App enables on-the-fly meetups with fellow solo travelers

    By Tom | Small Business


    Traveling is all about taking in new experiences and meeting new people, and the latter can be especially important for solo trekkers. While sites like Globetrooper already helps groups looking to plan a journey with likeminded strangers, Backpackr is a new app that lets lone tourists and hikers check in real time when others that share their interests are nearby.

    Users begin by creating their own profile on the app, including a photo, a short description of themselves and their nationality. While on their travels, backpackers can instantly see others who are nearby and available to chat. Users can then arrange to meet up to share a joint activity, talk about their adventures, split a restaurant tab or even try to get a group of nearby travelers together. As well as private chat, the ‘Common Room’ provides a bulletin board where users can publicly share their holiday plans or suggest a visit, while the ‘En Route’ function enables them to schedule future travel plans with another person. Every time trekkers enter a new country, their Backpackr ‘Passport’ is updated with a new stamp to let others know where they’ve been on their travels.

    Although similar to many other matchmaking services, Backpackr’s focus on the increasing number of young, individual travelers open to new experiences could serve as a profitable niche. The app will land in the App Store and Google Play in the near future. How else can the dating model be applied to other areas of life where people might want to connect with strangers?


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