Traveling solo can be an extraordinary, exciting and liberating experience. Setting your own pace and discovering new cities without having to compromise on your enjoyment makes for some fantastic travel adventures. However, when traveling solo, it’s not unusual to get lonely from time to time and wish that you could share the experience with someone else. When you are lost or not feeling very well, it can be overwhelming and even scary when you are on your own in a new country. So, in this post, I’ll be sharing the easiest ways to make friends while traveling solo.
How to make friends when traveling alone
1. Stay in hostels
The number one piece of advice for making friends while traveling solo is to stay in hostels. Preferably a dorm room, as this will give you the most opportunity to meet potential friends. But even if you stay in a private hostel room, you will still have plenty of opportunities to meet people in the hostel bar, kitchen and lounge areas.
Hostels are full of solo travelers who are in the same boat as you, and nearly everyone will be happy to help you out if you are in a pickle. Hanging out in the hostel bar is a sure-fire way to meet other travelers who might want some company too!
There are literally hostels everywhere around the world meaning you can make friends everywhere you travel to if you choose to stay in hostels. The easiest way to find hostels to stay at in any given area is by using Hostelword.
2. Use apps that connect travelers
There are so many amazing apps available nowadays that you will never have to be alone unless you want to! There are even apps specifically designed to connect female solo travelers – such as Tourlina. These apps can easily connect you with other solo travelers and can be a great source of comfort for when you are feeling a little bit homesick or you just want company.
They’re also other apps specifically meant to connect people who are looking for travel buddies. Whether you just want to meet another person to join you on a certain day trip or someone to travel with for a couple of days, these apps will surely help you meet new people who might even become long-life friends.
3. Sign up for free city walking tours
Free city walking tours (though you’re usually expected to give a tip to the guide at the end of the tour) are a fantastic way to get to grips with a new location, as well as meet other friendly travelers.
Not only will it be a budget-friendly activity, but you’ll also end up meeting a lot of people from various backgrounds and hence making new travel companions along the way!
4. Go on a guided holiday
Okay, so this is may not be exactly solo traveling. However, it does involve traveling with a group of complete strangers! Guided holidays are fantastic for people who might feel a little bit nervous about planning their whole trip by themselves.
Many companies offer holidays which are completely organized from start to finish, and all you need to do is show up! This is a fantastic choice if you would like to make friends while traveling since you will be on the road with the same people – day in, day out.
Companies like G Adventures and Intrepid travel always organize tours for small groups. You can sign up for any of their tours and you’ll be guaranteed to meet other fellow travelers.
5. Take a game everywhere you travel to
As TUI recommends, having a travel game or two in your luggage is a great way to keep everyone entertained. This way you’ll be sure to make friends wherever you travel!
A simple deck of cards can serve as a great conversation opener, and many people will love to sit down with you and play a bit of poker or blackjack. Before you know it, you will be planning your next travel adventure with them!
6. Break out of your shell
Traveling alone can be a bit intimidating, especially if you are an introvert. But if you want to make friends, you need to try and be more outgoing.
If you just sit in the corner and play on your phone all evening at the hostel, chances are that people won’t bother you because you look busy.
So if you want to make friends while traveling solo, it’s important to be open to having conversations with other travelers. You don’t even need to be the most outspoken person to make that possible, you just need to break out of your shell, go to the common areas, be welcoming and you’ll be surprised by how many people will want to start a conversation with you.
7. Follow the crowds by attending nearby events
Making friends is easier when there are more people to make friends with, in the first place. Find out what events are going on in the city you’re in and attend some.
In major cities, there are often free theatres, festivals, music and film events to enjoy in public spaces and parks. You will be sure to find a lot of other budget-conscious solo travelers there, so make the most of it, be open and get chatting.
8. Learn the local language if you want to make friends with the locals
English can get you far while traveling but learning some basic words of the local language will help you connect very well with the locals even on a deeper level.
Locals always appreciate foreigners who make an effort to learn their language and this often makes them more friendly and helpful to you – something that can turn into a long-lasting friendship.
9. Participate in various hostel activities
There is no better way of making friends while traveling solo than participating in hostel activities. Most hostels these days prepare a number of activities for its guests to keep them entertained while in the area.
Whether it’s a game night that lets you compete with other travelers for a small prize (it could be a beer or something else), you’re bound to meet some really cool people that might eventually become your friends.
10. Sign up for different classes in the area
Signing up for a certain class in the area will help you hang out with the same people for a certain period of time which makes it easier to make friends. These can range from dancing classes, cooking classes, foreign language classes to surfing classes.
The list of classes you can join is endless and since the people you meet all love the same things as you, it easier to spark a conversation with them. So while traveling solo, sign up for a class of an activity you’re passionate about and you’ll end up making friends along the way.
11. Take day trips and activities
Day trips are awesome, as long as you make sure that you don’t choose a super crowded one that will rip you off! You will get to meet lots of other tourists who are also unfamiliar with the area. Although there will be a lot of couples, on most day trips there will also be solo travelers, so why not ask if you can sit next to each other on the bus!
On top of that, participating in adventurous activities will always bring you into contact with other people who want the same things. Whether it’s bungee jumping or snorkeling, you’ll end up meeting some new people.
12. Use Couchsurfing to meet new people
Though Couchsurfing is famous for helping travelers find free accommodation, sleeping at a host’s couch to be specific – it is more than just that.
The app has a “hang out” feature that lets you find people in that exact location who just want to hang out with others or even go for sightseeing adventures.
So if you were worried about how to make friends while traveling solo, I hope this article has shown you that it is possible to travel alone and not to be necessarily alone as you get to meet cool people along the way that can eventually become your great friends.
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