So you’ve taken the bull by the horns and you’ve decided to embark on your very first solo travel adventure. You’re no doubt very excited about everything that is waiting for you, but it’s natural to feel a little nervous too.
Even though solo travel can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life, it’s also very daunting, and you’ll be eager to meet people along the way to share memories with.
The good news is that it’s fairly easy to make new friends when you’re on the road. A big part of the battle is knowing where to go to find likeminded people who will be interested in striking up a conversation.
Make sure you consider these options, ready for when you arrive in your destination…
Dormitories and shared accommodation spaces
This is the best place to start, as it’ll be your first real taste of your new home, and you’ll be spending a chunk of time here every day. Your dorm room buddies may have been there a little longer than you, so they’ll be keen to tell you all about the place and show you the sights.
Private accommodation might be tempting, but don’t underestimate the value of the friendships that can quickly blossom when you’re living in such close proximity.
Online groups and forums
Technology is making travel so much easier in so many different ways, and it can also help you to conquer the challenge of making friends as a lone ranger.
There are dedicated groups and forums for almost every destination that you can imagine, and it could really put you at ease if you’ve already spoken to a few people online who’ll be travelling in the same place at the same time.
If your destination of choice is popular with backpackers, then you can pretty much guarantee that there’ll be a backpacker bar that’s a hive of activity. Order a drink, pull up a chair, and introduce yourself to your fellow travellers.
These locations are great places to get the lowdown on what’s going on locally, and let your hair down a little as you slide into a slower pace of life.
You want to see more of the world, and you want to meet new people, so why not kill two birds with one stone?
People who book tours are likely to be in pretty similar circumstances to you, and the fact that you’ve both chosen the same tour means that you have at least a little in common.
Social areas in your accommodation
Depending on where you’re staying, there’s going to be some sort of communal space. It could be a bar, a café, a kitchen, a terrace, or a games room. Use this to your advantage and get social!
Remember that many people will be in the same situation as you, and they’ll be keen to have a chat and talk about your plans for whilst you’re travelling. You could unearth some great tips for what to see and do, and build a support network for your time away.
There really are so many places to meet new friends on your travels. If you’re feeling shy, promise yourself that you’ll try at least a few of these things during your first day in a new place. You could strike up friendships that will last a lifetime!