Solo Travel: How to Make Friends While Travelling Alone

Solo Travel: How to Make Friends While Travelling Alone

Break the ice and make friends on your solo trip!

When it comes to must-have travel experiences, solo travelling should be way up on your list. It’s empowering and fulfilling, and you get to decide your terms on how to go about things. You get absolute freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want!

But solo travel shouldn’t always mean that you necessarily have to do everything alone. Along the way, it’s impossible not to meet people and make friends. This might even spark an opportunity to gain yourself some travel companions who rock the same boat as you do.

Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, meeting people while travelling is a rewarding part of the experience. So, we’ve put together a few tips on how to make friends while travelling alone — so the next time you book that plane ticket, you can come back to this list and find different ways to meet a friend or two on your soul-searching journey!

Also read: Solo Travel Guide: 16 Travel Tips You Should Know Before Travelling to Hong Kong

Unique ways to make friends when travelling solo

1. Ask people why they’re travelling

Ways how to make friends in a new city

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Here’s the oldest trick in the book that always works like magic: Ask questions! Ask people why they’re travelling, and where they’re from — ask anything that you think will spark conversation. Solo travellers always have something to share when they leave their hometown, and most of them are itching to tell their story to anyone willing to listen. It’s an effective way how to make friends in a new city!

2. Learn the local language

Learn the local language to make friends in a new city

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Immerse yourself in a culture and make friends with locals by learning a few local phrases! Understanding basic sentences can be super helpful in breaking language barriers and meeting new friends along the way. You can also use apps such as Duolingo to help you translate phrases or sentences should it become difficult to converse.

Also read: 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn the Local Language Before a Trip

3. Use apps and join Facebook groups

Using an app to make friends while travelling alone

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No, we’re not talking about Instagram or TikTok. While these two occasionally help, there are specific apps designed for solo travelling that can help you meet people and make friends during your trip! Some of the best ones include Bumble BFF, Ready to Travel, Cliq, Couchsurfing, and Worldpackers

Another effective tip on how to make friends while travelling alone is to hop on Facebook groups before you travel. You’ll be surprised by how these groups have many like-minded travellers with the same interests and hobbies as you, dedicated to helping lone explorers find their way at a particular destination.

Also read: Meet Your Pocket-Sized Travel Buddy: 7 Reasons Why You’ll Love This Trendy Travel App!

4. Wear or carry something that may spark curiosity

Carry something that may spark curiosity to make friends in a new city

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Trust us, this should work when solo travelling! Make sure to always have something unique on or with you — something that may spark curiosity in other people and make them ask about it. That way, you’re hitting two birds with one stone: Telling a story and making new friends. It can be something as simple as a water bottle filled with your own handmade stickers, keychains, a personalised shirt, an interesting book, or anything that relates to your hobbies or interests.

5. Book a stay in a backpacker hostel

How to make friends while travelling alone

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How to make friends in a new city? Stay in a backpacker hostel! Chances are, you’ll meet like-minded people and fellow solo travellers who have either been to the same places as you or have stories to tell about places you’re dreaming of visiting someday. 

Book a bunk bed in a four- to six-people room and watch how fate unfolds! You might even get to party once or twice with your newfound friends before leaving for your next destination. Or better yet, take the initiative to ask your roommates if they want to go on tours with you! After all, travelling with friends is much safer! You also get to save money since you can always split the bill when it comes to food, transportation, and other expenses. Travelling safely, with friends, and saving money? Count us in!

6. Get involved through seminars and workshops

Attend workshops to make friends in a new city

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Make more memories with a new squad by getting involved! Check out some of the local seminars or workshops where you can meet new people and make friends. Maybe there’s also a local cooking class that you can take — learn a new dish or whip out some delicious local dessert! Spill hot goss over a wine or two in the local bar and dance the night away to hit tunes.

7. Go on a group tour

Go on a group tour to make friends while travelling alone

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When solo travelling, you’ll be surprised by the number of single tourists going on city tours as well. Walking around is probably the best way to explore a small town, so it’s not impossible to chance upon lone travellers on your way!

Also read: Johor Bahru Walking Tour: 9 Best Attractions to Immerse in Its Culture

8. Lounge around in the common rooms

Lounge around in the common rooms

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If you’re staying for a good few days in your hostel, make sure not to lock yourself up in the room or hide away on your bunk bed. Instead, hang out in the common areas such as the living area or the kitchen. It’s a great way to meet new people and talk to them about their latest trips. Even if you all have individual plans, you can exchange conversations over a cup of coffee before you go about your day. Maybe you’ll even get a couple of sightseeing ideas from fellow travellers!

9. Go on a food crawl

Go on a food crawl

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Food always brings people together! And when solo travelling, going on food crawls never fails to bring out the extrovert side of every tourist. Going on a food crawl is a great way to make friends as a solo traveller. You can ask the locals for their most recommended delicacies or recommend some yourself to new travellers! At night, a pub crawl is a fun alternative.

Also read: 14 Night Markets in Asia for Street Food and Neon-Lit Views

10. Visit a cafe with WiFi

Visit a cafe with WiFi

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We know what you’re about to say — how are you supposed to make friends while travelling alone if everybody’s on their phones? But trust us, this is the most millennial and Gen Z way to meet people when travelling. Cafes are a hotspot for young travellers, so if you’re part of that demographic or you simply want to make friends during your trip, go to a cafe! If all else fails, at least you’ll have good coffee and pastries.

11. Chat with people on public transport

Chat with people on public transport

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It may just be for a fleeting moment, but it’s still a great way to meet people and make friends while travelling alone. Make your commute a little less boring by striking up a conversation with fellow transit travellers. Besides, don’t you want your own Before Sunrise meet-cute moment?

Also read: 10 Things to Do in Taipei for Your First Time in Taiwan, According to This Solo Traveller

There are so many ways to connect with fellow lone travellers, you just have to be creative. Next time you think of flying solo, you won’t have to wonder how to make friends while travelling alone — just keep these solo travel tips in mind!

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About Author

Patricia Caleon
Patricia Caleon

Patricia is a simple girl who likes to express herself through pictures and words. Not much for talking; writing and taking pictures have always been her way of telling people of her stories and adventures. On a normal day, you'll probably see her reading a good book in one hand and a cup of coffee in another.