Solo and Social: How to meet people when you travel solo

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It’s inevitable.

Spending a lot of time on your own can be one of two things – refreshing or incredibly isolating. Actually, if I’m to be quite honest, it’s more often than not a mix of the two and comes in waves of emotions throughout your solo travels.

But that’s half the fun of solo travel – learning to manage your emotions, enjoy your time in solitude, and get in touch with your thoughts, because at the end of the day that is all you are left with.

But there are ways to combat the solo travel blues and after a while, you soon learn to block out these feelings completely. Better yet, there are some sure fire ways to combat solo travel loneliness by meeting people on the road.

journey brooke

How to meet people when you travel solo

1. Accommodation – you’ll be more likely to meet fellow solo travellers in B&B Guesthouses and hostels than you will in hotels. If you prefer hotels, look at booking a business hotel instead of a romantic resort – there’s plenty of solo corporates jet setting around the world constantly.

2. Travel by train – you’ll meet interesting people in transit, particularly when travelling via land.

3. Free walking tours – in many European cities there are free walking tours on offer. This is not only a great way to see the city with commentary, but also a great chance to meet fellow travellers.

4. Be open to encounters – speaking to strangers is not nearly as daunting or unsafe as you were led to believe in your childhood.

5. Take a class – learn a language or a new skill such as cooking or pottery – it’s a great way to meet people!

6. Ditch restaurants – instead opt for a tapas bar or a casual cafe where you can mingle with others instead of watching on as couples gaze into each others’ eyes and you awkwardly get busted gawking at them.

7. Do a tour – sometimes it’s nice to break up your trip by going on an organised tour. This is the easiest way to meet people as you are all forced into being friends.

8. Smile – sometimes that is all it takes to spark a conversation.

9. Join the blogging community – for me, this has been the easiest way to meet up with people all around the world. When I announce I am visiting a city or when I arrive I often get a bunch of invites from readers to meet up – while it is not always possible as I am simultaneously working, I absolutely love to arrange it where I can!

10. Get out there! The only way you will meet people is if you are out there in social situations, ready to make new friends. While it is tempting to spend a day indoors when you’re feeling lonely, the only thing that will guarantee is that you won’t meet anyone!


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    December 3, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I am a student in Australia and just finished my course. Plan to travel solo for a few weeks in Jan, 2016. I have never done it, and am nervous as hell. Thanks for the tips!

    bwire isaac
    November 24, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    am is uganda i would like to connect with people who would love to come in uganda and be part of them even be their host here in uganda.

    January 26, 2015 at 11:41 am

    I’m glad to have found this site. I leave in mid-April for a 5 week trip to Australia solo. I’ve already got some things planned that I’m looking forward to doing on my own. I’ll say in Hostels and take a train trip or two while I’m there. But one of the reasons I’m so looking forward to AU is the chance to learn about people. Anyone who has any suggestions for meeting people while traveling solo, please pass them along. I have lots of hobbies and I am thinking of locating groups of people who share my interest in things like knitting and crocheting and reading. But I also like hiking (within my skill level) and computers of course. I’ve even sent out some e-mails trying to connect with people in my field of work.

    I’m going to keep this site bookmarked and keep following while I plan. But any advice to a mature (only 55 yrs old but thought I’d mention it) solo traveller is welcome.

    Sue B.

    December 8, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    I am prefer travel alone and that is great opportunity to meet with new incredible people all over the World. And your tips Brook very helpful for new travelers. I think smile absolutely great tool to meet with new people because sometimes you do not know how to speak with man and smile break this obstacle.

    November 24, 2014 at 6:51 am

    In january I’ll leave for Australia on my own.
    I’m quite nervous to tackle this adventure.
    Hopefully I will think about this article once…

    Izy Berry - The Wrong Way Home
    September 1, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Great tips. I feel like traveling solo is a right of passive everyone should go on!

    July 12, 2014 at 4:12 am

    I traveled solo to Europe last summer and it was my first non weekend trip by myself. Traveling solo has ups and downs, but at this point I’m addicted to it! I find that paying for an organized tour is a nice way to give myself a break from planning my every move and is one of the best ways to meet people. Hostels also provided me with a few new friends.
    Thanks for your great blog!

    Chanel | Cultural Xplorer
    July 4, 2014 at 11:45 am

    As a solo traveler myself, I found your tips to be spot-on 🙂 Especially the one about walking tours!

    Trav Buddy
    July 4, 2014 at 5:36 am

    This is really a good read! I wanna make sure I do this next time I travel on SOLO. 🙂

    June 29, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    I’ve done solo traveling once and one great way to meet people is to offer a hand to take their pictures and vice versa. It was effective – I’ve met some good people, not just solo travelers but even couples 🙂

    Thanks for the tips, Brooke! Have fun in the UAE. I plan of going there late this year, hopefully.

    June 29, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    So true. I have med so many great people on trains abd had terrific conversations. Rarely on planes. A day tour can also break up the sense of isolation. Small pensions where you have to share the brwakfast can also be interesting and have led to spontaneous great experiences.

    June 29, 2014 at 8:40 am

    I find staying at hostels to be an amazing way to make friends. I once met up with 3 girls who were into the same niche music scene I was into, and got invited to a club night with them. I totally would have missed out if I hadn’t been hanging out in the hostel common area.

    June 29, 2014 at 5:22 am

    These are some great tips! I must keep a copy of it for when I get the courage to finally travel alone, haha! 🙂

    Vanessa Key
    June 29, 2014 at 2:32 am

    Your blog is amazing 🙂 I like to read it so much. Many advices are needed by me at exact time when they appear 🙂 Thank you that you are!
    Vanessa Key