Solo travel can sound lonely to someone who has never done it before. By using the word solo, it sounds like you’re going to be alone the whole time. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth! Solo travel is an incredible opportunity to befriend people who are like minded and truly relate to you, rather than just having common circles like back at home.
But the idea of starting from scratch and being thrown into a place where you know no one scares the hell out of most people! I mean, how do you even go about meeting friends as a solo traveler in foreign places??
As a solo traveler I get this question al the time! So here are 8 ways you can meet people when you traveling alone!
“Traveling solo does not always mean you're alone. Most often, you meet marvelous people along the way and make connections that last a lifetime.” - Jacqueline Boone
1. Stay in a Hostel
Not only are hostels typically cheaper accommodation, they’re also a community. You will find other solo travelers and meet people from all around the world! You can hang out in the common area, get to know others in your room, and join in on a happy hour or city tour!
This is the #1 way I meet people while I travel. I could be simply hanging out in the common area, strike up a conversation and next thing I know it I have a travel buddy!
2. Take a Group Tour
Joining in on a group tour is a perfect way to meet others! Just like in a hostel, there will be people from all over the world and everyone tends to be friendly, in my experience. A lot of times you may bond with someone, and then can exchange contact information to do more sightseeing later or grab food together after the tour.
3. Strike Up a Conversation Anywhere
If you do decide to explore on your own, you still have a lot of opportunities to meet others! I’ve met friends by asking a random girl to take my photo, or they asked me, and then striking up a conversation afterwards and exchanging numbers.
I’ve also done the same while waiting in line with others, or by asking someone to join their table at a food market. Often a conversation begins and then you can exchange numbers and tour the area together.
4. Join a Network Facebook Group
I didn’t realize this was a thing until I joined the Solo Female Traveler Network Facebook group and found there was a meet up option! It’s a separate group but you essentially post where you’re going and how long you’ll be there. Chances are someone will comment back or send you a message saying they’re visiting too, and you can meet up!
5. Meet Up Apps and Websites
If you like the idea of meeting up with someone from the internet, there’s actually a few options! There’s MeetUp.com, where you can join in an event with others in the same area with similar interests. There’s also an app called Tourlina, for female travelers to connect. And my favorite, Bumble BFF! Using the Bumble App, you simply switch it over to the friends option and it works the same way, but looking for a friend instead of a date. I used this in Thailand and connected with two girls!
Couchsurfing is awesome for meeting both travelers and locals! It’s essentially a website that connects travelers and locals and has the option for you to request a local in the area to host you for free. But there’s also the option for just meet ups! Couchsurfing is a great way to meet friends and learn more about the area, culture, etc. I have used Couchsurfing numerous times, and I LOVE it!
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to meet others and also give back while traveling! While in South Africa volunteering, I met some of my best friends! Most of which I still keep up with 4 years later.
8. Share Your Travels on Social Media
Posting photos online of your travels is fun to share with friends and family back at home, but it could also help you meet a new friend wherever you are!
When I shared where I was online, a few friends from home contacted me saying they knew someone who lived there, and then put us in contact! I absolutely loved this because not only was I meeting a new friend, but it was a great feeling to meet someone who had a mutual friend with me! Something that is not common when you’re on the other side of the world! Or – so I thought.