Many people believe that solo travellers are really good at being alone. Loneliness doesn’t seem to bother them that much. Well, take it from this solo traveller, that’s not true!
Travelling solo does not necessarily mean that you’re immune to feeling lonely. Many solo travellers just use the many tools that are available in this modern world to meet new people and share stories.
Here are some tools I have used to avoid loneliness on my solo travels.
#1. Sleep in hostels or share a house
If you sleep in hostels, it’s easy to meet other travellers. Use websites like Hostelworld or Booking.com and compare prices of dorms. Hostels are generally full of travellers who are keen to meet new people, so you will most likely make new friends in no time.
If you are staying at the same place for a longer time, then finding a room in shared houses is often a cheaper option to find accommodation and meet new people. Keep an eye on Facebook posts in backpacker groups about available rooms. There are also plenty of online platforms where you can find people that are looking for housemates:
- Airbnb (also has short-term and longer-term shared accommodation options)
- Gumtree (Australia)
- Flatmates.com.au (Australia)
- WG Gesucht (Germany)
- … (just do some research about the country you’re going to, and you’ll find a platform for sure)
Your roommates might even become travel mates and join you on exciting trips!
#2. Swipe right for travel advice!
To all my fellow single travellers out there, all I have to say is: “start swiping and use Tinder!” Okay, it’s a dating app, but it’s a great tool to meet locals as well. Ask them all they know about their city and learn where to find the hotspots and the notspots. If you’re not that much into blind dating, you can just match with people and ask them for recommendations without even meeting them in real life. But if you do score a date… suit up and enjoy! 😉
#3. Join a cooking class
Foodies who like to experiment with food will love this idea. You can sign up for a cooking class and learn how to cook a delish local meal. Not only will you be able to impress your friends back at home with your new cooking skills. You will also most likely meet other travellers in the class and share travel stories with them. When you’re travelling in Asia, you will find out that there are plenty of cooking classes you can join, like this authentic Thai cooking class in Bangkok.
#4. Meet up with Meetup
There are several apps you can use to meet new people and make friends while travelling. I am a huge fan of Meetup. You can create a profile on the website or use the app. Then you enter which city you’re in; you select some of your interests and woopah… you see a range of events that you can join.
The events on Meetup range from playing a match of beach volley; to meeting up for a language exchange event; to just watching a movie at the cinema together etc. You will definitely find your cup of tea! On Meetup events it is easy to meet fellow backpackers, expats or even locals that can share their knowledge about the city with you.
#5 Become a language tandem partner (or tutor)
Looking for a language tandem partner is a good idea when you’re staying at the same place for a longer time. You can use Facebook (or platforms like Gumtree in Australia) and post ads to find a language tandem partner. That way, you can help your tandem partner to study your language. In return, you can practise his/her language.
If you want to earn some extra pocket money, you can even become a language tutor in your native language (or other languages you’re fluent in). Post on Facebook (or use other platforms) and find out if anyone wants to learn your language. People that are studying a foreign language are always keen to have a native tutor who can help them with pronunciation, writing skills and conversation skills. In return, they just give you some cash in hand, and a big thank you for helping them make progress in their language learning. And if you get along well, you might be able to add a new friend in your endless pool of international friendships.
#6 Find travel mates on Facebook
There are heaps of backpacker groups for different destinations on Facebook. Just join the groups, keep an eye open for people looking for travel mates and say: “YES! I want to be your travel buddy!” It’s a great way to find new friends to travel with. And it’s also a cheaper way to travel as you often end up sharing costs for fuel, food and accommodation. WIN-WIN!
#7 Join a tour!
It might be a no-go for some independent travellers. Tours sometimes have a reputation of busses filled-up with tourists, all with a camera hanging on their neck and snapping away a million photos and selfies. BUT! By choosing the right operator, joining a tour can definitely give you the opportunity to come to unique places, learning inside information from local guides AND an awesome way to meet fellow travellers. Is there anything more exciting than admiring a destination’s highlights while taking a group picture with freshly made friends? And once the tour is over, you can team-up for your onward travels!
Backpacker Deals started to combine two DIY’s into one: An unique and fun Backpacker Meet-Up and Tour combined! Do you want to meet other travellers and have an unforgettable day out? Join on our Great Ocean Road backpacker tour on the 11th of March. Explore stunning scenery along the world-famous Great Ocean Road in Victoria (Australia), meet like-minded people and have an amazing day!