Being on the road all by yourself feels amazing – at least most of the time. Unfortunately, there will come a moment though, when you suddenly realise that traveling alone also means, that you are, well, alone. Unless you stay in a 12-bed hostel dorm in a city frequented by the coolest backpackers out there, and especially when you are not the most outgoing person in the world, arriving in a new place and finding people to hang out with is not always easy. Suddenly you catch yourself curling up on your hotel room, crying into your pillow, uncomfortable to go outside because you don’t have anybody to show you around or translate – alas you underestimated your language skills – sad to say, that this is a true story that happened to me in Brazil…

Of course, there are some amazing tools out there – I love the internet – to make meeting people when you strand somewhere on your own, so much easier; like our Travelettes group on Facebook or Couchsurfing. But just recently I discovered an app, that takes making connections on the go to a whole new level: Karry.

Karry social travel app review kathi kamleitner travelettes

What’s that?

Karry describes itself as a ‘social traveling community’ which already makes it pretty clear: it is an app for travellers who want to connect with locals and other travellers going to the same place as them. The app uses the concept of picture-based socializing which you might already be familiar with from other apps, but without any intention of dating or booty-calling. Instead the idea is to connect like-minded people who are in the same location at the same time prior to their departure, so meeting up in real life actually feels like meeting a friend.

How does it work?

Karry is a free app that is currently available in its beta version in the App Store (an Android version does not exist yet, but is in the making), and you guessed right: it’s a brand-new app and community founded only in 2015. After downloading the app you need to log in with your Facebook account and fill in a few basic additional details, namely your home town and any upcoming trip you might be planning, which is optional. You are then redirected to the main interface of the app, where you can scroll through a stream of people matching your location. Other than in Tinder there is no need to swipe left or right, and seeing that you can’t ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ anybody physically, no profile will disappear from your feed (unless you block a person, of course). You can message every person showing up on the list and chat with them instantly. This way people are really easily accessible.

In your settings you can choose an age group and gender for the people to show up in your stream, so say, you only want to meet up with other women, that’s easily done.

Karry social travel app review kathi kamleitner travelettes-4

Your profile

As with any kind of online networking, having a complete profile always helps appearing more serious and trustworthy, and with Karry you can upload photos and tell people about your job, education and interest. I made sure to fill out my profile with all details, so people would know what they get themselves into.

Upcoming trips

You can add up to three upcoming trips to your profile. All you need to feed to the system are destination and duration of your journey. My favourite feature is called ‘In Transit’, which means you can not only select destinations, but also airports for your trips. That way, if you are stuck in Heathrow overnight or have a 20 hour layover in Dubai, you can find people sharing your misery and spend the time exploring the duty-free shops together. Note that for this, you need to enter the airport code as your destination to find it quicker.

Away, Home & In Transit

On the main interface of the app you can choose whether you want to meet people in your home town, on one of your trips or in transit. It’s really easy to shift back and forth between the three options (but also the stream, your profile and your inbox) and once you find a person who looks like your new best friend, you simply tap on their profile. If they have filled out their information just like you did, you will see some more photos, their name and age, profession and education, what interests them, and of course their upcoming journeys. Feeding your info to the app is optional, and unfortunately there are many incomplete profiles… however, it is only in your own interest to complete your profile, so hopefully this will change once people are more aware of how the app works.

Karry social travel app review kathi kamleitner travelettes

Who uses Karry?

Seeing that the app is in its beta version and still quite new, there are of course no huge numbers of people registered as of yet. For now the app seems to focus on hotspots like New York, Berlin, London and Paris, the developer’s home town. But even in at home in Glasgow people are showing up – it’s spreading fast!

I think Karry is a great app for people who like traveling with their smart phone and feel comfortable with online networking, so basically everybody I know. I am soon heading off to London for a weekend, and I will definitely make use of the app to get in touch with locals and ask them for advice prior to my trip. Maybe one of them will even be free for a coffee.

Is it safe?

Of course, this is a valid question when it comes to taking online connections into the real world, but here are a few things to think about:

– Seeing that every user has to log in with their Facebook, their profiles are verified by another system.

– You can choose to only connect with women (of course men will still be able to see your profile in their feed, but once you receive messages you don’t want, you can block that profile).

– Sharing ideas and advice prior to your departure gives you not only a feel for the place you’re going to, but also for the person you’re interacting with. If something feels fishy, simply don’t meet up with them.

And here is some additional safety advice which counts for any kind of online networking: don’t give away intimate details about yourself or your journey; interact with people who have complete profiles; if you decide to meet up with someone, do it in a public place during the day; let somebody at home know what you are up to and with whom.

Karry social travel app review kathi kamleitner travelettes

Verdict

I can’t wait to use Karry for my future journeys – I have already added my upcoming trips to London, Edinburgh and Quito to my profile and chatted to a couple of people about their recommendations. It’s good to know that there is an easy-to-use app sitting right there in my pocket (I’m always karrying it with me – got it?), with cool connections always at my finger tips. It’s easy to use, runs smoothly and fills a gap in my travels – all that a useful travel app needs really.

 

Would you want to use Karry yourself? Well, all you need is an iPhone and WiFi connection – you can download the app here.

Disclaimer: This blogpost was created in collaboration with Karry.

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