How to Meet People While Traveling (Without Staying in a Hostel)
One of the biggest questions travelers — especially solo ones — have before going on a trip is how to make friends while traveling solo or how to make friends while abroad. If this is you, then you may be worried about being lonely or simply wondering how you can meet other like-minded travelers while on the road. Additionally, there are those traveling as a couple or with friends who are looking to expand their circle of friends and wonder how they, too, can meet people abroad.
Enter: hostels. The affordable, almost effortless way to make new friends on your trip. Besides budget-friendly accommodations, hostels provide the perfect environment to meet other travelers and maybe make a travel buddy or a travel buddy. They have common rooms and communal kitchens designed to help you meet other people, and let’s not forget the dorm rooms that you’ll be sharing with other travelers (though, there are private rooms as well).
Perhaps you already know how to make friends in hostels. But, what if staying in a hostel isn’t quite your thing? Are you doomed to be alone on your trip if you are not about that hostel life? Or, will you be forced to only socialize with your travel partner for the duration of your trip?
Not at all!
There are so many other ways to meet people traveling. Let’s explore a few of them, shall we?
Join a Day Tour or Experience
Obsessed with Harry Potter? Want to visit Stonehenge? Curious about where Champagne comes from? There’s a day tour for that. Sign up for a day tour on your travels to explore places you’ve always wanted to see and as a bonus,meet other travelers who share the same interests. You’ll already have something in common that can easily lead to the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
If you do decide to stay in a hostel, many offer walking tours, pub crawls, and other group activities that you can take advantage of to make friends while traveling. But, you can also join Airbnb experiences, cooking classes, or do Couchsurfing in order to meet others.
Participate in a Meetup
Meetup is a platform that allows people who share an interest to connect in person. This interest could be anything from practicing French or having a board game night to doing yoga or vegan eating. Just sign up on Meetup.com, put in your location, and go to your first travel meet!
And, don’t worry about not knowing anyone. Most other travelers at a Meetup are there to make new friends. And, the hosts are usually great at introducing everyone to each other. Best of all, if you don't see a Meetup that fits your interests, you can always plan your own!
Post on a Facebook Group
Are you active in Facebook groups? Travel is a great way to finally meet some of the people you’ve been interacting with online. Make a post in the groups you’re in and see if one of your Facebook friends can meet up with you on your trip. Chances are high that you’ll be able to meet up with someone.
Disclaimer: Always be safe when meeting someone while traveling that you've only met online. Meet in a public setting and always let someone know where you are and who you are meeting.
Some groups we love (though, you'll have to identify as a woman to join) are Girls Love Travel, Solo Women Travel Tribe, and Host a Sister. You can also search for expat groups in the cit you're traveling to. Just go to the Facebook search bar and see what you can find!
Do you know of any other travel meetup sites? We'd love to hear about them!
Join a Travel Companion Site App
In addition to utilizing Meetup, Airbnb Experiences, and Facebook to meet friends while traveling, there are also many other travel companion sites and apps. And, you don't need to be looking for a date on Tinder or Bumble to meet others. There are also apps to make friends, as well as a find friend while traveling app, like Hello Pal. On apps like these, you can find people to travel with or meet people to travel with while you're already on the road.
Do a Guided Tour at a Museum
Guided museum tours not only give you the opportunity to get some in-depth knowledge about the museum you’re visiting but they’re also a great way to meet people while traveling solo. I’ve seen it happen. Like magnets, people who travel solo gravitate towards other solo travelers in groups. You can talk about where you’re from, where you’ve been, and how awesome meeting people traveling solo is.
One time when we were traveling in Budapest, we decided to sign up for the Invisible Exhibition. While there, we met a young woman from California, and we ended up spending the rest of the afternoon and evening with her!
Just Strike Up a Conversation!
Striking up a conversation with someone the old-fashioned way is still a very effective way to make friends while traveling. You can talk to those you meet while eating, taking public transportation, or shopping. You could even just ask another person to take a photo of you! If you’re open to it, there are endless opportunities to meet new people all around you.
This is how I met the woman who took me around Montmartre in Paris. We were sitting on a bench enjoying the view and just started talking about how lovely it was. We became fast friends and explored the rest of the city together. You never know where a simple hello will take you!
So, How Will You Make Friends While Traveling?
If you’re not into staying in a hostel, there are still a ton of ways for you to meet and make friends while traveling. You can find those who share a common interest by joining a day tour, participating in a Meetup, or doing a guided tour at a museum. You can reach out to your network on Facebook, for example, and coordinate a meeting with your online friends. Or you can strike up conversations with those you meet along the way.
So tell us, how will you be making friends on vacation?