Here’s How To Make Friends When Traveling Solo
By Kelsey Marie
Traveling solo has become increasingly popular in recent years. Experiencing a new city and country has been proven beneficial for self-growth and learning more about the world on your own terms.
As much as spending your vacation doing what you want sounds like peaceful bliss, it can also get quite lonely. If you’re in need of human interaction during your travels, this guide will help you make friends while traveling solo.
After all, solo travel doesn’t mean you have to be alone the entire time.
Did you know Airbnb offers more than accommodations around the world?
Airbnb Experiences allows you to meet fellow travelers while locals lead you on activities from city tours to foodie experiences.
The experiences feature launched in late 2016 and has been connecting travelers ever since.
Although you have to pay prior to the experience, the cost covers expenses like transportation, food, drinks or supplies. When booking, you’ll be briefed on information from the host on items you should bring as well as items they’ll provide.
Social Travel Apps
If you want to avoid experiences and just meet up with fellow travelers, then social travel apps like Travello and Tourlina are perfect options.
Travello is a free app which allows you to find other travelers nearby. You’ll be able to match itineraries for your planned trips and join groups based on your interests. It’s like a travel Instagram, with the ability to create a feed and post photos and updates.
Tourlina is another free app created for women only. It works the same as a dating app where you can swipe to match with travelers with similar itineraries and interests.
You may have heard of the dating app Bumble but id you know about Bumble BFF? This app allows you to find platonic friends in your area.
Although these options are generally safe, it’s important to keep in mind safety. It is advised to meet in public places.
Free Walking Tours
These walking tours are the perfect way to learn the city you’re in while meeting like-minded people.
The guide usually gives insight into the city from a local’s point-of-view. These tours are quite leisurely which allows you to start a casual conversation with the travelers in your group. Find a tour based on your specific interests such as local foods or street art.
Free Tours By Foot is a tour company that offers tours in popular cities in the U.S. and Europe as well as being safe.
You can also find tours by asking your hotel concierge or hostel staff.
Always remember to read reviews when finding a tour that suits you.
Stay In Hostels
This may not be for everyone but staying in hostels are great for travelers who want cheap accommodations and a sociable environment.
Hostels offer college-like dormitories with a common lounge area, kitchen and sometimes a cafe. Staying in a hostel is a sure way to meet and interact with fellow travelers.
Some hostels will even make an effort to introduce their guests by hosting game nights and group dinners.
A guaranteed safe option is to stay in a hostel located near the city center. Read reviews and see which hostels are best for solo travelers.
Coffee Shops To Meet Locals
Coffee shop culture is popular in big cities and a great way to befriend locals. Research which coffee shops are popular amongst locals and prepare to step out of your comfort zone.
Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation — you never know, it may lead to a life-long friendship!
Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie