How To Make Friends While Traveling Solo
Traveling alone is a type of meditation! I think traveling alone is the most healing way to meet yourself. I traveled alone during the most turbulent time of my life, and when I returned, I was a changed, even mature person. Traveling alone will bring you out of your shell, get to know the local area and people better, and liberate you.
When traveling with someone or in a group, everyone compromises their desires to find common ground. They want to have fun when you are tired, or they want to shop while you are wondering about the historical textures. If you are tired of experiencing such problems while traveling, you should experience traveling alone!
Traveling alone does not necessarily mean you will be alone. You can make different friends at each destination or continue with others on the road. These are all in your hands. I have a few tips for you to make friends while traveling alone. If you are ready, you are going on the best vacation of your life!
Tips To Make Friends While Traveling Alone
Stay at Hostels
My first and most important advice is to stay at the hostel. Staying at a hostel is the easiest way to find friends on your solo trip. You can easily connect with travelers who share your opinions and come from different places.
The first way to meet different people in hostels is to contact your roommate. Your friendship that starts with small talk can grow.
Second, spend time in the hostel’s common areas. If you lock yourself in your room, you won’t be able to meet anyone but your roommate.
Finally, as a good alternative, join the hostel's breakfasts. Since breakfast is within certain hours, everyone in the hostel usually meets for breakfast simultaneously. You can engage in conversation with simple questions and eventually even start making plans. You can also benefit from people's experiences to learn about the environment.
One of my favorite forms of travel is volunteering. When you work as a volunteer, you can communicate with other people more easily. You can be friends with the people you work with from day one.
Volunteering at the hostel may be the easiest method. In this way, you can get free accommodation and meal opportunities. Apart from this, there are volunteer work opportunities in surf clubs, bars, and places of beaches. You can also choose according to the hobby you have. For example, if you are a good swimmer, you can work in swimming courses. In this way, you can get closer to your colleagues and the people you meet there.
Here is the behavior that will determine everything, being friendly. if you don’t try to communicate, people will run away from you.
Here are some tips to look friendly:
- One of the things you should pay attention to is staying away from the phone. If you are constantly on the phone and hanging out with headphones, no one will step up to talk to you. That's why I recommend minimizing the use of electronics.
- Pay attention to body language. Keeping your arms and legs crossed means you don't want to interact with people. Try to free your body.
- Smile! Of course, you can't always grin, which is repulsive anyway. But a positive facial expression helps you look more approachable.
Here is some advice for all your travels: act spontaneously. Reservations or promises can keep you from more fun activities. Also, living according to plan while traveling stresses you out, and you can’t even find time to rest while trying to catch up.
When people you have just met invite you to a place, you will miss your chance to socialize if you have made a reservation in advance.
Create options that don’t force you to do anything and that are flexible.
Use Social Media
There are special groups of travelers on their social media accounts. Joining these groups allows you to get recommendations for your region and meet other travelers.
Facebook is the most extensive application for such traveler groups. On Facebook, you can meet the locals of the region you are going to, get information about the city and learn about the best places. You can also meet and make friends with the travelers who went there at that time, even before they went. In addition, these groups have event calendars by region. You can follow events such as concerts, parties, or nature walks to be held on the dates you will visit.
You can also find personal accounts of travelers, hostels, or local businesses on Instagram. You can find travel tips, have an idea about the region you are going to, and communicate with people.
Social media accounts have also become people's blogs. There are even travelers who make money this way! Travel blogs can reach people more quickly with photos and captions shared on social media.
Use Travel Applications
Besides social media accounts, there are travel apps that you can use while traveling. You can also make friends on these apps with volunteer opportunities, cheap hostels, local transport, and top restaurants.
- One of the most popular apps is Couchsurfing. In this application, some people want to host you voluntarily in the regions you go to.
- SoloTraveller is an application that aims to bring travelers together. Here you can find travelers nearby and add people you meet by opening private groups.
- The Tourlina application also offers opportunities for the safety of female travelers. Thanks to Tourlina, you can meet other female travelers. Members also have to verify before communicating with others. This makes meetings safer.
- On the other hand, Showaround is an application with local volunteers who want to show the travelers around. You can also find volunteer hosts here. There are many free options available, although some people charge a fee for guidance.
- TripGiraffe was established to connect travelers from different parts of the world. With this application, you can create your trip and invite people. Or, it offers you the opportunity to join any available excursions.
- Another travel application, MeetUp, allows you to meet people in the region you go to. There are people with different hobbies in MeetUp, which aims to bring travelers together.
There are many tour options, paid or free, that tourists and travelers can join. Although traveling with a tour group may seem tiring and boring, day tours can be pretty fun. You can join daily walking groups or tours to explore the local area.
You also can meet different people on the tours you participate in. You can start a small chat and maintain your friendship.
Meet Local Guides
Meeting local people can be good for your trip and meeting other travelers. You can contact local people at the hostel you are staying in or on the tours you will attend. It will also be good for you to know the region. You can also hire a local guide if it’s your first time visiting and you need help getting around. While it can be paid, you can also find free guides from the travel apps I’ve mentioned earlier.
Go to Local Pubs
Another easy way to meet local people is to explore local places. You can also move away from your neighborhood and go to places in different districts.
Pubs, in particular, are good places to communicate with people as people usually come to pubs to relax and chill. You can make new friends while adapting to the environment.
If you hesitate to go to bars in an unfamiliar area, you can invite people you meet there. In this way, you can communicate with them better. It will be an excellent opportunity to expand your circle of friends.
One of the best ways to meet new people is to learn new things in the local area. If you’re curious about different cuisines, maybe it’s easiest to learn while traveling. Apart from this, there are other courses such as music, yoga, surfing or language lessons. For example, if you take language lessons, you will have the opportunity to practice a lot while traveling in that region.
There will be new skills you acquire from different parts of the world. In addition, the courses are also an excellent place to make friends. You become friends with students or professors without any extra effort. The best part is that you also gain a new skill.
The Bottom Line
If you want to make new friends on a solo trip, definitely take my tips into account. Certainly, some are not suitable for you. For example, you may not want to deal with classes or join tours. There is only one thing at the heart of what I have said: not avoiding communication with people. Wherever you go, there may be different conditions than what I have said. The important thing is to be positive and communicate in your circumstances. If you are willing, this solo trip can be the best experience of your life. Have a nice trip!
Frequently Asked Questions for Making Friends When Traveling Solo
How do I make friends with locals while traveling?
One of the best ways to make friends with locals is to go to local pubs. Pubs are one of the places where people are most open to communication. You can also hire a local guide. In this way, you both learn about the environment and make friends. Apart from these, you can meet local people at the place where you work as a volunteer, on daily tours, or at the hostel, you are staying.
What to do when you have no friends to travel with?
If your friends aren't available to travel with you, don't get discouraged and do travel alone. You will have many opportunities to meet new people on the way or at your accommodation. Be open to communication and start planning.
How do I meet friends on a solo journey?
Many apps are helpful for travelers. Apps like Couchsurfing, Tourlina, or MeetUp were created for travelers to meet and explore the local area. In addition to these, you can join groups designed for travelers on Facebook and Instagram or follow travelers' blogs. You can meet new people at the hostel where you stay, where you volunteer, or while taking lessons.
Which app is best for making friends?
Couchsurfing is the most common app. You can both make friends and stay with volunteer hosts.
How can I have fun traveling alone?
When traveling alone, you have many opportunities for activities. Because you will not have a friend who will not adapt to the activities and you can participate in whatever you want. For example, hostels usually have nightclubs or parties in the common area. You can join local tours. Tours often feature entertaining events in the evenings. Or you can go to local pubs in the area. You can participate in many activities according to your understanding of entertainment. For example, nature trips or sports activities may be for you if you don't like parties and noise.
Are hostels a good way to meet people?
I can say that hostels are the first way to meet people. Since hostels are social environments and rooms are shared with different people, you can make friends as soon as you go. You meet your roommate first, and then there may be people you can get along with when hanging out in the common areas, or it's pretty easy to make friends over breakfast. Many like-minded travelers stay in hostels.
Where can I find a female travel companion?
Tourlina is a safe application recommended for female travelers. I is a safe option when you want to meet face to face. Female travelers can find both travel companions and accommodation hosts here.
How do you solo like a pro?
You can follow the blogs of professional travelers. Especially nowadays, many travelers have accounts on Instagram. Their advice and experience will also form the basis for you. Apart from that, there are many traveler groups on Facebook. People share places, hostels, or people they like and trust in these groups. There are also activities to be held in different regions. You can get ideas by following these groups and people.