The fact you step through the door of your house on your own doesn’t mean you’ll be traveling all alone. Traveling solo is actually an excellent way to meet lots of new people and here’s a list of 8 tips to help you out.
Join an organized tour
Even if you’re an independent globetrotter and not a big fan of organized tours, when you travel long-term, it’s nice to take a break from time to time and let go of responsibilities. An organized tour will give you the possibility to relax, forget about bookings, tickets, and entrances. What’s the most important, though, you’ll have a chance to share the traveling experience with a group of people? There’re lots of tours, and you’ll surely find something matching your interest, be it a food tour including several dinners in different amazing restaurants, a venturesome safari or exploring art galleries. Remember that not only you, but also others pick a tour for a reason, so there’s a chance to meet people with common interests.
Find your favorite spots and visit them often
If you settle in once place for a longer time, find some places you like and visit them regularly. The staff will start recognizing you, other regular visitors as well. They’ll most likely get curious and approach you. It’s really an amazing feeling to have your favorite pub, go there each Friday night, say hello to the bartender and always meet friends to have a beer with, even if you didn’t organize it. You can do the same with a variety of places: libraries, cafés, and small grocery shops. When you go to buy bread in the morning and the baker smiles as soon as he sees you, welcomes you like a friend, asks questions and starts a chat, it gives you the nice, warm feeling of being in a familiar place.
Smile and talk to strangers
Having a smile on your face is the key, and it’s just as cliché as true. Some people might think you’re crazy if you smile to them on a bus or on the street, randomly and with no clear reason, yet most will find it utterly charming. Countries vary and so do the customs, not everywhere people are willing to talk to strangers, but do your best, keep the cultural rules in mind and try. You’ve got nothing to lose. Nobody knows you anyway.
Ask for help and advice
Many amazing stories start with one person asking another for directions. Don’t look for all the info on your smartphone. Gaze around, spot a local and ask him or her where you should go to reach your destination. It sounds a bit philosophical and, indeed, can turn to be so if you make actual friends this way and start sharing things with them. It’s really one of the easiest ways to meet people because you have an excellent excuse to approach them.
Talk, ask for advice, make questions. People usually like to talk about the subjects they know a lot about. It’s a pleasure to introduce one’s city to a traveler. Probably many times locals will propose to show you around or invite for a coffee. You might end up listening to some unbelievable stories or receiving the help you really need, all of that because you only asked whether it’s better to turn left or right.
Go to interesting events
Check out what’s going on in the place you’re visiting. Perhaps there are concerts, parties or shows you’re interested in. Look at the posters, read newspapers. Websites like Meetup.com are practical, and you can make use out of them. Besides, you can always go back to the point 4 and just ask someone if they’ve heard about cool events you could join.
Become a part of a community
Registering as a member of hospitality exchanges, like BeWelcome or CouchSurfing, is a nice and useful thing to do. It’s not only about finding accommodation but also being a member of the community, participating in various events, etc. Even before reaching a place, you can find people to meet up with as you arrive. If you’ve got a particular hobby, look for some folks who share your passion. Let’s say you love reading, why not to attend a reader’s meet-up at the local library? If you’re a sporty person, you can always hit the gym or join a hiking tour. Look for Facebook groups like “Where are we dancing tonight in Paris?” or “Yoga in Park Riga”. Because of all the social media, it’s never been easier to find like-minded people with the same interests.
Besides of using the Internet, you can simply go out, speak with people, attend events and, sooner or later, you’ll find the right group to become a part of. Perhaps someone will invite you to a park where jugglers use to practice or ask if you want to join regular movie nights they organize with a group of friends.
Stay at hostels
It’s much easier to meet people in hostels than hotels or guest-houses. Backpacker hostels usually have this great vibe that encourages talking, sharing and doing things together. You meet lots of travelers, some of them also traveling solo, many open to talking with a person they’ve just met. There are common spaces where people rest, cook or work. It’s absolutely normal just to speak to a random folk you pass by on the corridor. Numerous hostels also organize events for their guests, such as barbecue parties or nights out.
Take classes or courses
It’s not only for the sake of educating yourself, but also to meet new people. Languages, dance, painting, drawing, singing, choose whatever appeals to you the most and you would like to learn about. Most of the big cities offer plenty classes and courses, but in some places even countryside is eventful. Ecology classes, cooking, gardening, yoga, meditation, pick the one you prefer. You can either select your destination according to what you want to study. Or, once you’re already there, check what’s being organized.
What do you think of our tips on meeting people when traveling solo? Are you planning to have a solo vacation? Let us know and share this article with your friends.