5 Non-Awkward Ways to Meet New People During Your Travel

Solo travel can be enlightening and invigorating, but it can also get boring at some point when you do not make the effort to make friends.

Why not just say ‘hi’ or ‘hello’ to your co-travellers or to a local? Here’s why: because randomly approaching anyone and introducing yourself to a stranger can be creepy and plain awkward—especially when you do not have friends to back you up. If you are one of those people who find introducing themselves to people they don’t know intimidating, here are some tips to help you find strangers with common interest and effortlessly make friends with them.

Stay at Hostels
Staying at hostels is an essential part to becoming a sociable solo traveller. Sleeping quarters and dormitory style room promotes conversation, while communal areas provide an ideal place to bond with co-travellers over bottles of beer.

Join a Walking Tour
A walking tour is not only a great (and free) way to go sight-seeing, but the nature of this tour lends to easier conversation. If you are joining a group that isn’t too large, the host or the tour guide will ask everyone to say their name and where they are from, which will give you an easy way to strike up a conversation with anyone during the tour. Stopping for a drink or meal also gives you the opportunity to socialize.

Eat Your Meal at the Bar
Opting to eat at a restaurant’s bar area will not only allow you to bypass the awkward ‘table for one’ scenario, but also give you the chance to chat with other diners sitting beside you (who is likely also dining alone), people ordering drinks or even with the bartender. Staffs usually make the extra effort to be friendly and chat with solo diners.

Embark on a Group Tour
Whether it is hours of drive or a three-day hike, group tours offer travel experiences that aren’t possible to take on alone. Smaller groups create closer camaraderie, especially when under challenging circumstances, while long drives encourage conversation to make the long travel tolerable.

Offer to Take Photos
Offer to take a photo of someone who’s trying to take a selfie in a good spot. By doing the universally recognized ‘camera’ mime, you’ll be able to start a conversation with a stranger in a non-conspicuous manner. If you spotted another solo traveller snapping a decent photo of themselves, offer your expertise. It is a natural prelude to a small talk that could turn into a picture-perfect friendship.

Travelling alone is a great chance for you to grow and know yourself even more. Do not let being alone dictate how you should socialize. By now, you should have realized that there are many different ways to make friends that the only thing you need is the desire to meet new people. The bottom-line is that making friends is just like how you do it back home: be proactive about it, be open-minded and prioritize your safety always.

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