buddies.
How it Works
After downloading the free app, you are prompted to sign in with Facebook. Users are not given any other option as to setting up an account with Tourlina, such as Google+ or an email address. While this could be a deal breaker for those who don’t like to sync their Facebook to multiple other apps or have their information shared, it does bolster the claim that Tourlina seeks to validate its users, since you can’t just throw in any email and wind up with an account.
Once signed in, you can immediately start looking for travel companions, but need to become a verified user before you can chat with others or before other women can see your profile. According to the FAQ , accounts can expect to be verified in about 48 hours, assuming that your Facebook account checks out.
You can then look for matches by adding the locations of your upcoming trips. I found the app interface to be very user friendly and intuitive — even for a non-techie like me.
Clicking on the “plan a trip” button prompts you to plug in the destination and the dates. You have the opportunity to describe your traveling preferences: whether you want the trip to be planned or spontaneous, whether you want to partake in entertainment and nightlife frequently or rarely, whether you plan on staying in a hostel, like camping, and more.
After plugging in all of your preferences, the system searches for compatible traveling partners. From here, it’s a lot like the Tinder app; you see the snapshot of a potential traveling companion and can either skip past them or attempt to connect via chat.
Each snapshot includes a picture followed by the user’s age. Some users also include a short snippet of information that gives you more insight into their personality. I highly recommend filling out this part of your profile so other women can easily see if you might be a compatible travel companion.
Room for Improvement
Since this app is still new (it went live November 2015), you won’t find travelers in every destination. I searched for several upcoming trips and — because I tend to travel to off-beat destinations — I wasn’t able to find any other women traveling on those exact dates. While the app is still in its growing stages, it’s probably best for people with flexible travel schedules and who might be willing to change their location based on who they connect with on the app.
Right now the app is only available for iPhone users. However, an Android version will be released in November.
Overall, the app delivers on the promise of providing women with the ability to find other like-minded women who love to travel. Of course, using an app like this must always come with the disclaimer that you need to be careful in online interactions, especially if you end up planning a trip together.
The app is well-designed and I could see myself using it once the community grows. So if you find yourself wishing you could connect with more like-minded female travelers, sign up here!
Tourlina.com asked me to test their travel app. All opinions are, as always my own.