The decision to travel solo is a great way to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and gain confidence in yourself. It can, however, get a little bit lonely and naturally you’ll want to meet others and make friends. If you don’t know how to get started, then I have the perfect ways for you to make friends as a solo traveller!
Bumble BFF is exclusively for meeting people of the same gender as you if this is something you are concerned about when solo travelling. It’s basically Tinder (or normal Bumble) but just for making friends. You need to get a verification code beforehand, so make sure you are able to receive text messages. It takes about 5 minutes to set up and make a profile and then you are able to swipe people in the area that interests you. I used it when I was in Lithuania to make friends and I’m so glad that I did as it allowed me to meet locals and get the best tips and when I met up with a girl I matched with, it was the nicest time I had in Vilnius!
Go to a Club
I’m not really into clubs very much but they are a good way to meet people sometimes. Most people can speak English, and clubbing is a more relaxed atmosphere to talk to others as usually, people go in order to have a good time. It is very important to remember that you should try and be as safe as possible – ie. don’t accept drinks from strangers, don’t go home with someone you don’t know, use your intuition, etc.
Go to a Bar
Like clubbing, going to a bar is also a good idea and might be better for you if you don’t like drinking alcohol as there are often lots of alcohol-free options. Depending on the place you are visiting, usually, the menus will be in English or you can use Google Translate in order to translate it – or just choose something random, which is always fun!
Stay in a Hostel
Hostels are a great place to meet like-minded travellers. It’s a very easy place to start up a conversation as there are lots of options of things to talk about. Often, hostels usually do events, tours and have their own bars which make it safer and easier to meet people. I find that asking other people questions is a great way to open a wider conversation up! Here are some good questions to ask: “Have you been here before? Do you know a good, cheap place to eat? What’s the best place to visit? What do you think of the hostel?”
Join a Facebook Group
Facebook can be a really reliable way to meet new people wherever you are in the world. All you have to do is search the place you are visiting and there should be some groups that pop up. After you’ve found your group, you can post whatever you like – perhaps suggesting a meetup or advice. My two favourite Facebook groups to make friends on is “Host a Sister” and “International Solo Female Travellers”.
Go on a Tour
In most major cities, there will often be tours that you can go on. This is a great way to learn about the place you’re visiting as well as the opportunity to speak to locals and other tourists. The best way to find a local tour is by googling it or even searching for a tour group on Instagram! Freetour is also another great reliable site.
Do an Airbnb Experience
Airbnb Experiences are another great way to meet others, locals in particular! There’s a wide range of cultural activities that are often very affordable and allows you to understand the country’s traditions in more depth. The experiences can be solo or with other travellers, it all depends on what the experience is. Furthermore, there’s also a very handy review feature that lets you get a better feel of if the experience is for you.
Meet a Local
Lots of city tourism pages have a form that you can fill out that will pair you up with a local who lives in the area. Not every place does this, however, but it’s worth checking just in case. When I visited Vilnius, they had a form to fill in and to pair you up, click here to see what it looks like.
What are your favourite ways to meet someone whilst travelling solo? Have you ever made a friend when you were travelling?