The joys of solo travel are plentiful, and now more than ever, people of all ages and from all walks of life are taking the plunge and setting off on adventures alone. However, for many considering a solo trip, there is often the worry that their holiday will be plagued by loneliness and feelings of isolation. This certainly doesn't need to be the case, though. If you're wondering how to meet people when traveling solo, you'll be pleased to know that there are plenty of ways to enjoy the company of others while still retaining your sense of independence. Here are our tips and hints for meeting other solo travellers.
Partaking in a group tour is a great way to explore your chosen destination while potentially making some new friends. It is also more cost effective; being able to split the costs of things like boat transfers and expert guides. From a full day of island hopping to an hour-long city tour, these types of tours offer plenty of flexibility for your itinerary. If you're up to something on the livelier side of things, organised pub crawls are often a fantastic way of meeting other solo travellers; just remember to drink responsibly and be prepared for things to potentially become a little raucous!
The availability of group tours will largely depend on where you're travelling to. These types of trips are usually designed with those travelling backpacker-style, so while destinations such as Bali offer them in abundance, other places that are known more as couples' destinations, for example, will have limited options. Ask at your hotel or the local tourism centre to find out what is available.
They’re not for everyone, but if you're question is how to meet people when traveling alone, it's always worth mentioning hostels. While some do offer private rooms, the majority have dorm-style set ups, with numerous guests to one room, usually sleeping in bunk beds - perhaps not a good choice for those who are very light sleepers! They are very sociable places, though, and will often have a bar or common area to make it easier for guests to mingle.
Traditionally aimed at the younger crowd, hostels are becoming more popular with mature travellers who are looking for an affordable accommodation choice. Of course, they can differ in cleanliness levels and some only allow guests aged between 18-35, so be sure to research your choices thoroughly before committing to a booking.
If you're travelling alone but would still like the feeling of security that comes with holidaying with others, a group holiday designed for solo travellers could be ideal. In some ways these types of trips could be considered the best of both worlds; you can enjoy the company of others and make new friends whilst still having plenty of 'me-time' if you want it. There's also the added benefit of having all of the logistics and travel arrangements being done for you, so you're able to just sit back and relax; particularly good for those who are new to solo travel or just looking for a stress-free trip.
You'll usually meet your tour guide and fellow holidaymakers at the airport of your chosen destination, and from that point onwards everything is taken care of on your behalf. If this sounds appealing be sure to browse Newmarket's range of solo holidays. From short European getaways to weeks exploring South East Asia or the Americas, you might just find your dream trip.
If you have the time and willingness before you depart on your solo trip, learning some words and phrases in the local language can be really helpful when it comes to meeting new people. Even if you're unable to hold a full conversation in that language, being able to ask and answer a few questions demonstrates an openness and can be a great conversation starter with locals and other travellers alike.
There are plenty of language-learning apps and translation websites that will provide you with the most important phrases, or if you’re planning to stay in your chosen destination for a long period you might even consider taking a few language classes to help you prepare.
If you're not sure how to meet other people when travelling alone for an extended period, spending some of that time volunteering is often a fantastic decision. Not only does it give you the chance to make friends with other volunteers from across the world and the locals that run the program, it's also a way to do something meaningful and enjoy a unique experience.
It can sometimes save on your budget too; there are a lot of programs that offer free accommodation and meals in return for a few hours of volunteering each day, so you'll still have time to explore the local sights. Keep in mind, though, that unless you're volunteering at a hostel, a lot of the opportunities tend to be quite rural. Two of the most highly regarded websites that connect volunteers with opportunities worldwide are Workaway and HelpX.
If you’re tech-savvy, you'll find that there are now a large number of mobile apps designed to connect solo travellers. You can use Couchsurfing Hangouts to find other tourists who are close by and looking to meet for a coffee, a walk, or a visit to a nearby attraction. For pre-arranged events to mix with locals, try browsing your destination in Meetup. You could also try searching Facebook groups aimed specifically at your destination, or general travelling.
While most of the apps tend to be used by younger travellers, there is an increasing number of more mature travellers making use of them, so they can be an easy way to meet new people of all ages. Of course, whenever you arrange to meet people you should be sure to use the same cautions you would at home; including meeting in a public place.
Staying overnight with a local can be an excellent way of making new friends as well as getting an authentic taste of everyday life in your chosen destination. To find legitimate experiences, contact the local tourist information centre or use reputable websites such as Airbnb or Homestay. Naturally, while staying in someone else’s home, you should always be mindful of respecting the space and any rules set out, as well as any cultural or religious sensitivities such as not bringing alcohol into the home.
One of the best pieces of advice when it comes to how to meet other people when travelling solo is to set off with the right mindset. While it can be daunting to start conversations with strangers, you'll find that you get so much more out of your trip by being open to talking with everyone that you came across. Keep in mind that, when it comes to meeting other solo travellers, everyone is in the same boat - and probably just as apprehensive as you are!
Feeling inspired to begin your solo adventure? Let us tempt you further. Our solo trips are exclusively for those travelling alone, and provide ample opportunities to form wonderful new friendships. From the fjords of Norway to the Costa Rican rainforest, your dream holiday could be just a few clicks away.
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