Traveling is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. It’s fun to do it with a friend but sometimes that’s not possible. In other cases, it’s just a better decision to travel alone in order to meet new people and break out of your comfort zone. In any case, traveling alone can be quite daunting especially if you’re not sure how to make friends.
Many people who have traveled solo before say that making friends is a huge part of the fun. So here are some tips to help you make friends while traveling alone.
Try staying in hostel dorms or backpacker lodges
This is by far the easiest way to make friends when traveling abroad. At first it can be awkward sharing a room with a bunch of strangers, but eventually, if not out of sheer boredom, you’ll start to discuss where you’re from, what your interests are, and what your plans are for the trip. This is also a great opportunity to do something spontaneous if one of the dorm members invites you to tag along with them. Just be sure to keep safe and do this sort of activities in a group.
Use social media
In the age of technology and connectivity, it’s so much easier to meet people using online platforms. Whichever form of social media you use, there are several travel communities that you can join. These forums and communities often plan activities together, which is great for socializing and meeting new people.
Do interesting activities
You could always plan your own activities too. Find something interesting to do in the area you’ll be in and go on a busy day. The place might be packed, but it presents a wonderful opportunity to meet people with similar interests to you – otherwise, why else would they be there?
You could also learn about new hobbies that are specific to the local area, like grape-pressing or crab catching for example. Learning something new is a great equalizer and conversation starter between people.
Join a tour
A fun and safe way to travel with new people is travel tours. Travel agencies offer trips with a group of people over varying time frames with different itineraries. Traveling with the same fairly large group of people for several weeks is a great way to make friends because you’ll find overlapping interests and have plenty to talk about regarding what you’ve seen and experienced.
Use the opportunity of long-distance transport
If you find yourself on a several-hour-long bus ride, you might want to have a chat with the lonely person sitting a few seats away from you. They are likely as bored as you and may welcome the conversation. Just watch out for people wearing earphones – they’re probably not in the mood to chat.
Volunteer or do work exchange
There are several programs that allow you to volunteer abroad or do some sort of work. It’s much easier to relate to a person when you spend hours a day together and both need some time to unwind. When you’re finished with whatever you’re doing, there are plenty of opportunities to see the local sights or just relax together. Not to mention that it’s a great addition to your C.V.!