For most, the prospect of making yourself vulnerable to strangers is terrifying. This list is for the minority that has no problem depending on the kindness of strangers.
Although one of the best parts of traveling is meeting new people and making new connections, recent advances in technology walk a fine line between informative and just plain creepy.
These six apps can either be a great resource for learning about a city from friends you haven’t met yet or a horror film in the making.
So just be smart out there, guys — and don’t say nobody warned you about stranger danger.
Made for people who love waking up in the morning and trying to remember where they are, Overnight is the Airbnb for spontaneous (and trusting) people.
Users drop a pin where they are, and nearby hosts can offer to put them up. As the list of available pads pours in, users choose where they want to stay and make the booking for that night.
Overnight only works in Los Angeles and Austin right now, but the company is planning expansion to New York and San Francisco.
Wingman started off as a tongue-in-cheek way to find like-minded people on your flight and maybe join the mile-high club. But the idea has expanded to help travelers “meet people at your airport, on your flight, and at your destination.”
If pre-travel, you’re swiping through people on your flight and someone looks cute, you can arrange to sit next to them for the entirety of your voyage. Maybe that person will shower regularly, not be racist and understand the rules of sharing armrests on the plane. Or not.
The app doesn’t officially launch until this summer, but eager travelers can sign up to be one of the first people onboard on the Wingman’s website.
Findery advertises itself as a sort of virtual treasure hunt, using people’s real life experiences as clues along the way. It’s a solid resource for finding out about new restaurants or hidden bars, but it can get creepy fast.
While swiping through nearby locations, one woman’s blind date popped up. From there, it was easy to access all of her other favorite spots. It didn’t take long to figure out where she hangs out regularly, what times she goes there and what she does while there.
However the creepy feeling took a long time to wash away.
If you’re looking for a truly authentic travel experience, why not just stalk a local?
Following someone else is a great way to discover new parts of a city that you normally wouldn’t explore (like outside of a stranger’s apartment or office building!). And for those that are followed, the app aims to help you enjoy each moment more thoroughly, knowing that someone is watching everything you do.
It’s also a great option for someone who is traveling alone and can’t afford a photographer: The person following you will secretly take pictures of you and then send one to you via the app!
Follower is only available in New York City.
Tripwire allows adventurous travelers to get the lowdown on the best things to do, places to go and who will be there. The app features a live feed of content that is tailored to each user’s routes.
It all sounds like fun and games until you start exploring and realize that you’re able to see who else is in town and how far away they are. But the creepiest feature is a map that tracks each user’s path. Once you become friends with someone, you can see their past and future paths and they can see yours. Choose your friends wisely.
However, via the app, it’s possible to find really cool events. (We got invited to a secret ramen pop-up that looked really cool.)
Share your hotel room with a stranger! Save money! Maybe don’t make it out alive!
This is the premise of Winston Club (minus that last bit). The app lets users split hotel rooms with strangers. When the app officially launches in March, it will work in Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle and San Francisco.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.