The benefits of solo travel are endless, but the one thing most people worry about before embarking on a trip by themselves is battling the loneliness. The thought of spending weeks or months in a foreign place without anyone to talk to is pretty daunting. But luckily, you don’t have to sweat it because there are plenty of ways to meet people while you’re traveling alone.
Often, people leave on solo trips and come back with lifelong friends. Because they’re not confined by travel buddies, they have the chance to meet people from completely different walks of life. Keep reading to find out where to find them!
10 Attend A Conference Or Festival
Attending a conference or festival abroad is a fantastic way to meet people. Generally, you can be confident that most of the people there will have the same kinds of interests as you, so it’s suddenly a lot easier to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger. You might also find that you’re more compatible (friendship-wise) with people who attend the same sorts of conferences or festivals as you.
Many people attend these sorts of events purely to network, so it won’t seem odd for you to start talking to strangers. It might not even come to that—someone might approach you first!
9 Volunteer Doing Something Fun And Rewarding
There are endless benefits to volunteering and one of the best ones is that volunteering is an effective way to meet new people. Whether you get to know other volunteers and workers or the people you’re helping, you’ll undoubtedly get to chat with a lot of different people.
A quick search online should help you find volunteering experiences in your chosen destination. Not only will you get the chance to meet new people and make friends, but you’ll also get to have a unique experience and make great memories.
8 Take A Class
Approaching random people in public places is pretty daunting for most of us, so a class environment is the perfect setting to talk to new faces without the awkwardness. As Hey Ciara points out, you’re more likely to make friends with people who are doing the same class as you if you go to the class more than once, because you’re seeing them on a regular basis.
The people you meet in a class are also likely to have the same interests as you, and you already have at least one thing in common.
7 Allow Technology To Help You
There’s no reason to be lonely when you’re traveling alone in the modern age when you’ve got technology at your fingertips to help you make connections. Hostel World explains that there are several apps dedicated to helping solo travelers meet up with people, but you can also use apps that aren’t specifically designed for solo travel.
Tinder or Bumble, for example, are dating apps, but many people use them to meet people while they’re traveling. All you need to do is be honest about your intentions in your profile. While you should always use your best judgment, it could be a great way to meet locals and party together.
6 Stay In A Hostel
Any experienced solo traveler will tell you that the top way to meet people when traveling by yourself is to stay in a hostel. Dorms are filled with other solo travelers who are looking to do the exact same thing as you: make friends and connections. Meeting people here is easier than anywhere else.
Every major city has an array of hostels to choose from, so you’ll be able to book somewhere that suits you. Hostels aren’t what they used to be, either. You might even find that your hostel is better than the hotels you’ve stayed in!
5 Participate In Group Tours And Activities
Another fool-proof way to meet people while traveling is to join a group tour. You can still primarily travel alone but participate in a group tour at the same time by opting for day trips or even hitching a ride with Busabout, where you’ll be able to create your own itinerary.
You could also book a group tour for a few weeks if you’d like a break from being by yourself. Companies like Contiki and Topdeck offer group tours for those between the ages of 18 and 39. Ranging from a few days to weeks.
4 Stay In A Private Room In An Air BnB
If hostels aren’t your thing, you can go for an Air BnB. Rather than staying on your own, you can choose the “private room” option so you’ll be staying with a local. While there’s no guarantee that they’ll show you around, at least that’s one new connection you’ve made. They might even introduce you to some of their friends!
Hey Ciara advises homestays if you want to experience a country’s culture firsthand while meeting new people that you would never have had the chance to meet before. It’s definitely something to consider!
3 Take Part In A Pub Crawl
Nightlife is one area that some solo travelers tend to miss out on. It’s not advisable to drink alone at night in a foreign place, after all. But a great way to experience the nightlife while traveling alone is to sign yourself up for a pub crawl. This will give you a chance to join a group of people as they hit up the town hopping from pub to pub.
Normally, a pub crawl will have its own guide who will make you feel welcome. According to The Blonde Abroad, this is one of the best ways to go out at night while still staying safe.
2 Know A Few Words In The Local Language
Knowing a few words in the local language will definitely help you out when it comes to making friends with locals. If there’s a language barrier, then you probably won’t have much luck conversing with someone, even if you have a lot in common. By knowing how to speak at least a little of their language, you’re making yourself easier to talk to.
The more languages you know, the greater your chances of meeting people from all over the world during your future travels. Downloading an app like Memrise or Duolingo can help immensely when learning a new language.
1 Strike Up A Conversation While Using Public Transport
Spending long hours in transit might be the worst part of traveling to you, but Adventurous Kate uses this time to strike up a conversation with her fellow travelers. Not everyone will want to be bothered on the bus or on a plane, but there’s a good chance that you’ll meet another solo traveler who does want to talk to you.
There’s not a lot to do when you’re stuck on a bus or train for hours, so this is a really good time to have a chat with the people around you.