10 Ways to Meet People While You’re Traveling
Solo traveling is one of the most fulfilling things you can do but it can often get lonely, especially if you are introverted, or don’t speak the language. There are many people around the world who would be eager to form a connection with a stranger so whether you’re solo traveling, traveling with a significant other or in a group, these are the 10 easiest ways to meet other likeminded travelers around the world.
1. Stay in hostels
I always choose to stay in a hostel as a solo traveler and I find that it’s definitely the easiest way to meet new people. At hostels you’ll be more likely to find other solo travelers or groups who are more open to chatting and meeting new people. Hostels will also have organized events such as bingo, yoga or bar crawls. I’ve met some incredible people and friends to-date at hostels who made my experiences in Nice, France and Interlaken, Switzerland infinitely more memorable.
If you are hesitant about sharing a room with others, book a private room and enjoy the social aspect of a hostel! If you’re open to giving shared rooms a try, do your research on HostelWorld or HostelBooker and look for the top rated hostel in each city. I always look for a hostel with a lot of common space such as a bar or lounge space, or is known to be a party hostel. This guarantees that there will be plenty of opportunities to hang out in the common spaces, and meet other guests.
2. Couchsurf to meet locals
Couchsurfing is one of the best ways to meet locals around the world, get recommendations for the local hot spots or hidden gems, make new friends and save money. If you are interested in getting a private room but want to tap into this amazing network, use the “Find Hosts” tool and check “Wants to Meet Up” and private message anyone you would want to meet up with.
3. Walking tour
I like to start off my first day in a new city by going on a walking tour. These are often free with an option to tip at the end. Walking tours are a great way to get a feel for the city and meet other travelers. Some might be traveling in groups or solo traveling but either way, it’s a great way to meet people who are new to the city and are interested in exploring the city with you.
4. Take a language course
One of the best ways to immerse yourself into the country you’re visiting is learning the language. You’ll be able meet new people while practicing a new language!
5. Sign up for group activities
It might feel awkward at first signing up for an activity when you have no one to go with but this is a great way to meet people who are interested in the same type of activities or travel as you. I did a solo travel trip to Switzerland and met amazing people when I went canyoning, bungee jumping and hang gliding.
Other fun group activities you can look into are:
- Cooking classes - learning a local recipes is a bonus
- Half-day or multi-day hiking trips
- Dance lessons (salsa anyone?)
6. Go on a pub crawl
If the city you’re traveling to offers pub crawls, it’s a fun way to meet travelers, and sample local beer. During my travel to PRague, I went on The Prague Pub crawl which was a fun way to experience Prague while meeting travelers from all over!
7. Find a part-time job
Whenever I travel, I’ll always meet others who are traveling for half a year or a year and they are often able to do so by getting a part-time job while they are traveling. Working at a hostel, cafe or bar gives you plenty of opportunities to meet others exploring the city you’re in!
8. Volunteer for a cause you believe in
There are many volunteer opportunities abroad - whether that’s volunteering for large organizations or a smaller, local organization, for a developing or developed country - you can spend half a day or a couple of days helping out the local community and meeting other volunteers.
9. Use social media or apps
Take advantage of the social media apps you have on your phone and meet up with new people. Joining travel Facebook groups is a great way to find out if there is anyone in the city you’re visiting who would be interested in meeting up. You can also message individuals on Instagram to see if anyone would be open to meeting up and grabbing coffee. I’ve also had friends who’ve used Tinder and asked locals to show them around their city so get creative and start taking advantage of your social media apps while you travel.
10. Offer to take photos for other solo travelers
As a solo traveler, it is often hard to capture the perfect shot and I’m sure other solo travelers feel the same. Helping out a fellow traveler with their shot is a great way to strike up a conversation.