5 Ways to Make Friends While Traveling
Traveling solo is a remarkable experience! It may appear scary and intimidating from afar, but once you embark on an independent excursion, you realize how liberating and empowering it is. Plus, it is a fantastic way to meet new people and build fresh bonds with people from all across the globe. However, everyone is not comfortable approaching strangers despite wanting to, and that is totally understandable! If you are in a similar situation and are looking for non-awkward ways to approach people, this guide is for you. We have identified the top eight ways to make friends while traveling solo.
Have fun making new friends! 😎
1. Opt for Hostel Accommodation
This might be the best way for you to make friends while traveling. Wondering why? It is often solo travelers who choose to stay in hostel accommodations while traveling, typically either to save money or to meet new people. Either way, it presents you with a fantastic opportunity to interact with fantastic strangers and make them your friends. Hostels often feature common lounging areas and hostel activities, which present excellent opportunities to come in proximity of fellow travelers without it feeling awkward. So, let yourself loose, appear friendly and approachable, and participate in all hostel-organized activities. You will have an excellent time, build cherished memories, and make new friends!
2. Join tour groups
One of the best ways to come across people with interests similar to yours is to join tour groups. Big cities, especially, have several guided tour opportunities available for people, which provides an excellent opportunity to be put in a close-knit circle of individuals. Since tours range widely, depending on their goals and themes, e.g., you can find everything, from food tours to museum tours, there is a great chance you will find something that matches your personality. And joining the group, therefore, means embarking on an exploratory journey to experience something new and exciting with people who love it as much as you do. Being fascinated together really brings people closer!
3. Spend time at the local bars
Do you know when people are at their friendliest? When they are inebriated! And where do you find the most inebriated individuals? At bars! So, put on your best bar clothes, don a big smile on your face, and head to local bars for a fun-filled night of drinking, eating, dancing, and meeting new people. And even if the people you find are sober, worry not, for they are here to have a great time. Strike up conversations with people, share details about yourselves, and discover common interests you could converse over. You might land exciting, unexpected plans this way!
4. Use social apps to link you with like-minded individuals
If you are unsure where and how to begin finding new friends on your trip, try out a social app to connect you with fellow travelers. Social apps geared to tourists are there to present the perfect answer to your prayers. And there is not just one such application in the digital market – dozens of them are constantly operating, connecting people from all walks of life. If you are looking for our suggestion, it has to be Friendji, a unique application that does away with the traditional swiping left and right by bringing in a new approach to matching people. It works with a new emoji matching system, all you have to do is sending an emoji to any profile near your location and wait to be matched with the same emoji or receive a different one. The emoji is a visual and playful representation of why you’re interested in that particular member or what you want to do with them. You can plan events, social experiences, meetups, and tours with the people you match with. It is fun, innovative, quirky, and it works!
5. Strike up conversations while traveling
People may seem daunting from afar, but in reality, most of them are very nice and easy to talk to. So, take that leap of faith and strike up a conversation with people traveling with you in your bus, train, or whichever public transportation you are in. Appear friendly and confident, and charm everyone with your social skills. Begin with topics of broad interest and slowly ease up the conversation to something more particular. Who knows, your interests might click with a stranger’s, and you befriend them instantly and head with them, on to their destination, on an exciting and spontaneous adventure!
6. Learn the local language
Befriending locals is an altogether different experience. Some people might even argue that it is better than befriending other travelers. And it makes sense to certain extents – locals are much more confident, given that they are in their home zones, and know the local scene well, meaning you can get your hands dirty in some authentic experiences. But it very well may be possible that you do not speak the local language, which may serve as a barrier in conversation. Do not let such logistical problems stop you by preparing yourself in advance! Learn the local language before your trip. People might find your broken sentences, genuine intents, and funny accent adorable!
7. Save room for spontaneity
One of the key things to avoid on your solo trip is rigidity in the schedule. It is fine to want to explore your travel destination at your own pace and in a way that suits you. But do not let that desire control you and make you miss out on exciting opportunities. If you find people embarking on adventures you had not planned yourself and did not have in your schedule, do not back out! Follow their trail, and, who knows, you might even build even better memories! Just remember – traveling is a time to step out of your comfort zone and explore the new and the unknown.
8. Join the locals in their festivities
If you happen to be in your travel destination at the time of their local festivities, make sure that you participate in them with all your energy and enthusiasm. May it be a concert or a thanksgiving parade or just Christmas markets – each event, each festival has its local, unique flavor, and becoming a part of them means expanding your palette to taste something exotic. And when it is the season of festivities, people are extremely cheerful and open to newer experiences. This provides you a fantastic opportunity to come in contact with individuals interested in establishing exciting friendships that last forever!
So, these were some of the tried and tested tips on making friends while traveling solo. Just remember, while your nervousness is completely understandable, it should not restrain you from building new bonds and friendships! Try following these suggestions, and see how easily you end up building unexpected, life-long relationships.