10+ Best Methods to Meet People & Make Friends When You’re Traveling Alone
Meeting people while traveling solo is a legitimate concern. I often get asked this exact question. I find it quite fascinating because I travel solo most of the time, yet seldom find myself alone.
Here is how this usually happens. In this guide, I will share my best methods that I regularly use to make new friends on the road.
Right off the bat, I will say that if you usually stay at hostels, that’s a great starting starting point. They are traditionally known to be great meeting places.
However in my case, nothing wrong with them but hostels are just not my travel style. There are so many ways nowadays, you don’t need to despair or feel like you have to force yourself to do what you don’t want to do. I assure you there are still plenty of ways to meet other likeminded travelers, especially for us ladies.
Here we go!
Free walking tours
I’m that annoying friend that just won’t stop praising free walking tours. Well any walking tours in general. It doesn’t have to be free per se. The reason why I wrote free walking tours is because I am referring to a very specific phenomenon taking over the world the last few years.
Most cities have them in place now. All it takes is a quick search “Free walking tours in X city” and you will be able to locate fellow likeminded travelers. These tours are often led by a local qualified guide. They are even accredited by the local tourism and cultural board.
After numerous conversation, I found out they almost always require some sort of license. Point is it’s not some random nobody. They know their stuff and you’re getting quality stuff. Please don’t forget to leave a generous tip at the end ad that’s how they make a living.
On the other hand, you also get to be surrounded by other amazing travelers like yourself. I always notice a sizeable amount of solo female travelers in those groups. It all starts with the usual small talk. Next thing you know, you’ve just met you favorite new bestie.
Trust me! I’ve met so many awesome friends this exact way.
Offer to take their pictures
This is a great one.
Since I mostly travel solo, I tend to do this a lot. I just walk up to another solo lady who could use some help and offer to take some nice pictures for her. This tends to go hand in hand with the free walking tour I mentioned above. It’s such a great ice breaker.
During my last visit in Belgrade, we all ended up grabbing lunch together, then obviously exchanging Instagram handles. Mine is @stefbarti by the way. Next thing you know we kept meeting up the rest of the week to do more fun activities together.
Oh, did I also mention how they will most likely return the favor and you will also end up having your own photos? They also tend to be great travel photographers as they understand the predicament and struggle.
Some of my best photos were taken in this exact scenario.
Various group tours & Food tours
Same concept as the free walking tours. The point is whatever you’re into, chances are you can find some tour for that. My top favorites are wine and food tours, along with various active tours such as a glacier walking tour.
Instagram gets such a bad rep but it doesn’t have to be all bad. It can be such a great tool for reaching out people you would have never encountered otherwise. I’ve met so many awesome ladies through IG. Also, it’s a great tool to keep in touch afterwards.
What a time to be alive!
Some of my friends like using apps to make friends before visiting a new place. I haven’t used any myself but that’s another option I hear about.
No shaming here but I really love how so many aps are coming out with emphasis on friendships rather than hookup culture.
Sill in the online realm, meetup is a great platform for reaching out to various communities. Just as the name suggests, it has all sort of gatherings happening all the time, all around the world.
I’m telling you! It’s such a great time to be alive. This just gets me so excited and grateful.
Strike a conversation with your fellow plane passenger
Ok! yes, I know! (insert facepalm emoji)
Some people will get so triggered by this and I get it.
People don’t tend to be the most social once they have to deal with travel stress. That said, in the last year or so, this has happened at least a handful of time where I started chatting up with another solo female traveler next to me.
This has been so interesting in so many ways. Often leading to a coffee once we reach our destination. I even became very good friend with one of those ladies. Going as far as taking a trip together.
Hey! The worse that can happen is a fun time and great conversation in good company.
Renting a Room in Someone’s house
I still remmeber how my mom was freaking out back in 2012. She just found out about my plan to rent a room in someone’s house for my Miami trip.
Funny how far we’ve come. Now the concept is oh so normal.
That said, I will be the first one to admit that room renting isn’t quite what it used to be on some popular platform. Lately, its more “businessy”. There are still some great opportunities for amazing interactions to be had. Just make sure to read the reviews to adjust your expectations.
I made a very great friend this way. I was winging it in Palestine with no place to stay. Next thing you know I meet this friendly girl who invited me to come stay with her at her place. I ended up staying with her for weeks and we even traveled together throughout the region.
Wanna know the best thing?
She refused to take a single dime from me. Traveling truly makes you realize how many amazing people are out there despite what the news insist on sharing.
Sports/ active groups
I really like to be active and do sports when I travel.
Fellow gym bunnies, what’s up?
This is another reason why I love to take it so slow when I travel. And no, slow travel doesn’t have to be for months at a time.
It can be spending one week in one city instead of trying to cram the whole country in 3 days like I often see other travelers try to do :). This helps to set some roots a little bit, thus allowing plenty of opportunities to meet people.
There is so much to do. I often struggle with not over packing my schedule haha.
You could hit up a yoga center. I am also into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, so I always make sure to check the scene wherever I go.
Not into martial arts? That’s cool too.
What about some indoors spinning through some of the best electronic dance music? There are so many things to do 🙂
Travel with your own awesome tribe
Traveling with my own tribe has always been a crazy dream of mine and one of my favorite things to do.
I really love people and especially hanging out with like minded individuals. This is why I started doing travel tours around the world. I am aiming for a handful a year. Some are food and wine tours in new exciting less traveled countries.
As if that wasn’t enough fun but I also organize some dance wellness retreats.
What’s that, I hear you ask?
Imagine staying in an beautiful and unique villa with a very small group of other awesome ladies. Ok, now is probably the time where I should let you know that I am also a dance teacher. I love teaching Afro beats and other fusion types and I found a way to merge this with traveling and sisterhood.
I really take great care in crafting elaborate and unique schedule and it’s always changes. What’s guaranteed is that we have the best time dancing our way through the world. We wake up and start dancing.
I believe there’s no better way to start the day and channel our inner goddesses. Then we go out and check out the city.
One thing is certain is that there is always great food, drinks and amazing adventures.
Last words for my solo lady travelers
Whatever you decide to do, don’t ever let not having a travel companion stop you for going out there and seeing our beautiful world.
Trust me on that one. You are more approachable and intriguing as a solo traveler. And more often than not, people will be attracted to your confidence.
Of course, always keep your wits about you and be aware of your surroundings. That said, never stop being awesome, going for it and living your best life!