How to Make Friends While Solo Traveling

Have you ever considered traveling solo, but were deterred by the idea of making friends while on the road? It can be daunting to put yourself out there, but it’s also one of the best ways to meet new people and have unique experiences. With a little effort, you can make friends wherever you go. Here are a few tips to get you started.

woman solo hiking with an amazing view in utah
Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

Don’t be afraid to approach people

group of friends at rustic restaurant
Photo by Wade Austin Ellis on Unsplash

When traveling solo, it can be difficult to make new friends. However, there are a few tips you can follow to make the process easier. First, be open-minded and friendly. Approach people in your destination city or country and introduce yourself! If you feel uncomfortable talking to someone, don’t be afraid to move on.

Another tip is to find activities that you both enjoy. If you’re a fan of hiking or biking, join a group and make new friends. Or, if you’re a fan of culture, explore the local museums or restaurants. There’s always something to do in a new city or country!


Talk to people in line or waiting for something

cheers with beers at mexican restaurant
Photo by Elevate on Unsplash

Waiting in line, whether that be at a grocery store or coffee shop,  is a great opportunity to make new friends! When you’re stuck in line, why not approach someone and strike up a conversation and make some small talk. You never know what kind of connection you’ll find. Plus, it’s always fun to chat with new people!


Join a group tour or activity

group of friends on vacation with win glasses
Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash

If you’re looking for ways to make friends when traveling solo, then joining a group tour or activity might be the best option for you. With tons of activities and tours available, chances are there’s something perfect for your interests waiting to be explored.

Viator and Get Your Guide are my go to tour operators when I’m solo traveling!

When choosing an activity, it’s important to research the options beforehand so that you can make the most informed decision possible. Finding a group that is compatible with your personality is also key – if all of the other participants are total strangers, it will likely be tough to form any kind of relationship.

However, by doing some extra networking before departure and during your trip, you should be able to find plenty of companionship no matter where in the world you choose to roam!


Attend events and meetups

group having picnic in central park NYC
Photo by Ben Duchac on Unsplash

One great way to make friends when traveling solo is to attend events and meetups. There are many events and meetups happening all around the world, so it’s easy to find something that interests you.

Some great ways to find events and meetups are by using social media, searching online, or visiting the websites of specific organizations. There are also many events and meetups that are specific to certain regions or countries, so it’s important to do a little research before signing up.

Once you’ve found an event or meetup that interests you, it’s important to prepare for the event. This means knowing what to wear and being prepared to have fun. If you can, try to arrive a few minutes early so that you have time to chat with other attendees and get to know them better.

Overall, attending events and meetups is a great way to make friends while traveling solo. By being open-minded and trying new things, you’re sure to find someone who will become a close friend while you’re on your travels.

I like to use Couchsurfing (the meet up section) and Facebook groups and events to find local fun things going on in the place I’m in while traveling. 

Use social media to connect with others

woman with white nails scrolling on phone while outside
Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

When traveling solo, it can be difficult to meet new people and make friends. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to connect with others while on vacation or when traveling for work. One way to meet new people is to use social media like Instagram or Facebook groups.

This can be a great way to find friends who share your interests, as well as connections in the area you’re visiting. Online social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer opportunities to connect with people from all over the world. Be creative in your posts and use hashtags (#) when possible so that others searching for similar content and locations will find you too!

Facebook group meetups in Dubai!
Doing a day trip to Lake Como from Milan with a local who I connected with through Facebook!

 I’ve met up with so many amazing solo travelers using Facebook meet up groups. Search “expats or travelers in x location” and you’ll see a bunch of groups to join where you can post and ask people to meet up! 

Believe it or not, dating apps are also useful for meetups when solo traveling. I went on a few dates with locals while in Europe just for fun and ended up having some amazing dates and got a local tour guide in the process. Just be smart about meeting up with people online and listen to your gut. 


Stay in a hostel or Airbnb

wooden table dining area in hostel
Photo by Andrea Davis on Unsplash

The benefits of staying in a hostel or Airbnb are numerous. With less obligation to make new friends, it can be easier to immerse yourself in the local culture and meet new people.

Additionally, hostels and Airbnb’s are typically more affordable than hotels. If you’re on a budget, consider opting for one of these accommodations over booking a hotel room without first doing some research.

Finding Companionship on the Road: Embracing Unique Experiences

One of the most enriching aspects of solo traveling is the opportunity it provides to make new friends, often in the most unexpected places and situations. Engaging in unique local activities can be a fantastic icebreaker.

For instance, joining a group for an exhilarating dog sledding adventure in a snowy region not only offers a memorable experience but also opens doors to connect with fellow adventure-seekers. Such activities naturally foster a sense of camaraderie, as you share the excitement and challenges of learning something new.

Be open and friendly

friends group in Dubai
Some more amazing ladies I met up in Dubai with through an expat Facebook group!

When traveling solo, it’s important to be open and friendly to make new friends. Here are some tips for making connections when on the road:

  1. Join social networking sites like Facebook or Instagram. These platforms make it easy to connect with people who share your interests. If you’re shy, joining a group chat can help break the ice and initiate new conversations.

  2. Meet locals! Most cities have lively nightlife districts where you can explore while meeting new people in familiar surroundings. Go out of your comfort zone and see what happens!

  3. Talk about travel! Talking about your adventures is one of the best ways to make friends because other travelers will feel connected to you in a way that isn’t reliant on geographic proximity or shared experiences. After all, we all have stories to tell! 

If you’re looking for tips on how to make friends while traveling solo, you’ve come to the right place. These tips will help you open up and be more approachable, so you can make friends wherever you go.

In conclusion, don’t be afraid to approach people – Talk to people in line or waiting for something – Join a group tour or activity – Attend events and meetups – Use social media to connect with others – Stay in a hostel or Airbnb – Be open and friendly

Do you have any other tips for making friends while traveling solo? Leave a comment below and let me know!


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