How to make friends as a solo traveler?

Travel tips

You’re never lonely when you’re traveling alone. You will meet so many awesome people! But where and how to make friends as a solo traveler? I’ll tell you all about it in this article.

This article is also available in Dutch.

In your hostel

The easiest place to meet people during a solo trip is in the hostel you’re staying at. When you’re sleeping in a dorm with multiple beds, you’ll easily get in contact with the other people staying in the same dorm. The first thing you do (unless it’s in the middle of the night) is to introduce yourself when you enter the room. Before you know it, you made four new friends.

When you don’t want to share a dorm, it’s still easy to meet people in a hostel. Just make sure you stay in one that has common rooms. Whether it’s a (large) kitchen, a dining room or a living room. Pretty everybody in those rooms is traveling or loves to travel, so there’s your topic to start a conservation with.

Check out this post: How to survive a hostel?

During a tour

How to make friends as a solo traveler - group Inca Trail

At almost every destination, you’ll be able to do a tour. In cities, there’s always a (free) city tour you can join. And there are probably also day tours or multi-day tours available. The great thing about a tour is that you experience the same thing as the other people on your tour, so you’ve got plenty to talk about.

Use public transport

In most buses or trains you’ll have two seats next to each other, from which you’ll use one when you’re traveling solo. The other chair is usually occupied by another solo traveler. 9 out of 10 times, the person next to you is a great person to start a conversation with. When I was on a bus in Costa Rica, I spoke to a local who wanted to improve his English (and I learned some Spanish) and I had a great laugh during a bus ride in Peru with a girl from Italy.

In a restaurant

According to most people, going out for lunch or dinner is mostly the scariest (and most boring) part of traveling alone. I have to be honest, I’m also a bit hesitant to go out for dinner by myself, that’s why I always bring my e-reader. But did you know that a restaurant or a terrace is a great place to meet other solo travelers? You’re never the only one traveling alone, so you’ll probably see other people dining by themselves. You can always ask if you can join them, the worst thing they can say is ‘no’, but in my experience, that never happens. I’ve met some great people this way and rarely had to eat by myself.

More to read: Tips & tricks: traveling solo for the first time

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