10 Tips and Resources to Meet People While Travelling Solo

Ironic as it may sound, to travel solo rarely means to travel alone. We’ve all been there, but we also understand those nerves and ‘what if’s’ you are feeling. So let us help you get that first step in the door with our favourite tips and resources on how to connect with friends as a solo traveller! You can thank us later (or blame us after you end up spending your soul-searching ‘me-time’ trip hanging out with other travellers)... 

back of solo traveller in forest surrounded by trees gazing up at sky and sunshine

1. Workaway

Now, we don’t like to blow our own trumpet, but we’ve met some pretty awesome people through Workaway. Reach out to hosts in 180+ countries for an immersive friendship and learning experience, and/or find a travel buddy with similar travel plans and interests using our filters. Feeling spontaneous? Meet up with a workawayer nearby to go on a weekend excursion or quick coffee! There’s a whole community of like minded people looking to connect, so you’ll always be in good company if you reach out.

three travellers and new friends with muddy hands on a cob construction experience outdoors

2. Look for cool events in your area

Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups. Basically, it is local events organised by friendly local people. For example if you are visiting Italy, log on to meetup and you will be presented with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of events and groups that want you to come along and attend. Anything from hiking trips to parties! They are mostly all free to attend and if you are feeling extra nosy you can even see who else is going along too.

3.Go on a local tour or trip

Most cities offer walking tours and day trips where you can go along and explore your new travel destination with locals or other travellers. Check out sites like freetoursbyfoot.com and freetour.com for free tours around your destination with like-minded people; try an Airbnb experience to immerse into a unique local activity offered by a host, or spend some one-on-one time with a friendly independent guide on withlocals.com and discover your destination’s hidden gems with them.

Ethiopia coffee house experience with solo traveller and local host enjoy unique cultural experience

4. Reach out to friends online

Looking to connect with someone on the road? Take advantage of social media and different networking communities online! Join one of the many travel or expat groups on Facebook, post that you are going to ‘X’ country and ask if any members have recommendations. Share your adventures on Instagram — chances are you’ll have an acquaintance or friend of a friend who’s in the same country and keen to meet up! Say hi to fellow travellers on Backpackr, or even sign up to Bumble BFF to directly match with new friends in the area. There are plenty of people out there who’d love to meet new friends and share their experiences, so a proactive approach is very  likely to get you some positive responses.

5. Couchsurfing

It is not just all about that free couch. I can almost guarantee you the people you meet through Couchsurfing will be instant friends. If you’re looking for a short ‘layover’ between your Workaway trips, or someone to hang out with when you are out and about in town, Couchsurfing is a sure-fire way to meet people while you are on the move. It’s also a great way to introduce yourself to a new place before deciding how long you want to stay there!

traveller and host enjoying a moment in nature outside a hut with mugs in hand

6. Join an interest class

Group yoga, painting class, surfing lessons — you’ll definitely get to do something you love even when you are away from home! Going to an interest class is an incredibly easy way to meet locals and travellers alike, because you already have an interest in common and will get to share that passion with each other. And the best part? Even if you end up not making a any friends this time, you’ll still be enjoying yourself whilst learning something new.

7. Prepare more food than you need

But really.. you’re not going to use the rest of that pasta, just put it in the pan and see if there are any other hungry travellers around. Offer it to someone else in the hostel and the likelihood of them taking it without attempting any small talk is next to zero. And if there’s extra room in your backpack, try to pop a snack in from your hometown and start a conversation! After all, food is a universal language :p

world travellers and volunteers around a table smiling at camera after a shared meal

8. Smile :)

The best way to tell people you’re approachable is to SMILE! You’re more inclined to make conversation with someone who is smiling, so make sure you’re sending the same positive vibes out too when you’re on the road :) Trust us, a friendly face goes a long way!

new friends cultural exchange group smiling selfie

9. Don't play it cool

Yes, I said DON’T. Travelling is all about getting out of your comfort zone, so why not take the initiative? Go up to that girl sitting alone, say hi to that guy looking lost and accept the invitation to happy hour beers. More than likely they will be in the same situation and so grateful you made the effort. This is not the time to play it cool and miss out on all the opportunities that could make your travels even better!

10. Be patient

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but friendships can be. Contradicting? Yes. But read between the lines. Sometimes you will meet someone on the first day and end up travelling with them for the rest of your trip, but sometimes it may just take a bit longer. Language barriers and cultural differences may be intimidating at first, but It’s all part of the journey, and that’s what makes it all the more rewarding. Think about it, where else would you have these awkward exchanges, funny experiences and unique friendships that come with them?

four travellers sitting on bench arms around each others backs and enjoying castle view from above
travelling alonetravelling solomeetalonesolomeetingtravel

About Sarah

Sarah helps with the Workaway blog. She left her secure job and daily routine in the UK 5 years ago to pursue a life of volunteering and travel. Throughout her work as a freelance writer and scuba ins... show more...

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