Guide: How to make friends and meet new people while solo travelling

Meeting new people and making long-lasting friendships while traveling can be a rewarding and enriching experience. Here are some tips and strategies to help you connect with others during your travels. It's all about trying to put yourself in the right place at the right time, to maximise the amount of potential friendships you can make. Don't worry and don't get disheartened if it doesn't work first time, the more you try, the higher your chance will be to meet more people and make lasting friendships.

Engage in Interactive Activities:

Visit picturesque spots or landmarks where tourists often gather. Offer to take photos for fellow travelers or ask them to take a picture of you. This provides an excellent opportunity to break the ice and start a conversation.

Participate in group activities or events, such as walking tours, cooking classes, or local cultural performances. These settings encourage interaction with other travelers who share similar interests.

Travel Patches on Your Backpack:

Adorning your backpack with travel patches can be a conversation starter. These patches often represent countries you've visited or experiences you've had. Other travelers may approach you to ask about your patches, sparking conversations about your adventures and theirs.

Having patches can also signal to others that you're a seasoned traveler, which can be a deterrent to potential scammers or pickpockets.

Join Tours and Guided Expeditions:

Participate in guided tours or group expeditions to popular attractions or destinations. Whether it's a city tour, a trekking adventure, or a river cruise, these activities often involve traveling with a group of like-minded individuals.

Shared experiences, such as exploring historical sites or tasting local cuisine together, create natural opportunities for bonding and friendship. Use meal times during these tours to sit with different people and strike up conversations.

Stay in Social Accommodations:

Choose accommodations like hostels, guesthouses, or communal living spaces that encourage social interaction among guests. Many hostels organize events like group dinners, pub crawls, or game nights, providing chances to meet fellow travelers.

Utilize common areas like lounges and kitchen spaces to strike up conversations and share travel stories. Where have you been, how long have you been travelling, and where are you going are all stellar conversation openers.

Use Social Media and Travel Apps:

Join travel-related groups on social media platforms or use travel-specific apps to connect with fellow travelers. These platforms often host meetups, events, or forums where you can interact with like-minded individuals.

Apps like Meetup or Couchsurfing also offer opportunities to find local events or meet travelers in your destination.

Attend Language Classes or Workshops

Consider enrolling in language classes, cooking workshops, or art classes in your destination. These activities not only provide you with valuable skills but also introduce you to locals and other travelers who share your interests.

Be Approachable and Open-Minded:

Approachability is key to meeting new people. Smile, make eye contact, and be open to starting conversations with others.

Embrace the diversity of people you encounter during your travels. Be respectful of different cultures and viewpoints, and be willing to learn from others.

Remember that making friends while traveling is not only about building connections but also about creating memorable experiences together. Be genuine, patient, and open to forging connections with people from all walks of life, and you'll find that your journey becomes even more enriching and rewarding.