Deciding to travel on your own can seem a bit daunting if you’ve never done it before, especially if you’re used to having the company of others. But travelling solo does not have to mean travelling alone, as there are always opportunities to meet people and make new connections while travelling. Here are some ways to make friends while travelling solo.
Use the Internet
Before you leave home, get online and check out groups for people wanting to find travel partners or people to meet up with on the road; check out websites like Meetup and Couchsurfing. While you’re already travelling, consider using hookup apps like Grindr or Tinder to meet people, locals and other travellers alike, not only for a date or sex but just to hang out and explore some sights with. If this is all you want, be sure to make this clear on your profile, but be prepared for the fact that some people still won’t read it.
Stay in a Hostel
Staying in a hostel is probably the fastest and easiest way to make friends while travelling solo. Whether you stay in a dorm or a private room doesn’t really matter, because the atmosphere of hostel common areas is such that everyone will talk to everyone no matter what. Just start cooking by yourself in the kitchen, watching the TV or browsing information from the hostel about the local area and other guests will start talking to you.
Go on a Group Tour
Even if you’re a die-hard independent traveller, sometimes there are places you might want to see that you can only really get to on a day tour. Going with a group for a day tour is another excellent opportunity to make friends with some other travellers, as you’ll instantly be sharing an experience with a bunch of people in a similar position to you.
Take Public Transport
Try to take public transport as much as possible on your travels. In less touristy areas of the world, this will present you with a great chance to make friends with locals. Being the only foreigner on the bus or train will make you a source of curiosity and you’ll have plenty of people wanting to strike up conversation with you, even if you don’t share a first language. But don’t let that stop you!
Talk to Strangers
Despite perhaps being brought up to believe this is dangerous, simply trying to talk to someone you’ve just met about a shared experience may be the best way to make new friends. The majority of people in the world are kind, open and curious to get to know others, so if you start with that default assumption rather than the idea of ‘stranger danger’, it may end up surprising you.
Travelling solo can be a very rewarding experience in several ways, not least of which because it will allow for the possibility of making new friends. Putting yourself in situations like staying in a hostel, going on a group tour, taking public transport and talking to strangers will definitely help with this.