So I decided to travel solo, but I don’t like being alone. Lucky for us travellers it is easy to make friends and not be alone in all your adventures. Most people I met traveling are very friendly and are also solo travellers. So where did I find my friends to travel and have adventures with?
- Hostel – Dorm rooms are the best place to make friends. Most people that stay in a hostel are there to make friends. Try to book in a hostel with a common area and regular activities. Smile and get that small talk skills on point.
The very first friend I met traveling solo was another solo traveler in my dorm. It was her second time traveling solo so she was the one that approached me and taught me some great tips. She was friendly, positive, open we ended up traveling Cambodia and crossed borders to Thailand together.
- Transport – airplanes, buses, uberpool, ferry, train, however way you get to your destination it pays to say hello to the person you are sitting next to as he/she can be your new travel buddy or your very own local tour guide.I can’t even count how many friends I have made just from airplanes, ferries, transfer buses etc, arriving at your destination is both scary and exciting and is a great conversation starter. If you are doing a backpacker trail the likelihood of seeing another backpacker in different places is also very common so don’t be a snob and say hello.
- Tours – I normally don’t go on tours unless I do not have much time to explore or if it’s much cheaper. I found that being on a tour is also a great way to make friends, you end up spending few hours doing adventures that is outside the comfort zone which also brings people together! Ask them to go out for a drink or to hangout. Tour guides are also usually quite happy to hangout and give the best tips in town.
If you think tours are too expensive try the free walking tours, most cities have them!
Friends I have made from buses and ferries when arriving to a new place and on tours.
- Online – Apps, websites and groups such as couch surfing, meet-ups, trip advisor forums, tinder, girlslovetravel group have a lot of travelers that are looking for friends too! Post something or find somebody who you’re willing to join.
- Classes – if you are staying put in a town for a bit, taking up classes are a great way to make friends, eg. spanish school, dance school, boxing school, cooking school etc.
- Volunteering is another one! It is a great way to meet like minded people and give back to the community.
- Restaurant/Bars – Eating solo can be a little awkward but it is also a great way to be open to meet new friends, it shows confidence and smiling is the key! Sitting in the bar can also make it less awkward. Waiters and bartenders are happy to chat. Be careful on giving off the wrong vibe though.
- Iconic tourist spots – this can be a little hard but with confidence, asking questions and great small talk skills you can make a friend by just walking on the beach and taking photos. Ask another solo traveller if they can take your photo and ask if they want one too, this usually starts a conversation about where each other are from and could lead to great friendships.
- Public transport – this is a great way to meet locals and get some tips on the best local thing to do in the town! Most of locals are also happy to help and are also interested in you and your where you are from.
- Lines – this might just be me but lines for food, coffee, events, tourist spots are a great way to start chatting and make new friends, everybody is excited, positive and usually in a good mood if they’re a tourist.
If you make an effort just by saying hello, being nice and positive there is no way you will be traveling alone 🙂 it might actually be hard to find time to reflect and be alone.
Where do you find friends when you are traveling?