If you’re traveling solo, it can be a bit scary in the beginning. The first question that usually pops up in your mind is “will I meet people?”. Even if we travel alone, it’s not like we want to be alone – quite the opposite! We travel because we want to make new friends and connect with people from all over the world. So if you’re wondering how you can connect with travelers, these ideas will help you to find new friends.
Before you start traveling, why not check online and see if there’s other people who’s doing the same route as you are. The first time I traveled solo, I was 19 years old and I felt really scared to travel completely alone. So I wanted to find someone to at least start the trip with. I went on some forums, I checked Facebook group pages and other apps where I could reach out and connect with travelers. I found two girls who were going to the same country as me on the same dates and it ended up with us traveling together for an entire month.
No one wants to approach someone who looks unhappy. If you want to make friends, cheer up! Smile, make yourself approachable and keep a friendly and positive attitude. You’ll be getting friends in no time when you stay positive.
Go on couchsurfing.com
Couchsurfing is an excellent platform for both travelers and locals who wants to meet up with travelers. It’s a site where you can find couch hosts, people who are willing to host you for free in their home. It also goes the other way around – you can host people in your home. Besides that, there’s also couchsurfing events where you can easily connect with both local people and travelers, there’s forums for almost everything and there’s also hangouts, where people look for others to explore the city with or grab a coffee. It really is one of the best travel apps and one you should use as much as possible.
Stay in hostels
Perhaps the best way to meet friends is by staying in hostels. There hasn’t been a better way for me to meet and connect with others than in hostels. Yes, sometimes staying in hostels isn’t very comfortable nor is it fun when someone’s constantly snoring in your room, but hostels tend to be the most budget friendly accommodation option so lots of backpackers check in to hostels. The staff also knows that there’s many solo travelers in hostels so if you’re staying in a social one, they usually have events such as pub crawls, language nights or BBQs to bring together travelers. Hostels is arguably the best way to connect with people.
Join walking tours
Another fun way to make new friends is by joining walking tours. You get to know the new place you’ve just gotten to and meet other travelers at the same time. I’ve often met friends on walking tours and found them to be really helpful both when I didn’t know exactly what to see in the city, but also for making new friends.
Meet in transit
Next time you’re in transit, why not strike a conversation with the person that you’re sitting next to for example, or someone that also seems to be a solo traveler. Maybe they’re also heading to the same destination as you are so you can even travel a bit with them.
Find friends through your favorite activity
Are you a big hiking fan? Or do you like climbing for example? There’s plenty of sites these days where you can find people with the same interests who are also looking to do some hikes for example or go biking. It’s easy to find local groups who are into the activities that you also love.
Join a pub crawl
What better way to get to know people than by drinking alcohol? Kidding aside, pub crawls are a fun and quick way to make new friends. Most of the bigger cities and towns offers pub crawls and usually the more famous hostels host them. A pub crawl usually involves going to 4 or 5 different bars in a night and making friends over a few drinks. You don’t, and shouldn’t, need to get drunk in order to have fun, but joining a pub crawl is more about just drinking. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can make new friends on a pub crawl. Everyone’s a bit more relaxed and talkative during these kinds of events.
So, are you ready to take the leap, travel and make new friends? You should be! People who travel are always a bit more open and receptive to new connections, and you’re not the only one who’s eager to meet new people. You just have to be open minded, have a positive attitude, go to social events and voila! You’ll have so many new friends that you won’t even remember all of their names.