Meeting new friends from around the world is one of the big positives of travelling. If you’ve decided to travel solo, making friends for short trips and adventures during your travels is a great way to stave off loneliness and keep you grounded. Even just a short chat while you take a bus can help make you feel less isolated. Follow our tips below on how to put yourself out there and meet some new people when travelling.
Be Your Most Confident Self
It’s not possible to just be confident, especially if you’re more of a shy person. But it’s important to try and encourage yourself to bring out as much of your natural confidence as you can. You might even find it easier than normal, being in such a new a different environment will likely have you open minded and curious. Try and strike up conversations with new people, just don’t be discouraged if some people are not receptive – it gets easier the more you try.
Meet new people staying in hostels
Hostels are the most reliable places to meet travellers from all around the world. Backpackers are all in the same boat, it’s easy to strike up conversations about travel plans. Many hostels will have common areas or shared dining spaces. They may also host meetups and events. Take these opportunities to make some friends, you might end up taking a day trip, getting dinner, or doing and activity together.
Take a class or join a tour
Everywhere you go you’ll find classes you can take where you’ll be grouped with other people for a day/evening/weekend. Find something that interests you and you’ll meet likeminded people while you learn a new skill. It could be cooking classes in India, take a scuba diving course in Thailand, take a surf lesson in Mexico – there’s exciting things to try with new people everywhere!
If classes aren’t your cup of tea, try booking a group tour or outing. You don’t need to have a group already, just let the tour operator know you’re travelling solo and they’ll fit you in with other groups. Boat tours, rafting, day treks, historical tours; there’s loads of options for exciting things to try where you’ll get to meet new people.
Volunteer to make friends when travelling solo
Even if you’re not travelling with the sole purpose of volunteering internationally, there’s always initiatives in need of manpower to be found. Having a common goal keeps spirits high and makes it easy to work on your social skills. If you find volunteer work that really speaks to your qualifications and experience, you’ll find yourself working alongside people you already have plenty in common with.
Hop onto public transport
Using public transport gives you ample opportunities to meet people. Chat about plans when you reach your destination, ask about the book they are reading, their life and family. These passing conversations will be great for building up your confidence in talking to strangers, just take care to keep your wits about you and follow the key tips for staying safe on public transport.