Deciding to travel solo can be a daunting decision and one that I made after a lot of thought and research. I took my first solo trip to Europe for 3 and half months in 2018 and while my family and friends were very nervous for me it was the best decision I have made!
One of the questions I got asked the most was how am I going to meet new people while travelling? At first I didn’t really have an answer, I knew I would figure it out as I went along. Safe to say I had NO trouble making friends! My first hostel experience in Stockholm was probably one of my fondest memories. I met so many other solo travellers and every night a big group of us would gather in the common area, eat & drink and play a bunch of card games.
It’s great to put yourself out there and step out of your comfort zone. You’ll make connections with people from all over the world! I have made a bunch of friends from my travels and I still keep in contact with them 2 years later over social media and have even met up with a few in Canada! I want to tell you how to meet new people while travelling solo, it’s easier than you think!
Related posts: Still on the fence of solo travel? Read this post on pros and cons of solo travel!
Ways To Meet New People
Stay in a Hostel
Hostels are one of my favourite ways to meet new people while travelling solo. Whether it’s staying in a dorm or a private room, there are so many opportunities to socialize with others. The best site to find amazing hostels is Hostelworld, it’s the best site to find budget accommodations around the world!
The property descriptions on Hostelworld will tell you exactly what the hostel has to offer in terms of events, about their hostel, amenities and rules. Another bonus of staying in hostels is they sometimes offer either free breakfast and communal dinner nights. This is an awesome way to socialize with others and make plans for day at breakfast or join a group and explore the city by night.
I have made lots of friends while staying in mixed and female dorms. I actually tend to prefer mixed dorms because I found there to be more male solo travellers than females. While staying in mixed dorms I have never had an issue, I would definitely recommend trying it in a youth hostel.
Join a Tour
A great way to meet new people and getting to know a city is to join a walking tour. I have done numerous walking tours with Sandman all over Europe and they have been great! You are bound to meet others who want to make friends.
Once the tour is done you can ask your guide for recommendations on places to see and invite a few people along! After my walking tour in Prague, the guide and 6 others from the tour went to a traditional restaurant and we had an amazing time!
Also, you can join a group day tour since sometimes it can be difficult renting a car or public transport might lbe difficult. I always love getting away from the city and exploring smaller towns or going for a hike. Since I don’t drive I have joined a few day trips over the past 2 years and always meet some really cool and like minded people! Some of my favourites were to Plitvice Lakes in Croatia and to Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia.
One of my favourite things about solo travel is the flexibility to do what ever I want when I want. There’s no better feeling than getting to do everything you hoped to do on a trip without having to compromise because of your partner.
I spent my 3 and a half months in Europe planning my transportation and accommodation only a few days in advance before visiting a new country. While I did have an idea written down of places I wanted to see and the time line, I kept my schedule open. Let tell you a secret, it was the best decision ever!!!
Being spontaneous in your travel plans is super exciting and if you happen to meet others along your journey you can make plans to travel together. While booking everything in advance makes sense for a short week or 2 trip, it’s not the best idea for a trip longer than 3 weeks. If you book a lot of things far in advance it leaves little room for change and you could miss out on other opportunities! Those plans could be better than what you originally booked. Stay open minded and flexible, you have nothing to loose!
Social Media is an incredible way to connect with people world wide and there are so many groups, apps and networks to meet others.
Through my travels I have met many people that I initially connected with on my Instagram and Facebook. Since I’m a photographer and content creator I have made lots of connections with others in my niche on Instagram. I would reach out to them if i’m in their city to either meet up or take photos. I have made some great friends this way and we have met up in other parts of the world as well.
Facebook has many groups for solo travelers and female solo travelers. All you need to do is type in the search bar the type of group you are looking for, i.e. solo female travelers, solo travel, women who travel etc. Send a request to join and you’ll be added. Then you can post about wanting to meet others for your upcoming trip, tips or recommendations etc.
Attending an event lets you really be immersed in the culture, and traditions of a new city. Finding cool events that you are interested in is a great way to meet others and they will be like minded, which is a plus!
For example, at my hostel in Slovenia, the receptionist told us about a concert that was being held in the park. A bunch of us at the hostel got together and enjoyed a night of music and drinks! I suggest asking your hotel or hostel for events that are taking place around the city and more options will be available in the summer months. Sometimes hostels will host weekly events, such as movie nights, bar crawls or night tours and you can sign up the day before.
Another way to find out what’s happening in the city is to take a look at the cities tourism board website. This will give you lots of insight to what’s happening and you could post about attending the event in a Facebook group and see if anyone wants to join!
Looking to meet people and also get a place to stay for free? Check out Couchsurfing, a great way to meet locals in any city! I have never actually tried it, just because I travel solo and don’t feel 100% comfortable. However, I have a few female friends who have done this solo and have had great experiences! The people you stay with can become close friends and show you around new cities for an amazing local experiences!
These are my best and most effective tips for meeting others while travelling solo! A few of these tips might be a little out of comfort zone but if you keep an open mind and do it safely than you will be sure to have an amazing time! Stay open and put yourself out there, you will make friends and hopefully fall in love with solo travelling!