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12 Ways to Meet People While Traveling Solo

You poor pitiful thing. No one to have to dinner with, walk around the city or even just talk to. We all know my motor skills are more than proficient so why in the world would I ever want to travel alone? Why would ANYONE want to travel alone? Honestly, it’s simple…freedom. To do whatever you wanna do, when you wanna do it and who you want to do it with. See, not complicated ;).

It’s true though, being solo on any trip allows you to be spontaneous, spark up conversations with strangers and take chances you might not normally take! It can be lonely or even scary at times, TRUST ME I have had my fair share of breakdowns and tantrums with no one to confide in. I have sat at fancy restaurants eating a pathetic meal for one, drowning my sorrows in champagne. BUT I have also picked my head up and put myself out there to meet some of the most genuine, entertaining people ever.

Here are some tested methods by yours truly to help you meet people while traveling solo!

solo

Ask for Directions

Going to a new city or country by yourself will be overwhelming, and if you are anything like me, you ask yourself on a daily basis “what the fuck am I doing?” Ha, god bless my poor memory. You don’t know how many times I have simply asked for directions in the train station, waiting for the bus or on a street corner. Guess what? Half of those times have resulted in sparking conversations and ultimately meeting new people! I was in Dubai, saw a girl walking and asked her for directions (even though I secretly knew where the beach was) and somehow got invited to spend time on the beach with her and her friends!

At the beach in Dubai

Another time, I asked for directions on the way to Vienna and ended up sitting next to a couple on the bus and they let me borrow their phone, we chatted about our lives and even showed me to my Airbnb! A simple question could make all the difference!

Butt into people’s conversations

I have a bad habit of doing this. I can’t help it! It’s in my blood to want to talk to people. I will be in line somewhere, overhear someone talking and put in my two cents. It doesn’t work all the time, but it does work! I remember taking a train from Bavaria back to Munich, I had spent the day exploring a beautiful castle…alone. I overheard the guys next to me talking and kind of butted in! They were pleasantly surprised with the things I had to say and we all went back and had dinner together before they had to leave! One less dinner I had to spend alone.

sunset going back from bavaria

As advice, don’t be rude about it. You might get shut down, ya might not but who cares if you do? You won’t have to see those people ever again.

 Put yourself out there

Let’s just say, I’m already so far out there I might as well be considered a new planet. I have no problem making friends; hell I could probably talk to a brick wall if it came down to it. Some people, however, don’t have the gift of the gab. You have to put yourself out there!

I was in Amsterdam roaming the streets alone when I decided to hit up a place where you could learn how to make cocktails. Sadly, they were closed for reconstruction. As I was walking away, two guys approached me about what the sign said. We were all bummed but I decided to really get out of my comfort zone and ask where they were headed to next! Not only did they tell me, but invited me to come with! For the next 36 hours, we ate and drank our way through the city. A miserable, lonely time turned into one of my favorite experiences!

beer and cheese tasting

Friends of Friends

Find out if any of your friends have friends where you’re going! That’s the perfect way to get the hookup on local spots, hidden gems or posssssssibly someone to meet up with! Just by announcing your vacation, it’s sure to spark someone’s mind about a friend and/or relative they know!

I swear I have a million stories, but this shows you I’m not just writing lists that every other blogger writes…these are ACTUAL ways I have met people while traveling.

When I decided to go backpacking, my friend told me she had a hometown friend living in Prague. I put myself out there, went out on a whim and contacted her. Little did I know we would be partners in crime for 4 straight days, hopping from city to city. Not only that but once I got to Prague, she let me stay at her place for free! A win/win!

bitches in budapest

bitches in budapest

Another friend of mine had a close girlfriend living in Boston. I again went out on a whim…told her I had a long layover before I headed out to Europe and asked if she would show me the city. We had never even met before! Just heard about each other through our mutual guy friend. Fast forward a year later, we have been on a number of adventures together and are very close friends! A lifetime of memories can be created by meeting people while traveling solo!

fenway

Stay at a hostel that preferably has a bar

I mean, a hostel is good but a hostel with a bar is BETTER. Nothing like the toxic smell of alcohol to get your word vomit out! Amirite? I can’t even count the number of times I have been drunk and met people at the hostel bar. Too many to count…or remember? Either way, a hostel is an awesome place to connect. It makes it wayyyyyy less scary since everyone else there is like you! Grab some liquid courage at the bar and drink up babes!

hostel in munich

This one time, at band camp…ha I mean this one time in a hostel I had the sweetest girl room-mate who ended up being my own private tour guide. She took me downtown, showed me side streets and gave me a map to help me navigate later on! Plus, she was great at taking pictures, something people who travel solo sometimes struggle with!

tour guide

Tour/ free walking tour

I don’t do tours unless I absolutely have to. Waste of time for me, but on the rare occasion, I do…I have always met people! The FREE walking tour on the other hand I feel is a good solution too. At first, I thought they were stupid, but 2-3 hours hearing some history and getting your bearings on a city all for free doesn’t seem too bad right?

While in Brussels, I met some girls on our walking tour who I ended up eating a nice lunch with! Try to scope out the people who look friendly, or even lonely and break the ice. If you’re single, find a cute/guy or girl and freakishly stalk them in the back until they talk to you. Ha, jk but you get the idea. You NEVER know what might come from a conversation 😉

brussels

Instead of a table, sit at the bar

People might ask, Tatum, is your whole life about drinking alcohol? Um no, only like 95% of it okay? Leave me alone haters. #Sorrynotsorry but the bar is where it’s at. Copious amounts of alcohol=chatty Cathy. If I am in the mood to make friends, I will intentionally go to a restaurant and sit at the bar. You’re already alone…don’t make it worse by sitting at a table for 4 waiting on your imaginary friends to get there.

I was starving, looking for a place to eat when I found a quaint little restaurant in Brussels. After a little while of eating and drinking, two older British men sat down. THEY were the ones who asked me a question. Questions led to stories and before I knew it, we had shared memories and laughed uncontrollably! They ended up insisting to pay for my meal and I left with a little more money in my wallet and happiness in my mind. Humanity is restored (thanks to alcohol and food)!!

friends in brussels

Bumble BFF

Thank god for social media apps right? How else would be able to screw random guys or girls just by swiping right? Ha, no that wasn’t a plug for Tinder either…We are in the days of total social obsession over the internet. Lucky for you, and me there is an app called Bumble BFF where you can meet locals with similar interests! Instead of sending dick pics, you are sending cute pictures of your dogs and connecting over the fact that you both love wine and the Bachelor. What better way to meet complete strangers on the other side of the world right?

Personally, I have only used it in my hometown and not on the road, but if it’s that easy to use, I’m sure you can find like-minded babes to adventure with!

 Pub Crawl

Another activity involving alcohol…see a pattern here? A lot of hostels offer Pub Crawls as a “get to know you” gesture and they are super cheap and fun!

The first hostel I stayed at was in Amsterdam, which was also my first pub crawl while being a solo traveler! Needless to say, I got the title “loca chica blanca” or crazy white girl haha. Do the pub crawl, you won’t regret it!

pub crawl

 Facebook Groups or any social media really

TGIF. Thank God I’m Female! ha, jk sort of. There are so many amazing online communities to connect you with people around the world! Being a blogger, I have secret Facebook groups where we share ideas and support! Even if you aren’t a blogger, you can join ones like Girls Love Travel or Nomads! Seriously there are hundreds to choose from!

Another idea is posting a picture of the place you’ll be visiting and/or a caption about it. Someone might comment and offer some helpful tips or might be traveling the same time you are. There are so many (non-creepy) ways to connect! Social Media can be the Holy Grail of friend finding.

Reconnect with old friends

Since these are people I have known in the past, it makes the process a little easier. Before I set out on my backpacking journey (I keep bringing this trip up because that was my 1st ever long-term solo trip…30 days to be exact!) a friend from college messaged me saying she lived in Germany! We ended up messaging back and forth and once I got to Munich, she took the train down and spent 1 1/2 days with me! Every bit counts!

friends in munich from college

Another friend from Orlando who was working in Switzerland at the time took off work during his busy season to show me around Interlaken! We popped champagne at 13,000 ft and he introduced me to ANOTHER new friend who is now a friend for life! The list of new buds you have will just keep snowballing!

zurich with my new frandssss

Did I mention a girl I use to be besties with was in Amsterdam the same time as I was? She had just got engaged in Italy and we celebrated over a fancy steak dinner, catching up on old times! It’s great to meet new friends but also great to keep those gone but not forgotten friendships too.

amsterdam

 Couchsurfing or Airbnb

Couch surfing I have yet to try…but Airbnb has been frequented by me! By staying in a “private room” you allow yourself to interact more with the hosts. More interaction = better chance of making friends. I have heard stories of people and their hosts getting along so well that they make dinners together and invite them to local hot spots! Even if that doesn’t happen, you can at least get the inside scoop on fun places around the neighborhood or best restaurants in town!

Always make sure you read reviews and understand your hosts before committing though, I have also heard horror stories, haha not to scare you. Either way, it’s a way to get to know someone!

See babes?? You CAN make friends safely and easily on the road. Don’t let the fear of putting yourself out there or being rejected stop you from making life long connections you will cherish forever. I swear some of the best relationships I have are from foreigners I met while traveling. All it takes is a little liquid courage, a couple of finger swipes and a lot of selling yourself!! (that sounded kinda sexual didn’t it? finger swiping and selling yourself?) ANYWAYS, just get out there and make some friends!

To show you just how much fun I had on my backpacking trip, take a look at this YouTube video I put together of 30 days in Europe! THESE are the memories you could be having!

Backpacking Europe 2016

Please let me know how YOU make friends while traveling solo! What ways have I forgotten? I hope you apply at least some of these to your next vacation alone but until then…

xo Bonvoyage Babes

  1. Anonymous

    March 1st, 2017 at 10:09 am

    You have made solo trip sound like a group travel and the best part is you always have new people. I totally enjoyed your perspective and can’t agree less. I use couchsurfing too and it is an amazing tool to connect with like minded people who not only offer help but share similar interest and passion too

  2. Tatum Skipper

    March 6th, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Couch surfing is great too!!

  3. Maggie

    March 1st, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Great list! I definitely think hostels are the way to go when traveling solo. You meet so many people from all over the world that way! And yes to sitting at the bar. People are definitely more likely to approach you there vs a table.

  4. Tatum Skipper

    March 6th, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Yes totally! Hostel + bar= so many new friends

  5. Stephanie Turci

    March 1st, 2017 at 10:38 am

    This is such a fun post! Every time I travel anywhere, I make sure to take an Uber and ask them the best places to go. They are usually locals and have great recommendations. I’ve found great spots that way!

  6. Tatum Skipper

    March 6th, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    I didn’t even think about Uber!! What a great way.

  7. Andrea

    March 1st, 2017 at 10:48 am

    amazing!! 🙂 looks like so much fun while not too much of stepping out of the comfort zone hahah. well put 😉

  8. Tatum Skipper

    March 6th, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    haha yes I did 😉

  9. Lauren

    March 1st, 2017 at 11:18 am

    I like these tips and they’re all (most of them anyway) ones that I’ve tried myself. I just find that travelling solo usually leads to really fleeting and superficial conversations, which can be a bit frustrating and puts me off it a bit….until I read posts like this and think I ought to give it another chance!

  10. Tatum Skipper

    March 6th, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Very true! I mean I guess there is always good and bad to each situation. We just gotta weed out the bad apples from the good and make REAL conversation with people!

  11. Shelley

    March 1st, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Airbnb was a great way for us to make friends while traveling ! Once you make a BFF you get to see the country / city like a local. Gotta love that !!!!!

  12. Tatum Skipper

    March 6th, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Yes girl, same!! I swear I love meeting new people!

  13. Kyntra Strickland

    March 1st, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Awesome tips! I always have a hard time butting into conversations, need to be more bold with that. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Tatum Skipper

    March 6th, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    haha it might not be the most logical way of meeting people but it does work! 🙂

  15. Stephanie Huff

    March 1st, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Totally agree that solo travel = freedom but it is def nice to meet ppl when you want someone to chat with or hang with. These are such good ideas, and I totally never thought of bumble BFF! Does it actually work?! Maybe I will have to try it hahaha. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Tatum Skipper

    March 6th, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    So I’ve only used it in my hometown, but am anxious to try it on the road!!! I’ll let you know 🙂

  17. sophie

    March 2nd, 2017 at 7:06 am

    Haha! What a great list! I have certainly tried many of these! also failed in some! Hah 😀
    You look great in your photos! and also the people around you looks like your childhood GANG! 😀

  18. Tatum Skipper

    March 6th, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    hahah childhood gang!! Yes I have failed at some too but persistence is key!

  19. Lisa

    March 2nd, 2017 at 9:22 am

    I love meeting people while travelling! An these are defintiely great tips! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  20. Tatum Skipper

    March 6th, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    no problem pumpkin!

  21. Viviane Feeney

    March 2nd, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    The way I meet others? Last year I stayed in central Sydney by myself and I mindlessly wandered around the streets at night (not that dangerous, it was the city of lights!) and I found a VIP lounge with pumping music you could hear from the street. It drew me in, I splashed on an overpriced margarita and before I knew it, a couple of lads (one real asshole) met me and insisted to pay for my drinks. Dodgy, but it works!

  22. Tatum Skipper

    March 6th, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    OMG this sounds like the perfect way to meet people. I love that you use the word dodgy too! 🙂 Over priced drinks are a sure fire way to bring people together haha.

  23. Meghan

    March 2nd, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    I like be these suggestions! The friends you make on travel are so different and special. I have never heard of Bumble BFF I could see it being awesome or a total wash!

  24. Tatum Skipper

    March 6th, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    They are totally different and each special in their own way!! Yeah I am anxious to try Bumble Bff outside of my current city!

  25. Bruce Schinkel

    March 6th, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Really great tips .. i’ve used a few of them before, but ones like sitting at the bar instead of a table i’ll definitely use next time!

  26. Tatum Skipper

    March 6th, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Yes it works I promise!!

  27. David Elliott

    March 6th, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    Sounds like you had an amazing experience out there and that’s great that you have been able to enjoy it going solo. I have heard good things about hostels and I will definitely have to check out that app you talked about.

  28. Tatum Skipper

    March 7th, 2017 at 8:55 am

    You should!! It works wonders.

  29. Krysten

    March 7th, 2017 at 12:02 am

    I am such an introvert, I feel like I wouldn’t be able to do half of these things. But it’s a great list! I hope this helps people to find friends.

  30. Tatum Skipper

    March 7th, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Awe well never say never!! It’s crazy how much traveling brings out a different side of people!

  31. Richard Bivins

    March 7th, 2017 at 12:08 am

    These are all great tips but I’m not a solo traveler. I like to experience travel with people I share a real connection with and not random strangers or distant acquaintances. But that’s just me. I have a few friends that enjoy solo travel just so they can get away from their normal routine and be someone different. Wilder. More adventurous.

  32. Tatum Skipper

    March 7th, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Well my problem is that a lot of people who I really love being friends/ and family with aren’t the most compatible to travel with. I understand both sides for sure though!

  33. Jenn

    March 7th, 2017 at 8:11 am

    I love to travel solo! It is the best way to get out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in a new culture.

  34. Tatum Skipper

    March 7th, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Yes girl, same!

  35. Thecla

    March 7th, 2017 at 8:47 am

    I don’t drink, but besides that it looks like you have some great tips as to get to know people while traveling alone. Great post!

  36. Tatum Skipper

    March 7th, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Thank you!!

  37. Lauren Michelle

    March 8th, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Fuck yeah girl, this is how it’s done! Backpacked Europe for 50 days last summer and a part of it was solo and some of the best times than with people I traveled with. I’m hoping to backpack solo for a few months (depending on this visa shit) later this year! I don’t think people realize that you have to be super outgoing and ready to put yourself out there when you’re going solo if you wanna make some solid memories. OR just get drunk.

  38. Tatum Skipper

    March 9th, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    You took the words right outta my mouth girl. I hope the visa shit works out because the whole solo thing is amazing!! <3

  39. Shobika

    March 8th, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Wow this is such a great list. I am definitely going to try these out next time I travel alone 😀 This is definitely a way to help people make friends.

  40. Tatum Skipper

    March 9th, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Yes! Do it.

  41. Hayley

    March 8th, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    It’s brave of you to travel to an unknown country all alone! I don’t think I’de ever be brave enough to do so :). Great tips, though!

  42. Tatum Skipper

    March 9th, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    8 countries to be exact haha. Never say never!

  43. Glenda

    March 8th, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    These are some great tips on how to meet people while traveling. The pictures are amazing!

  44. Author Brandi Kennedy

    March 8th, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    These are great tips, especially because I plan to do some solo traveling at some point in my life, but am pretty sure I’m going to get bored/lonely at some point being out in the world all on my own. I will love the freedom of it, but having a ready list of ways to connect with people is definitely going to come in handy.

  45. Tatum Skipper

    March 9th, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    It can be scary at first, but after its like you will want to travel solo everywhere!

  46. Jessica Harlow

    March 8th, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    I love the idea of traveling alone. I’m curious and confident and tend to think of meeting new people as a kind of “travel”…becoming more worldly. As my kids are getting older, I can definitely see myself taking time for me and playing gypsy a little bit!

  47. Tatum Skipper

    March 9th, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Do your thing!! Yes I agree that by meeting new people is like traveling in itself. Awesome perspective.

  48. Michelle Blackwood

    March 9th, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Great blog post, I enjoyed traveling solo when I was in college. I had no problem making friends. Some of them I still communicate with over 20 years later! You just have to be friendly, smart and safe.

  49. Tatum Skipper

    March 15th, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Totally agree!

  50. Amber Myers

    March 9th, 2017 at 8:33 am

    These are fabulous ideas. I’m an introvert though, so if I’m traveling alone I probably won’t reach out to others. I’d prefer to be alone and read 😉

  51. Tatum Skipper

    March 9th, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    hahah no problem in that!

  52. Jessi Joachim

    March 9th, 2017 at 8:35 am

    It sounds like a lot of good solo travel tips. I never thought I would want to travel alone, but now that i have two kids, going anywhere alone seems like a vacation!

  53. Christopher James

    March 9th, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Sometimes I like to travel solo and just be all by my lonesome, but, if not, this list will serve me fantastically well!

  54. eazynazy

    March 9th, 2017 at 10:00 am

    I don’t travel alone, but these are such great useful tips to one who are solo travellers.Its good that you get to meet different people from different countries

  55. Tatum Skipper

    March 19th, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    You should try it at least once!!

  56. Miriam Ernst

    March 9th, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Great tips! It seems really easy for you 🙂 I’ll keep your post to remember these tips as I’m very shy! Thank you in advance for my future friends

  57. Divyakshi Gupta

    March 9th, 2017 at 11:44 am

    FAB list there! 🙂 Agree with all the points wholeheartedly! Being gregarious I end up making friends wherever I go and it adds so much value to your travels! :))

  58. Tatum Skipper

    March 19th, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks doc, yes I totally agree!

  59. Alberto C

    March 9th, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    I’ll be travelling solo for the first time at the end of this summer, so all these pieces of advice are incredibly helpful! Can’t wait to put them in practice during my trip 🙂

  60. Hey Sharonoox

    March 9th, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    This is such a fun post! I’m such an introvert. I would never able to travel solo that makes me admire your adventure. It sounds like so much fun. Great tips for travelling people to find friends.

  61. Kate & Mark - Vagrants Of The World Travel

    March 9th, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Great tips! And all can also be applied if you’re traveling with someone or a group. The point of traveling is to meet new people, see new sights and do things out of one’s comfort zone. And that means putting yourself out there and struck up a conversation with someone if need be.

  62. Wanderlust Vegans

    March 10th, 2017 at 12:25 am

    It’s true that you just have to put yourself out there and get past the awkwardness. You gave so many ways to meet someone that I’m sure one of these will work even for the more introverted travellers. I like how you asked directions even though you knew where the beach was in order to make friends. Very sneaky.

  63. Bhushavali

    March 10th, 2017 at 4:17 am

    Great tips. Hostel has worked for me! One more thing that worked for me was ‘Can you pls click a picture of me?’. Though there are selfies and selfie sticks, sometimes you need a nice picture of you standing are a spectacular location. I’ve asked people to click pic of me and ended up making friends with them for the rest of the trip and longer!!! 🙂

  64. Indrani

    March 10th, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Great tips for solo travelers. But even when traveling as a family I have applied some of these tactics. A foreign land is always foreign… I chatted up with a couple in Kutna Hora in Czech for directions and we ended up chatting a lot about eachother’s countries. Caught up with a collegemate in Sharjah and toured Abu Dhabi. Good to know your experiences. 🙂

  65. A Hearty Nomad

    March 12th, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Great post and cs was for me until today indeed the best way to connect! Thanks for sharing!

    A Hearty Nomad

  66. Ana Ojha

    March 12th, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    I travel solo on most of my trip and it’s fun to meet so many new faces and learn about the new culture! While meeting strangers, I always follow my instincts and touch wood, that has really worked for me!

  67. Enricoh Alfonzo

    March 13th, 2017 at 8:45 am

    LOLOL i dunno about butting into other peoples convos but i love the other tips and tricks, will definitely try them out

  68. Joanna

    March 16th, 2017 at 10:43 am

    I always travel solo but I am never alone because of meeting people in very random ways. You have mentioned a lot of good ways to meet people in your article and I second Couchsurfing. I always post a trip request before going somewhere and people always reply. Also the free walking tour is a great idea, the one in Barcelona actually saved me from a disaster trip, when my friend decided not to come with me anymore.

  69. Tatum Skipper

    March 19th, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    See, these things work believe it or not! I wish more people would travel solo to see for their self! Glad you turned your trip around!

  70. Angela

    March 17th, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Awesome way to travel. It’s awesome all the people you are meeting.

  71. Lorena

    March 18th, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Great perspective! I travel solo when I am traveling overseas, and normally stay in some hostels so I get to meet some people also. But I’ve only just started using couchsurfing, and for sure it is a great way to meet people.

  72. Tatum Skipper

    March 19th, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Yeah its the perfect way!

  73. Stella the Travelerette

    March 29th, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    These are all good ways to meet people by traveling solo. (I try very hard not to do free walking tours, though, because so many of them are exploitative to the guides.) I have met lots of fun people while taking tours or on a pub crawl. I much prefer solo travel to traveling with others, so it doesn’t bother me if I don’t meet anyone though!

  74. Jitaditya Narzary

    April 6th, 2017 at 2:38 am

    Joining a short group walk/tour seems to be a good idea to meet like minded people. I actually travel solo to avoid too many people. The trick is to find people who shares the same tastes so the best way is to join an interest group that interests you.

  75. Tatum Skipper

    April 13th, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Exactly right!! I swear you meet some awesome people on these things!

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