Everyone needs a vacation from time to time. Traveling provides a much needed break from every day life and a way of adding fun and adventure to an otherwise boring routine. Travelling alone can be a bit intimidating to a first-timer, but it doesn’t have to be! In fact, travelling solo allows you much more freedom than sticking with a travel buddy which can open up all sorts of unexpected doors for you! Below are some tips on how to meet friends when traveling alone.
Consider staying in a hostel
If you will be traveling alone consider staying in a hostel. A hostel is similar to a hotel. However, guests share rooms, lounges, and kitchen space. It is more like an open house setting. People from all walks of life share the same space. The social atmosphere encourages interaction. This is a wonderful way to meet new people and make friends. And unlike sharing a room with a lifelong buddy, if you don’t like the company after one night you can up sticks and move on to somewhere new ;). Hostels are often much cheaper than hotels as well, so it’s a win-win situation!
Prepare when you pack
When you pack include items that will encourage conversation or interaction. Packing a deck of cards is a good idea. These will come in handy when you encounter travel delays and such. If you are bored others most likely are as well. Invite them to a game. As the game unfolds you and other players will engage in conversation. Before you know it friendships will develop. Some people choose to take a musical instrument or craft materials to act as conversation starters, but this of course depends on your hobbies and your willingness to carry the extra weight!
Also, pack things like gum, breath mints, and snacks. Offering to share will give you the to opportunity to talk to those around you by. You might be surprised how a simple gesture such as offering a piece of gum can spark conversation among strangers.
Join group activities
Just because you are traveling solo doesn’t mean you have to stay alone! Joining group activities is the perfect way to meet the people around you. Once the activity is over ask if anyone would like to go for coffee or lunch (unless the activity WAS coffee or lunch, then you’d just look weird…) I would especially recommend doing this at Christmas, or on other special occasions when being away from home may be especially difficult.
Smile and have fun
If people see you smiling and enjoying yourself they will feel encouraged to talk to you. People like being around those who are positive and upbeat. Grump bunnies do not draw friends!
Ask to join others at meal time
If you see an empty seat in a dining room, ask if you may sit down. Most people will be more than happy to allow you to join the table. This will provide you with the opportunity to meet people. Don’t let a fear of rejection hold you back, you don’t know these people (yet!) so if they are rude you can feel free to walk away and find people who aren’t!
Take group tours
Group site seeing tours are the perfect way to see the area with others. It is often more fun to be part of a group than to go alone, and often the people you are with will point out details that you would missed if you were alone.
Ask locals and other tourists questions. Ask about the best places to dine, the most entertaining tours, and the best areas to visit. This will prompt conversation. Who knows, you may even be headed to the same area and have just found yourself a companion for the journey!
Travelling alone does not mean that you have to spend all your time solo. If you follow the tips above are sure to make a barrage of new friends whilst having the time of your life on your trip!