7 ways to make friends while travelling alone

Aug 3 2016, 9:23 pm

Backpacking across the world is a rite of passage for many young people.

Some travel to Europe, others venture to Asia, but no matter the destination, first-time travellers (especially those travelling solo) often wonder how they’ll meet the Thelma to their Louise. Thankfully, there are a ton of travellers out there on the same quest.

To help those planning an epic solo adventure, travelcuts has put together their best tips on how to quickly make friends abroad and feel like the most popular kid in school.

Connect with friends of friends

It might seem obvious, but reach out to friends and family before you leave to see if they know anybody where you’re going. This is a great way to meet up with someone who’s not a total stranger, plus it’s an awesome way to explore the city like a local.

There’s truly an app for everything

We live in the 21st century, so why not take full advantage of it? With hundreds of apps dedicated to helping travellers grow their social network, you’ll find one that’s right for you. Looking to party? Download Party with a Local, a free app connecting you to nearby party-goers. Looking to add some romance in your travel? See if you’re a match on Tinder, they might just be the one. Finally, if you’re looking for a likeminded travel buddy, check out backpackr, an app dedicated to solo adventurers.

Book yourself into a hostel

If you’re looking to meet fellow backpackers, look no further than your nearest hostel – you’ll be sure to meet many others that are either flying solo or looking to mingle. The best part? Most hostels have a common area where you can sink back a few and even participate in daily bar crawls, excursions and tons of gatherings, sure to bring out your inner social butterfly.

🌅🍽 🍻 #hvar #croatia #travel #hostellife

A photo posted by Philippe Painchaud (@painchaud14) on

Get social

You’re already an avid Facebooker, Tweeter, and Instagrammer – why not connect with those in your existing network? You might be surprised how much you can accomplish in 140 characters or less. Post where you’re going and let the Twitter-verse do the rest. You’re almost guaranteed to get a handful of suggestions on the friendliest pubs, sights to see and things to do to.

Day off #swimmingpool #Massefra #friends #ami ☀️☀️☀️

A photo posted by Giordano Viola (@giurdviola) on


Looking for a free local event? Check meetup.com (or other similar sites) for the best of what’s in the area. Meet people who share your interests, and sometimes there can even be backpacker-specific meetups!

Try an excursion or join a tour

Sure, there are definite perks to doing it on your own, but admit it, eventually you’ll want someone else to take the wheel. Consider an organized tour with operators like GAdventures or Contiki for at least a portion of your trip where you’ll meet travellers that are just like you. If that’s too much of a commitment, consider a day excursion in your local destination. Not only will you experience something new, but you’ll have the full day to strike up a conversation with those in your group.

Montana: where the land is wild, but not as wild as the hikers. Here’s to the best summer ever.

A photo posted by Rachel Kohanov (@rachelhikes) on

Be flexible with your plans

There’s nothing more important than being able to just go with the flow. You don’t know who you’ll meet along the way and where you’ll end up, which for most solo travellers is the exciting part. A schedule is nice, but if you find a group you like, it might be worth considering switching your plans and enjoying the ride.

Remember, your social life doesn’t have to suffer just because you’re on the road away from your besties. You can make friends wherever you go and create bonds that can last a lifetime. Make sure you capture the moment with those you meet along the way so that you have lifelong memories – it could even land you a spot in this year’s travelcuts film fest.

Laguna Beach, California ☀️ Photo by: @connorrrmorris Use the #TravelingOurPlanet hashtag to be featured!

A photo posted by Travel | Earth | Nature (@travelingourplanet) on

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