If you have the opportunity to travel, but have to do it alone, you might wonder if a solo adventure will have to be a lonely one. You might even be wondering if it’s worth it at all. Rest assured that traveling solo can be at least as rewarding as sharing the trip with loved ones or friends if you know a few simple tips for making friends along the way.
Make friends on the way
Since traveling involves, well, traveling, spend some of that transit time getting to know fellow travelers. Way more often than not, you’ll find others headed to your destination. While you won’t always want (or be invited) to officially become part of their group, there’s a good chance that the spirit of adventure that brought you together in the first place will provide a great opportunity for at least some mutual exploration of your destination. If you’re lucky, these travelers might even have made this trip before and will have great insight into some of the best places to visit.
Take advantage of hostels
Hostels have a long history of being fantastic places for travelers from around the world to meet. This is especially true if you stay in a hostel dorm as opposed to a private room. Hostels are kept alive by the same spirit of adventure that’s driving you. Hostel bars are also a great place to socialize. Most guidebooks and various grapevines can let you know which hostel bars are best for a real night on the town versus a more laid back evening.
Couchsurfing can be a great way to meet new people. Couchsurfing involves hooking up with a network of homeowners willing to offer travelers a free place to sleep for one or more nights. Typically, you can choose a host based on published profiles, which makes it easier for you to connect with people whose interests are similar to yours. In addition to being a very budget-friendly way to travel, couchsurfing gives you the ultimate insider’s look at your host city. Who better to show you around personally or give you pointers on the best places to go than someone who lives there full time?
Participate in some organized activities
Most travel destinations offer lots of activities for tourists. Taking advantage of such attractions is a great way to meet other travelers. If you’re in an area that sees many organized tour groups, it might be possible for you to tag along with such a group. Again, most travelers are adventurers and are happy to share the experience with others.
Find kindred spirits
In this day and age, social media can be a great way to find other solo travelers in your area or local groups that share your interests, hobbies, or profession. You might also look for expat hangouts or neighborhoods in your destination city. Finding fellow countrymen in your host country can be a terrific way to get the lay of the land.
In the end, traveling solo can be anything but lonely if you’re willing to reach out and leave shyness at home. In fact, it can be an even greater opportunity to make new friends from around the world than you’d find traveling with friends and staying inside your comfort zone.