For some, travelling solo can be an intimidating experience. In my experience on the road, I’ve come to the realization that a lot of people choose to travel with friends or family (whether for safety reasons or the desire to share the experience with someone else). However, not everyone’s vacation always lines up—and sometimes you’ll be left to decide between staying home or hitting the road on your own and rolling solo.
Heading out on your lonesome? Here are some helpful tips for making friends while travelling alone.
Stay in a hostel
This might not sound too appealing for some, but staying in a hostel is a great way to make new friends and travelling partners. It’s almost impossible to not at least get introduced to new people when you’re sharing a dorm room, and most hostels have common areas and host events for guests to get together, which are great opportunities to connect with new people. If it’s your first time staying at a hostel, you can ease into it by booking a private room first and see if it’s the right experience for you. You’ll soon be surprised to see just how easy it is to meet new people.
Take a group tour
The first time I ever travelled solo, I took a small group tour around Europe. It was the perfect way to travel by myself for the first time. Not only did it help me feel safer visiting new countries for the first time by myself, but it was also nice to rely on someone to plan my schedule. It was also a great way to make new friends. Going on group tours is probably the best way to make friends while travelling solo because you’re instantly connected with new people from all over the world who are travelling to the same places you are and sharing the same experiences. Tour guides are always friendly and help group members get to know one another, and by the end of the trip you’ll quite possibly have made great friends for life. I know I have!
There are all sorts of options for volunteering as you travel, from teaching English to working on a farm or working with kids and animals. If you volunteer when you travel, not only are you helping out and possibly learning new skills, but you without a doubt will also be meeting locals and other travellers with common interests.
Take a class
Research your trip in advance and see what kind of classes are being offered in the area you’ll be exploring. Perhaps you want to learn how to cook Thai cuisine or learn how to tango. Taking a class when you’re visiting is a great way to meet locals and connect with people from outside the travel bubble that you might not of meet in hostel or on group tours.
Ready to go?
It can get lonely now and then, but for me, travelling solo was one of the best things I’ve ever done—and something I’ll continue to do!
G Adventures runs a number of departures encompassing a wide range of departure dates and activities to cater for different tastes. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you this big blue planet of ours— check out our small group trips here.