Making Friends While Traveling Solo

Solo travel is the best, take it from me. You get to make your own schedule and divert from it if you feel like it. You don’t feel like going out? That’s okay! You can stay in and binge-watch a new show. Have some free time? Book a last-minute activity! Another reason I like to travel by myself is for the chance to meet new people. I know it can feel intimidating to go up to a group of strangers or even a single person, but someone has to be the one to make the first move. I’m going to let you in on a few ways to make friends while traveling solo so you can use them on your next independent exploration! 

    My go-to way to mingle with people while traveling alone is to stay at a hostel. This is a great way to meet other travelers and swap your experiences. There will be like-minded individuals looking to accomplish the same thing as you! Hostels also put on events or arrange activities so everyone can socialize and have a good time. I have met some great people while staying in hostels. I even went on a pub crawl and had a fantastic time! It was a night full of new acquaintances and lots of drinks. I implore you to stay at hostels, go out on a limb, and put yourself out there to connect with others. 

    A technique that has worked for me in the past is to book a day tour or find activities that include others. I have booked many tours during my solo travels in Ireland and the Netherlands. I got to talk to many different people and made friends for the day. I love the idea of day tours because I don’t necessarily want to be with a group the whole time of my trip. That’s why I’m traveling solo in the first place! With day tours, you get to go places with a group that would cost more and is more challenging to do by yourself. For instance, when I was staying in Dublin, I took a day tour to Blarney Castle. If I would have done it by myself, I would have had to rent and drive a car, probably pay for parking and gas, and pay to get into the castle. The day tour drove you and the entrance fee was included with the tour price. Tours are also a great idea if there is something you would like to see or do that you feel a little uncomfortable about. For me, it was the Red Light District in Amsterdam. I’m so glad I went because I knew I wanted to do it and sometimes it helps to be around others who are there for the same thing, even if you don’t know them. 

    I am going to shake things up with the last suggestion I have for making friends while traveling solo. I have looked into this myself, but have not gone on one…yet. I am part of a Facebook group called The Solo Female Traveler Network. By its name, you can probably guess that it is a place where women can share their adventures. This group also puts on trips! I think it would be amazing to go on one of these group trips and meet others just like me! So while technically the trip itself would be a group trip, you are still going into it without knowing anyone! You could easily make friends and find future travel buddies if you ever want to take a break from solo travel. And maybe you can sneak away to get some of that alone time you crave during your adventures.    

Making friends while traveling solo doesn’t have to be this huge and scary thing. Clear your mind and take the first step. It’s kinda like when you are little and your parents tell you “It’s more afraid of you than you are of it”. I am not an extrovert by any means, but there is something about traveling on your own, leaping out of your comfort zone, and saying “fuck it” that might boost your confidence enough to turn your inner caterpillar into a butterfly. You might fall flat on your face or maybe, just maybe, you could meet a life-long friend.

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