Traveling on your own can be a challenging experience, and you can sometimes get quite lonely. This is especially a problem for those of us who are introverts, or not especially outgoing. There’s no concrete solution to this, but here are a few tips to meet new people when traveling solo:
1. Stay in a Hostel
One of the easiest ways to meet people is staying with them. Hostels are some of the most social environments and put you in contact with similar people. This automatically gives you something to talk about. Hostels also often have social events, like tours, game nights, or pub crawls, all good ways to meet new people.
2. Try Couchsurfing
Couchsurfing puts you in contact with fewer people than hostels but guarantees you a local host who knows the area. Unlike Airbnb, where you basically rent someone’s house while they’re not home, Couchsurfing is someone local inviting you into their home, usually for free.
3. Learn the Local Customs
Before you travel, research the local customs, to check what is and isn’t considered rude. For example, don’t wear sleeveless tops into churches or temples, don’t tip in Japan, and don’t eat with your left hand in India and the Middle East. There are countless forums and articles discussing do’s, don’ts and local etiquette. When in doubt, a smile, and polite and kind behavior will take you a long way in getting people to like you.
4. Social Media is Your Friend
Before leaving, check social media such as Facebook to see if you have any friends or friends-of-friends who live in the city/country you plan to visit. Get in touch with them to ask about places to see, or if they want to meet up when you’re there. Similarly, apps like Tinder can also work for meeting local people, though it’s best to be quite straightforward about what you do and do not want.
5. Take a Class
Classes and learning groups are also a great way to meet new people. Language classes are a good option, as you’ll also learn a bit of the local language. Other groups, such as cooking classes, dancing classes, walking tours, and hiking groups are also helpful. It’ll give you something in common to talk about.
6. Hang Out at Popular Local Lounges or Cafés
Popular local hangouts are not only an ideal place to meet friendly locals, they also often have free Wi-Fi! You can find out which places to go to by either asking people you’ve met, or checking online.
Do you have any more tips on how to meet new people and make friends when traveling solo? Share them in the comments below!