If you’re used to traveling solo, you have probably already met several people during your journeys. But for those who hardly travel alone, you’ll be forgiven for thinking that traveling solo means being alone all the time. But regardless of how comparatively easy it is to meet people when you travel, that isn’t always the case for many people. The truth is, meeting people has become a tad more difficult in the modern world, especially when you’ll find most people with their faces buried in their phones, earphones plugged into their ears, or showcasing high levels of individualism. For some people, the thought of putting themselves out there can also seem very intimidating. But if you’re in the mood to meet new people on a solo trip, you’ll have little option but to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there. Not sure how you can do that? Here are some tips to help you meet new people when traveling solo.
1. Get an app that helps you meet people
Although you may want to meet new people during your travels, it can be quite awkward- especially if you are an introvert. You can consider downloading apps that make meeting other people like you easier without going out of your way. For example, if you want someone to tour a new city with for a couple of hours or just someone to talk to, you can find apps specially created for those purposes. Even if you’re an outgoing person, you can still take advantage of apps that allow you to meet new people, get involved in hostel events, etc. Perhaps you want to romantically connect with someone new on your trips. Then you can also find apps or websites that will connect you with people in your chosen destination. For example, if you’re looking to meet a beautiful Russian woman during your Russia vacation, you can look up the best Russian dating sites and even find love while traveling.
2. Stay in a hostel
Staying in a hostel is one of the easiest ways to meet new people compared to a hotel or a private villa. Whether you prefer to stay in a private hostel or a dorm room, you’ll likely find loads of activities available you can be a part of. Just ask anyone at the front desk about their activities lined up and pick the ones you find interesting. Regardless of the activity you choose, you can be sure that you’ll get the chance to meet new people. Hostels usually prepare tons of exciting activities, from walking tours during the day to open mic events at night. You can also find bars, eateries, and restaurants bustling with activities and opportunities to meet new people.
3. Consider booking a homestay
You can consider a homestay if hostels and dorms are not for you. A homestay is pretty much staying with a host family during your trip instead of moving into a hotel or any other accommodation type. It offers numerous advantages over traditional hotels and even hostels; you’ll more likely get to enjoy home-cooked meals and get a first-hand experience of everyday local home life.
But a homestay is also a great option if you want to meet new people during your trip. Staying with a host family, eating with them, taking part in their daily routines, etc., are wonderful ways to build healthy relationships with the locals and even support them. And you’ll be surprised to see how many people you’ll be able to connect and stay in touch with years after your trip.
4. Sign up for an interesting course
Have you ever considered taking a scuba diving course, windsurfing, or even learning a new language or skill? Signing up for an interesting course is a great way to try a new challenge and meet interesting people while at it. Of course, the type of courses you can sign up for depends on your travel destination. But the most important thing is to ensure that you sign up for something you’re genuinely interested in. This way, making new friends or meeting new people will be an easy plus. If you sign up for an activity you have absolutely no interest in but just hoping to meet new people, you may end up very disappointed.
5. Do some volunteer work
Have you ever considered volunteering your time, expertise, or resources for a worthy course when you travel? Volunteering is another great way to meet new people when traveling alone. Whether you choose to help poor people, rescue animals, donate to an orphanage, assist in education projects, or join a project aimed at protecting the environment, you’re sure to meet truly caring people and create genuine relationships. If you love being involved in charity work, there are many opportunities available for you to make a positive change in the world and meet people.
6. Consider joining an online travel group
You can find some great solo travel groups on social media platforms like Facebook that you can join. The great thing about such online groups is that you can arrange to meet up with some group members that live in your chosen destination or are traveling to the same area as you. You can also get some travel tips from group members that will come in handy during your trip.
Before joining an online travel group, check to ensure its members share your interests. For example, if you travel solo because you’re a digital nomad, consider joining an online group created only for digital nomads. If you’re a safari lover, find and join communities specific to that interest.
7. Learn the language
If you’re looking for an effective way to meet local people, learn to speak their language when you travel. People naturally open up to foreigners when they hear them speak their languages. Of course, it’s impossible to master a foreign language that quickly, but getting a good grasp of the rudiments can be super helpful.
8. Make some personality changes
As mentioned earlier, traveling solo (or traveling, in general) already makes it easy for you to meet new people and even build lasting relationships. But it doesn’t happen automatically, especially not when you do not portray yourself as a warm, open, friendly, or welcoming person. So, if you naturally like to stick by yourself, you may find it difficult to meet new people regardless of where you are or the activities you’re involved in. so look inside in the mirror before you set off on your trip and do a little introspection. If you’re not naturally friendly, start practicing how to be one or how to make yourself a bit more approachable. Start by learning how to smile often and say a friendly hello to others or respond when others extend pleasantries to you.
Give everyone a chance
With your friendly smile perfected, give everyone a chance. Don’t limit yourself to a predetermined class of people, as you may miss out on meeting some really cool people and creating lasting relationships. Don’t be too uptight. Instead, keep an open mind when you travel, and be willing to try new positive experiences. Because you’ll likely meet people you’ve probably never encountered before in your home country, don’t let things like age, language, or culture get in the way. Also, give people at the bar, the cafe, the bus, or the bookshop a chance, as everyone has something to offer. At the same time, be careful about your safety and avoid becoming too trusting.