Solo traveling is an exhilarating and liberating experience. It provides an opportunity to explore the world on your terms, discover new cultures, and step out of your comfort zone. However, one of the common concerns for solo travelers is the fear of loneliness.
This is 100% a myth. You can make friends while traveling alone quite easily and it is such an enriching part of the travel journey. From one solo traveler to another, here are some tips for how to make friends while traveling alone.
1. Stay at a hostel
Choosing the right accommodation is key to meeting new friends while traveling alone. Hostels are perfect for this, as they often organize communal events, group tours, or simply offer common areas where travelers can mingle. Be open to striking up conversations with your roommates or fellow travelers in shared spaces. And if you’re worried about hostels being just for young people who like to party, you’re wrong! There are plenty of hostel accommodations for all types of travelers. Check out our guide to all the different kinds of hostels you can stay at with HostelPass.
2. Spend time in community spaces
If you decide to stay in a hostel, spend time in the community spaces and take advantage of communal meals. This is where you are bound to meet fellow travelers; sit with anyone and you’ve got friends for the day! Don’t be afraid to approach a table full of strangers. Even if it looks like everyone knows each other, most of the time, they probably just met, and you’ll find many travelers are always open to making new friends.
3. Join group tours
Participate in group activities and tours that interest you. Whether it’s a guided city tour, a cooking class, or a hiking excursion, group activities are great for meeting like-minded individuals. Shared experiences create natural conversation starters, making it easier to connect with fellow travelers who share your interests and you’ll often meet other solo travelers in the same situation – a perfect way to make friends while traveling alone! Check out our favorite food tours, day trips, and other local activities that you can book with a HostelPass discount here.
4. Do activities that you like alone
Part of the beauty of traveling alone is getting to do whatever you want on your own time. However, sometimes, you end up making new friends without trying to! While solo traveling in Portugal, I went to a museum that was very crowded. When I first arrived, I asked the two people in front of me to confirm I was in the right line. We ended up chatting for an hour while waiting to get in, initially bonding over architecture and design, and then hung out a few more times during my trip. By going alone to an activity that I was interested in, I ended up meeting like-minded people in the process. Indeed, sometimes the universe has other plans for us.
5. Be open to conversations with all kinds of people
Just because you’re a twenty-something-year old, doesn’t mean that all the friends you make while traveling need to be the same age as you. The unique part about traveling is that you meet tons of people who you might not normally cross paths with in your everyday life back at home. While staying at a hostel in the Netherlands recently, the person I connected the most with was actually the same age as my dad! He had a son my age and we had very similar stories to share. Be open to conversations with all kinds of people – you never know who you might bond with.
6. Invite people to join your plans – and vice versa!
While you might start your trips solo, while traveling, you’ll find other people who are interested in doing similar activities or itineraries as you. If you connect with someone you meet on your travels, don’t be afraid to invite them to join your plans. Or vice versa! If someone asks you to come along to something, be open to saying yes. I’ve found that joining other people’s travel plans sometimes leads to adventures I wouldn’t have normally planned – and as I like to say, do it for the plot!
7. Use social media
In today’s digital age, connecting with travelers has never been easier. Utilize social media platforms to find and connect with other people traveling alone in your destination. Personally, I’ve found Facebook groups to be a great place for making new friends. Many solo travelers post about which countries they’re visiting and which dates, and there are plenty of opportunities to meet up! My favorite groups are Girls LOVE Travel and Outdoorsy Gals.
8. Volunteer or work abroad
Volunteering or working abroad can be a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the local culture and make friends. You’ll meet people who are passionate about similar causes, and the shared experiences can lead to strong friendships. HostelPass offers a 20% discount on WorldPackers, a work exchange program that offers opportunities to volunteer with farms, hostels, schools, and more!
Ready for your next solo adventure?
HostelPass is here to support you on your solo travels. From recommending unbeatable deals on Europe’s best hostels and tours to sharing tips on where to solo travel next and how to travel alone, we’ve got your back.
So, embrace the adventure, step out of your comfort zone, and open yourself up to the incredible world of friendship waiting to be discovered on your solo travels. We promise you, there’s so much to look forward to.