Travelling alone? Worried you won’t make friends? It’s a common fear among solo travellers but rest assured you’re no alone and there’s lots you can do to make it easier on yourself.
Read our our tips and advice for making friends while travelling solo.
– Choose sociable hostels
This is really important! Don’t just pick the cheapest place, go for a hostel with good social areas, organised activities and free breakfast. This will make meeting people super easy. Do your research before you go; read the Trip Advisor reviews and check out the hostel website. Do they have a communal area? Are there dorms? Do they offer organised tours?
– Sleep in dorms
This is the first step to making friends if you’re shy. It’s far easier to introduce yourself to your room mates than anywhere else! We’d recommend the smaller dorms (4-6 bed) as they are more intimate than the 10-bed dorms.
– Stay on the beaten track
If making friends is important, choose popular travel routes. For example, most people start in a particular place and continue north (or south). So read the travel guides, pop in to your local travel agents and determine which route is best.
– Do an organised tour
On your first day, book a tour with your hostel or nearby travel agent. Whether it’s a city tour or canyoning trip, you’re bound to have heaps of fun and make new friends.
TOP TIP: Ask how many other people are confirmed on the tour and where they’re from. There’s nothing worse than rocking up on the day to find you’re the only person there!
– Sit in communal areas
Don’t hide away in your dorm, go straight to the common areas, choose the biggest table and sit down with a book. Sooner or later you’ll be joined by more people and natural conversation will happen instantly.
– Go for drinks in the evening
Same rule as above! If there’s a bar at the hostel, go to that. If there isn’t, check out the Lonely Planet and see which are the top bars/restaurants in the area. That’s the place to be!
– Be the first to start a conversation
The usual questions: ‘where are you from’, ‘how long have you been here’ etc are great ice-breakers. One of the best parts of travelling is sharing experiences and meeting new people, so it’s not rude to start talking to a complete stranger. It’s absolutely normal!