Travelling Solo – Tips On Making Friends

Want to go travelling but have noone to go with?

Can’t find anyone who has the time or money to join you?

Do not fear… Travelling solo is here

(sorry couldn’t resist)

I’ve never backpacked solo, but I travelled solo in Belgium earlier this year, and for 90% of the press trips I go on, I turn up not knowing (personally) any of the other journalists.
Travelling has, quite literally, changed my life, and i’d hate to think that the prospect of travelling solo would stop you guys from experiencing it too.
But its not always that easy, I know.
The thought of solo travel, for most people, is daunting.
Having travelled a lot myself now, I would have no qualms jetting off by myself, but for that very first trip – it’s most definitely comforting to have a side-kick to begin the adventure with you.
So let’s assume you are feeling spontaneous, you’ve bitten the bullet and you’ve booked your solo trip.

Here are my tips for meeting people when travelling solo…

– Stay in hostels

If you’re a backpacker (or if you’re not), hostels are 1mil % the best way to meet people. Cheap accommodation filled with other like minded, similar circumstanced, free spirited people. Hostels go out of their way to put on events and parties to… force friendships. It’s a squad waiting to happen.

– Get involved in Facebook Groups

This is something i’ve only just discovered recently. One of the ones i joined is ‘Sydney Backpackers’ where people share room rentals, car shares, working abroad advice… on first impressions it seems a pretty valuable tool. No harm in trying it!

– Volunteering / Intro Trips

Sometimes, approaching people, particularly when they are in groups, can be daunting. So starting your solo trip with some volunteering / an introductory trip (e.g. this one in Bali) can be a perfect way to ease yourself in and guarantee the social. They are, in my opinion, always over priced. But they serve a purpose and i’ve heard lots of positive reviews.

– Social Events / Festivals

Keep an eye out in the town for social events at bars, cafes, music venues and again, hostels. Spending the evening at a romantic ocean view restaurant surrounded by couples isn’t going to get you many friends…

– Couch Surfing / AirBnb

Staying with locals (whilst getting an awesome deal $$) is perfect for getting insider knowledge and tips on where to go and what to do. If the host is home with you, on many occasions, i have been invited out to socialise with them too.

– Download Badoo App

As much as one may try to deny it, apps are now, a legit way to meet people… but it doesn’t always have to be for ‘hook ups’. I certainly wouldn’t sit here suggesting you to hook up in order to find travel buddys – that could get a bit messy. Badoo on the other hand is a well established platform (app) that shows you ‘people nearby’ with similar interests to you. Yes you can find dates, but the emphasis is also on making friends – whichever floats your boat. The more of us that have it… the more likely that the girl across the beach from you will have it too. Send them a message, join the squad (always recommend in a public place first) and get memory making!

TO DOWNLOAD – Search ‘Badoo’ in app store

– Tag yourself in locations on Instagram

Sounds silly, but again, a legit way to network and meet people now. When uploading your travel snaps, tag the geo-location and let people know you’re there! A comment or DM goes a long way!

– Be helpful (take bits people need, lighter, chewing gym, 2 adaptors)

Particularly if you’re staying in a hostel and if you’re on the shy side, give people a reason to talk to you. If you’re going out to a bar – I can guarantee someone will ask for a lighter. If you’re in a hostel – I can guarantee someone will want to borrow your plug adaptor / iPhone cable. Whatever you have room for, take. Being helpful when travelling solo is going to start conversations and make you a few friends.

– Cook in Hostels

If you’re staying in hostels there are a few communal areas throughout – one being the kitchen. At dinner times, obviously, it gets filled up and there is no ‘sitting 10 metres apart from each other’. You all get cosy and naturally, conversation will start. Probably over the cracking beans on toast or pasta you’ve just whipped up.

– Be nice, be confident

Become a people person. Travelling solo will bring you out of your shell if you aren’t already and by the end you’ll be striking up conversation with just about anyone. Just be nice, be you and walk and talk with confidence. It works every time. Be someone you’d like to meet.

– Be a night owl

Basically socialise and be alive when everyone else is… which is usually nighttime (backpacker life). Travel for a lot of people is an escape from routine and so lie ins are a given, and cheeky cocktails in the evening are obvious.

Go with it. You don’t have to drink and go stay up late every night but… maybe for a few.


Do you have any tips for meeting people when travelling solo?

Leave a comment below 😀


Love Mollie


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