Planning a solo trip but worried about feeling lonely? Don’t worry, I’ve been there! As someone who likes to travel solo, I know meeting new people can be daunting, but it’s also one of the most rewarding parts of traveling.
So in this blog post, I am delighted to share with you my top tips for meeting people on your next solo trip.
Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, these tips will help you connect with locals and fellow travelers, make new friends, and create lasting memories.
So grab your backpack and dive in!
How to meet people on a solo trip
Tip 1: Stay at a hostel
Staying in a hostel is one of the best ways to meet people while traveling alone. Not only are hostels generally cheaper than hotels, but they also provide the perfect social atmosphere for making new friends.
I’ve had many positive experiences connecting with other solo travelers at a hostel and then planning to sightsee, eat a meal, or hit the beach together.
Most hostels have common areas like kitchens, lounges, and outdoor areas where travelers can meet and chat. Many hostels also organize activities such as pub crawls, movie nights and city tours, which are great opportunities to meet other people during your trip.
Plus, if you’re staying in a dorm, you’ll be sharing space with other people, making it easy to strike up a conversation and make new friends.
Read more: 10 important safety tips for women traveling alone
Tip 2: Take a group tour
If you’re looking for a stress-free way to meet people while traveling solo, a group tour might be just what you need.
Not only will you have a knowledgeable guide to show you around, but you’ll also be with a group of people who share your passion for travel. It makes it easy to start a conversation and make new friends.
There are hundreds of group tours to choose from, and you can choose one that suits your interests, such as hiking, snorkeling, or sightseeing.
There are several ways to take a group tour. You can sign up for a group vacation (a full week of pre-planned group travel activities, for example) or book a day trip to your destination. There is no right or wrong here. It all depends on what suits you best!
If you’re feeling anxious about accommodation or transportation, most trips booked through a tour operator have those details taken care of for you, allowing you to focus on the fun and make new connections.
If you feel comfortable with the logistics yourself and just want a change of pace during your trip, a shorter day trip might be the perfect option for meeting new people.
Tip 3: Attend a local event
Attending a local event is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the local culture and meet new people while traveling alone.
When I was traveling in Thailand, I came across a night market in Chiang Mai and decided to check it out. The market was packed with locals and tourists, and there were stalls selling food, crafts, and performances everywhere.
As I was browsing through artwork, a local artist struck up a conversation with me, asking where I was from and what brought me to Thailand. We chatted for a while, and he even gave me insider tips on where to find the best street food. It was such a pleasant surprise and made the evening so much more fun!
Attending events like this is a great way to connect with people who share your interests. Whether it’s a music festival, cultural celebration or food market, attending events can be a fun and memorable way to bond while traveling alone.
Tip 4: Use Meet-Up apps like Travel Ladies
It’s amazing the number of doors that have opened with the advancement of technology! Using social media and dating apps is a great way to connect with other travelers and meet new people while traveling solo.
One app that I recently discovered and really enjoy is Travel Ladies. The app provides a safe space for women to travel alone and connect with other female travelers around the world.
One of my favorite features of the app is the ability to connect with local women for a cultural exchange – a great way to experience a new destination while making new friends. Some people even offer couchsurfing opportunities if you really want to immerse yourself in the local culture.
All you have to do is post in the app and others can comment and the conversations will start from there.
Through the app, you can also meet travelers near you, find travel companions, share travel memories, and discuss your travel plans with like-minded women. I really like the community aspect of the app.
Read more: Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t travel alone
Tip 5: Volunteer
Volunteering while traveling is a rewarding and meaningful way to meet new people and have a positive impact on the local community you are visiting.
I once volunteered in Peru for a community project, and it was an amazing experience. The project was to build a playground for a local school, and we worked alongside community members to put it all together.
Not only did I learn new skills and immerse myself in the local culture, but I also made lifelong friends.
Whether it’s teaching English, working on a conservation project or helping a local community, volunteering offers a unique opportunity to meet new people while giving back to the world.
So if you’re looking to make a positive impact and make new friends while traveling solo, consider volunteering on your next trip!
Read more: Traveling alone: 7 important things I learned
Tip 6: Join a Meetup group
Joining a dating group is a great way to make new connections while traveling alone. These groups typically bring together people with similar interests, from hiking and photography to language exchanges and book clubs.
The benefits of joining a dating group are many: you can make new friends, learn new skills, explore new places, and have a fun and social experience.
Apps like Travel Ladies are great for this purpose, but you can also check out Facebook or Meetup.com, which has thousands of groups like this.
On Facebook, you can search for dating groups by simply typing keywords related to your interests into the Facebook search bar and filtering the results by “groups.”
You can also browse the “events” tab on Facebook and see if there are any upcoming events or gatherings that match your interests.
Another option is to join Facebook groups dedicated to travel or specific destinations. These groups can provide valuable information about local events and meetups and connect you with other travelers or locals who share your passion for exploring new places.
Once you find a band that interests you, just show up and attend one of their events.
Remember that everyone in the group is here to meet new people, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation and make new friends. Joining a dating group can be a fantastic way to enrich your solo travel experience and make connections that can last a lifetime.
Tip 7: Be open and friendly
Finally, just having an open and friendly attitude can go a long way when it comes to meeting new people on the road.
When I first started traveling alone, I was nervous about meeting new people and having conversations. But as I traveled, I realized that being approachable and kind can make all the difference. I’ve met some amazing people along the way, just by saying hello!
To start a conversation, I usually try to find common ground with the people I meet. I ask them questions about their travels, their hometown or their favorite hobbies. The most important thing is to be genuinely interested in their answers and to show that you appreciate their point of view.
Remember to respect cultural differences and social norms, and always keep personal boundaries in mind.
Traveling solo can be both exciting and daunting, but with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to meeting new people and having a trip to remember.
With a positive attitude and a willingness to connect with others, I’m confident you can create meaningful relationships and enrich your solo travel experience.
So take a deep breath, pack your bags and get ready for an adventure you’ll never forget. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to getting the most out of your solo trip!
Read more: How to take great travel photos as a solo traveler
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