Okay, so picture this: you want to travel and see more of the world, but the people around you don’t necessarily want to do the same. Sound familiar?
Never fear! You can see the world and not have to be tied to other people’s plans, it’s now easier than ever to go solo when jetting off. But ‘how will I meet people?’, I hear you ask. That’s also super easy, and to prove it, we’ve rounded up four of top tips on how to meet other like-minded individuals whilst traveling independently – hoorah!
Read: How to Plan a 3 Month Solo Trip in Europe
Use social media
Yes, you’ll be using your phone to plan other aspects of your trip, but remember: it’s also great for planning how to make new friends on your way.
Using social platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, will help you connect with those also traveling to the same destination well in advance. This means you can plan to meet new people where you’re staying before you even step foot out of your house, and know you have friends ready and waiting for you.
Once you have an itinerary set, you can enquire in the many travel facebook groups about your travel plans and see if it overlaps with anyone else traveling during that time. Here are some of the travel facebook groups that I’m part of and love – Globetrotting Girls India, We Are Travel Girls, Girls Love Travel, or specific location travel groups like Backpacking Europe. You can find many more once you start searching.
Plus, using websites and forums dedicated to solo travelers is a great way to go about it. Why not even email the places you’re staying and see if they can recommend any sites, too?
See, not as scary as you think, right?
Stay in shared hostels
This is one of the easiest ways to meet new people, it’s so simple! Wherever you’re choosing to head off, shared hostels are basically a ritual when traveling solo.
First off, do your research prior to the trip on where best to stay as a solo traveler. Destinations such as Australia, South East Asia, Europe, and even the Americas are absolutely thriving with people like yourself, all probably looking to meet new friends as part of their trip. Shared hostels will usually have big communal areas and a bar to socialize around, too, so once you arrive you can drop your bags off and head straight there!
Embark on excursions and trips
Saying yes to special excursions and trips will put you on the path to hanging out with new friends, and you’re more likely to meet people really similar to you on these trips, too.
Wherever you’re staying, there’s usually a special team who will put on events or trips to places outside of the area, so get involved and see how you can sign up early on, to avoid disappointment. Or book your activities online beforehand at a discount.
Volunteering is possibly one of the best ways to meet new people. Volunteering opportunities could range from helping out on a farm to a cruise or anything in between. There are plenty of volunteering opportunities available these days thanks to sites like WWOOF, Workaway and the likes. It immerses you into the local culture and helps you meet like-minded volunteers. You’ll most likely be provided with food and accommodation in exchange for volunteering.
Read: Top Tips for Volunteering With Workaway
If you are looking for budget traveling, then Couchsurfing is worth a try. It connects with hosts from all over the world who are willing to host you in their house typically a room, or a couch. Great way to save accommodation costs while making local friends who might give you insights on amazing things to do in the city. Win-win, if you ask me.
Read: Finding Good Hosts on Couchsurfing
If you are in a touristy city, chances are that there are meetups happening around in the city that you can be a part of. You find out about meetups through meetup.com or Couchsurfing meetup.
Share cab rides
As a solo traveler, it can get pretty expensive to take a cab all by yourself. So share rides whenever you can through ride-sharing apps like Uber, Lyft, or BlaBlaCar (for long distances). It’ll cut down your transportation costs as well as meet new people along the way.
Overall, just be friendly, have the confidence to talk to people, and (of course) just be yourself!
There’s no point trying too hard or trying to be someone you’re not. You do you, and like-minded travelers will join you. It’s all about good vibes when you’re traveling – it’s meant to be an extended holiday after all!
Read: Tips for Traveling Solo
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