12 Ways to Make Travel Friends Whilst Traveling Solo
With a melange of places to visit and tons of low cost flights to make it possible, traveling has become one of the best ways to spend our free time. And although it’s always pleasant to travel with friends and family, sometimes you’ve just got to do it solo. However, traveling alone can also be quite lonely sometimes. So it’s best to try and make some travel friends on our journeys when possible.
Yes, it might prove to be difficult at first. But sometimes you’ll find a friendly face in the most unlikely of places. Below you’ll find a few ideas of how to make travel friends when out and about in the country you’re exploring!
How to Make Friends When Traveling Alone
1. Go to a Couchsurfing Event or Meetup
As countless people have told me before, couchsurfing is more than just free lodging. It’s also a way of life and a marvellous way to connect with others. Via couchsurfing you’ll be able to find friends, expats, locals and even strangers who you’ve never met before but are willing to meet up and make friends.
Tip: Although we’re of the opinion that couchsurfing is indeed a fantastic way to make friends, we’re also aware of the fact that anyone can join couchsurfers. And even though it’s quite heavily moderated, you still need to be careful whether you’re a woman or a man. That being said, if you do intend on using couchsurfing to meet people, it’s always wise to let someone know where you’ll be even if it’s just the hotel/hostel staff.
2. Hang out at pubs
Feel like having a pint of beer or whisky or the rocks? If so, skip the fancy looking bar down the road from your hotel and go to a pub instead! You’d actually be surprised how many travel friends you can make just by hanging out a local pub and having a few pints or drinks of your choice. Ok, so maybe you won’t get talking with others after just a few minutes, unless of course you’re a chatterbox of course. But once you’ve been to the same pub time and time again, people will start to notice that you like the place and will most likely strike a conversation with you. And there you have it, you’ve made a new travel friend!
3. Go on free walking tours
When you’re travelling to big cities like London, Amsterdam, Rome and more, there are many companies that offer free walking tours. Other than the fact that these tours won’t cost you anything and will help you discover many of the most visited sites in the cities, they’re also a great way to meet other fellow travellers, expats and locals. You’re bound to find a few fellow friendly faces to talk to whilst you’re on one!
4. Stay at a hostel
Staying in a hotel room or an apartment of your own is by far the most comfortable. Yet, when you’re travelling solo and trying to make friends, residing in a hostel dorm is probably the best decision you can possibly make. Think about it for a second – Have you ever shared a room with someone and never uttered a word to them? I can bet you haven’t. Unless you’re tremendously shy and introverted, you’re bound to say something at least once or twice.
Another added bonus of staying at a hostel when travelling solo is that you’ll usually get to hand out in the hostel’s bar, breakfast room or common room too with other fellow solo travellers! Meeting other solo travellers who are typically just as eager to make new travel friends will grant you the opportunity to strike-up a conversation with others naturally. So the great thing is that you won’t be faced with any awkwardness!
5. Get a job if you plan on staying in one place for over a month
Getting a job and working each day is probably one of the easiest ways to make friends in life. And if you plan on travelling and remaining in the same place for over a month, it might just be worth getting one! Getting one will enable you to support your travel costs, gain experience and best of all will provide a fantastic opportunity to just talk to people!
6. Do a course
Provided that you’ve got some free time on your hands, you might just want to take a course. Taking a course will not only enable you to brush up on new skills, but will also enable you to make new travel friends too! Of course, assuming that you’re ready to do this, you’ll need to consider the costs involved in taking a course in the first place. Niche courses in computing can cost quite a hefty sum sometimes, language courses are usually a bit less pricey and courses in the arts are usually less costly than the aforementioned. However, no matter what type of course you do decide to take, you should always evaluate whether it will be worth your time and if you’re actually interested in the subject.
7. Go to workshops
Can’t afford to take a course? Take part in a few workshops instead! Workshops tend to be less costly and will still enable you to learn something new whilst meeting people who have the same interests. Whether you’re into photography, art or sports, you can typically find a few workshops to do in the place you visit. This statement is particularly true when it comes to big cities. Just run a quick online search to find one, calculate the costs involved and book yourself in. Once there you’ll be able to make some new travel friends.
There’s probably no better feeling in the world than giving back to those who are in need. And if you’ve volunteered before, you’ll most certainly agree with this statement. Volunteering is a fantastic way to give back to society and the less fortunate, but also a great way to make countless friends. So why not just take the leap and apply as a volunteer when travelling? You just might be able to get a free place to stay and also make a few travel friends too!
9. Put on your Dancing Shoes & Go to a party or festival
Large social gatherings like parties or festivals can allow you to celebrate and meet others whilst being total relaxed. The care-free vibe can help you let your guard down and talk to people who are in a good mood.
10. Go on a food or drink tasting event
Food often brings people closer together. And as a matter of fact so do drinks! If you’ve got a passion for food, you might want to join others who enjoy sampling local cuisine, beverages and alcoholic drinks such as wine and beer. Food is a particularly neutral subject for people to talk about and many are happy to share what they think about different dishes and cuisines. Assuming that you do go to one of these events and happen to click with someone, you might manage to acquaint yourself with a fellow foodie and make a new travel friend all at the same time whilst filling your belly with something yummy! Sounds great, no?
11. Go to open air markets
Open air markets are great places to shop. The atmosphere can shed light on people’s culture and you may actually also find a great bargain or two. Another great reason to visit is of course the fact that you’ll be able to find people to talk to and even possibly make a new travel friend whilst shopping.
12. Talk to people whilst in transit
No matter if you’re on a long journey by plane, train or boat, you can always use your time to read a book, watch a movie or pen down your thoughts. Yet, you can also use your time to spark up a conversation with someone whom you’ve never met before and possibly make a new travel friend especially if you’ve got a few hours on your hands.
Got a tip on how to meet travel friends when travelling the world on your own? Leave a comment below and help people discover how to make friends.