6 Simple Ways to Meet People While Traveling
Solo Travel Doesn’t Have to be Lonely
Traveling alone doesn’t necessarily mean you will be lonely. In fact, one of the best lessons traveling solo teaches you is how to connect with people on the road; there are a lot of great opportunities to meet locals and other travelers whom you can share your experience with.
Even if you aren’t traveling solo, taking the opportunity to meet new people will make your trip much more fun and social. Plus making connections with people is a good way to take care of your mental health while you’re on the road, ensuring you’re in the best possible mindset.
So, what’s the answer to how to meet people while traveling?
Do What You Love
When it comes to meeting people who you are likely to click with, the best way is to do an activity you are really passionate about. Chances are that you will meet someone there who will share your passion and you will already have something in common.
For example, if you are a history geek you’ll probably meet people who you get along with on a historical walking tour or at a museum.
If you are the outdoor type, join a group tour trekking in the rainforest and bond with people who also love nature. If you are a foodie, take a cooking class to learn about the local cuisine. The same goes for if you love music, art, sports or anything else. Figure out where the people who share your passion are and go hang out with them!
Stay with a Couchsurfing Host
Couchsurfing is an amazing phenomenon that really restores your faith in humanity and will allow you to meet locals while traveling. On the website you can find people from all over the world who are willing to let you stay on their pullout couch or in their spare room for free.
Most Couchsurfing hosts are friendly and generous people who want to host travelers because they love to meet new people and show off their hometown.
In my experiences with Couchsurfing I have met some wonderfully kind people who have taken the time to show me around their city, introduce me to their family and friends and give me recommendations on what to do.
Use Couchsurfing Hangouts
Couchsurfing isn’t just limited to staying with someone; you can tap into the network even if you are staying at a hotel or a hostel rather than with a host. The Couchsurfing app has a “Hangouts” feature that displays other travelers and locals who are in your area and are looking for someone to hang out with.
You can change your settings to “available” and specify whether you are looking for someone with whom you can grab a coffee or beer, go on a walking tour, visit a museum or anything else. You can then see who is available and send a message to someone else in the area to see if they want to join you, making it the perfect solution to meeting people when traveling alone.
Attend a Newcomer Event
Many cities will have “Newcomer Meetups” for people who have just moved to the city. It doesn’t matter if you are only staying for a week or two, you can certainly attend these events as well. The people you meet will be from all over the world and they will be discovering the destination just like you, so they will be keen to go on tours, visit the attractions and check out the local foods.
You can find Newcomer Meetups in any destination by doing a Google search or checking websites such as Meetup.com and Couchsurfing.
Take Language Classes
Taking lessons in the local language will not only help you communicate better with the locals, but will also be a great opportunity to meet other travelers. There are plenty of casual classes you can pay for by the session if you are not planning on being in the destination for very long.
Stay in a Hostel
If you’ve never stayed at one before, forget all the misconceptions about hostels you might have. Hostels are perfectly safe and, best of all, are fantastic for meeting other people. They often have a shared kitchen and a communal living space where travelers naturally congregate.
Hang out in the common room and strike up a conversation with someone who looks interesting. You could even get a few people together to cook a meal, which is a great way to get people talking. Some hostels have organised social events such as game nights, movie nights and pub crawls that offer even more opportunities for making friends when traveling solo.
These are just a few ideas that can help you to meet new people while you are traveling abroad. Sometimes the people you meet when you are traveling can be one of the best parts of the experience and these connections can grow into friendships that last long after the trip is over.