How to Make Friends While Traveling Solo

Traveling solo can be a liberating experience. But we’re still social beings and we need some time to connect with other like-minded people. Traveling solo doesn’t mean you have to be alone all the time. There are plenty of ways to meet fellow travelers or locals and enjoy a fun day or evening with new friends. Here are some of the best ways to make friends while traveling solo:

Try Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is great for getting free accommodation if you’re short on cash. But it’s also an amazing opportunity to meet fellow travelers and locals who are eager to meet travelers. Use the website to your adventure and post on the forums before you travel. A simple “Anyone want to hang out?” forum post is sure to get a host of responses.

Stay in hostel dorms

Another great way to save money and meet fellow travelers is to stay in hostel dorms. Hostels are filled with backpackers, solo travelers and groups of travelers looking for a fun time. If you don’t want to stay in a shared dorm, if you can always meet people in the common areas. Hostel lounge areas and bars are perfect for making friends.

hostel bars photo
Photo by Regan Fisher

Bring a deck of cards

If you’re too shy to start up a conversation, bring along a deck of cards. Then, at the lounge area in your hostel simply ask who’s down to play. You’ll be able to meet new people and probably even learn some cool new games in the process.

Join a pub crawl

We all get a tad more outgoing when we have a glass or two (or three or four) of our favorite drink. A pub crawl is the perfect excuse to drink and make friends. They’re usually organized by hostels so you don’t even have to worry about the logistics. Get to know the local night scene and meet some awesome people at the same time!

dancing bar photo
Photo by Kendall D. Lartigue Photography

Sign up for activities

Maybe hostels or late night drinking aren’t your thing – and that’s perfectly fine. There are still plenty of really fun ways to make friends while traveling. One of them is signing up for different activities – a dance class, language lessons or surf lessons. These are all great ways to take up a new skill and meet like-minded people.

Join a group tour

You can also join group tours to meet fellow travelers. Day excursions, hiking expeditions, free walking tours or sailing trips are just some ideas to get you started. The types of activities available will all depend on where you’re traveling. The important thing is you’ll be in a group setting – perfect for making travel friends.

travel group photo photo
Photo by kbienert927

Be flexible

The most important thing when traveling solo is to by flexible with your travel plans. You might meet an awesome group of people one night and they’ll invite you on a day tour the next day. Stay flexible so you can accommodate to other people’s travel styles and enjoy some company while you travel solo.