Meet travel buddies—Solo traveling can surely be life-changing for some people. Whether you travel solo by choice or by necessity, the experience is often a rich one. It can give you a sense of independence, and it feels empowering. Solo travels can be downright addictive. However, traveling solo does not mean you have to deprive yourself off of social interactions. On the contrary, traveling solo is all the more reason for you to go out there, meet travel buddies, and make meaningful connections.
While solo traveling does have numerous perks, it can get boring not to have anyone you can converse with. This is especially true if you’re going for a considerable amount of time, for say, two weeks consecutively. Meeting new people while traveling is something that enriches your travel experience. So how can you meet your travel buddies as you journey solo?
Want to meet travel buddies? Plan a meetup ahead!
Make use of online channels. Planning a meet up ahead has a lot of advantages. You can save so much time looking for people you can meet with once you’re there and immediately get into the activities you’d want to do. It is also generally safer as you’d already have a general idea of who they are ahead of meeting them. It may give you a sense of security especially since you’re going to be meeting a stranger in a foreign country.
The use of social media is a bit underrated as a channel to meet travel buddies. Social media can be super versatile and it is undoubtedly one of the most convenient ways to plan meet-ups during your travels. You won’t have to sign up for new accounts on sites, just use your social media straight away.
Sites such as facebook, twitter, instagram, and even tumblr are excellent to both meet and arrange a meeting for your travels. Make use of the group features on facebook. There are numerous groups dedicated to travels and you may even find ones that cater to people like you. There are groups dedicated to women travelers, solo travelers, and even travelers by country (whether by destinations or by origins). You can even start from the groups you’re already a part of. It would allow you to meet people whose interests match yours. A quicker way would be to join groups specifically created for travelers. Some examples of the biggest groups on facebook are Backpacking Clan and Girl vs Globe.
Since certain sites may feel more private compared to the others, make sure to respect certain boundaries. Even though it’s just online, you may come off as a creep if you’d just add people in groups randomly. Make sure you have interacted before, and better yet, ask them whether it’s okay for you to add them on their personal profiles. Make planning a meet with your travel buddies a pleasant one!
Sites dedicated to travelers community
You’ve probably thought of using couchsurfing as a means to meet travel buddies. And it’s an excellent idea. Couchsurfing is an excellent social channel for getting together even without you needing a place to crash in for the night. Most people these days use couchsurfing in order to meet fellow travelers and not necessarily in search for a place to stay. Other sites options that you can try out are meetup.com, eatwith.com, travelpal, and many others.
Sign up for a class
By signing up for classes, you can enrich your travel experience AND meet people who have the same interests as you. Signing up for classes would usually give you plenty of opportunities to talk and meet with the locals as well. A simple activity that you have already done at home, for example, going to the gym, would give you ample opportunities to meet with people as you solo travel. If you’re a member of an international gym franchise, then make sure to check with them. Classes in a gym are often free for members. If it isn’t available, you may purchase a day pass. It’s an excellent way to meet travel buddies without fear of getting awkward or intrusive.
Signing up for classes is excellent for people who need “context” in their interactions. Chatting strangers up on the bar, while common, may go awkward or become uncomfortable fast. Having an activity that centers your interaction with the people you’re meeting with usually would feel more meaningful. Sign up for a sushi cooking class if you fancy the dish and happen to be in Japan. You’ll learn a bit more about the culture of the place you’re visiting in the ways that merely sight-seeing won’t provide. Get the most out of your travel!
Book a day tour
Booking a day tour is a sure way to have an organized activity for your travel AND meet new people! As people go more and more independent in their travels, sometimes this option is overlooked. However, they are an unexpectedly useful resource for solo travelers to connect with fellow travelers and meet travel buddies. Make sure to find out how many people in a group. Sometimes a group that’s too large would be very difficult to organize. Small to medium groups with up to 10 – 20 people are usually ideal. But if you want to meet a lot of people at once during your travel, then it may be a good option.
Stay at a place that encourages being social
Staying at a hostel is a common way for travelers to meet each other. Finding travel buddies here can be easier as you’d at least spend your mornings and your evenings before sleep in your hostels. However, it is not without work. Just staying at a hostel won’t guarantee you to meet travel buddies as soon as you set foot into it.
An alternative to hostels would be a share house. Share houses are usually more private as the rooms are not dorms. It’s excellent for those who are looking for some company but also need more privacy than what a hostel can provide. Frequent the common rooms. Make use of the facilities such as the kitchen and dine in the dining rooms. You may also get creative and set aside some of your cookings for your fellow housemates. After all, communication does come easier with food on the table.