5 Ways to meet people when you're traveling solo
Traveling alone can be tough, but it's easier than you think to meet people wherever you are. Don't miss out on a great vacation just because you can't find someone to go with. We've got some great tips for making friends no matter where you're headed.
Take a guided tour
Checking out tourist attractions as part of a guided tour — whether it’s a hike to a waterfall or comprehensive city tour — can be a great way to meet other travelers. Ask around at various tour companies about what tours they have going during the dates you’re interested in. Often there will already be several people signed up for certain excursions, so you just need to join the one that you’re most interested in. Spending a full day with your tour-mates means getting to know each other and ideally, making a connection that can be used later in your trip — from meeting for post-tour drinks to meeting up in another town or city.
Sign up for a class
Many cities and even smaller towns offer classes — from yoga to cooking to local crafts, depending on where you are. You don't need to be part of a group or couple to sign up, so take a look through your guidebook, ask at your hotel or do some research online to see what’s available. We highly recommend cooking classes, since they are interactive and have an almost dinner-party vibe with everyone cooking, eating and talking about the food. Any interactive class will make it easy to get to know your fellow travelers.
Go to a hostel or guesthouse café or bar
Even if you’re not staying at a hostel or smaller guesthouse, many of these places often have bars or cafés open to non-guests, and they make ideal places to meet other travelers. If you’re not comfortable eating or drinking alone, bring a book or your iPad, but once you’re settled, find a seat near others and listen for any conversation cues that would make it easy for you to jump in with an anecdote, or at least an introduction. People who frequent hostel bars and cafes are often outgoing and interested in making connections with fellow travelers, so you’re more likely to make a connection at these spots.
Take advantage of communal areas
Most hotels, hostels and guesthouses have some type of communal area where guests can hang out outside of their rooms. Sometimes it’s a breakfast area or lounge, other times it’s a rooftop patio, terrace, or a computer area for checking email if you didn’t bring your laptop. These areas are prime spots for meeting people, so get out of your room and spend some time where you’re more likely to see other guests. Breakfast especially is a great time to meet people, especially in a communal setting where everyone is sitting around one big table.
Smile and be open to conversation
It can be tough for a solo traveler to feel comfortable talking to others or even starting a conversation (as we mentioned above), but the more open you are to meeting people, the easier it will be. Remember to smile at others, say hello when you see someone in the hall or the lounge, and answer any questions you’re asked with more than a simple yes or no. The more open and forthcoming you are with other travelers, the more open they’ll be with you.
What are your tips for meeting other travelers? Share in the comments below!