How to meet people while traveling alone

JUAN MARTINEZ

October 31, 2015

How to meet people while traveling alone

Traveling solo should not be scary and meeting people should be easy. These are five ways to meet people when traveling alone in a different country

I love traveling alone. It gives me the flexibility I always want and at the same time is an opportunity for self reflection and learning. On a long term, traveling alone has made me more independent and happy of myself as a person. At the same time, I understand the need for interacting with new people and learn about others. After 10 years of backpacking, working abroad and studying in a foreign country, these are some of my best tips for meeting people while traveling alone.

Use Couchsurfing for a local experience

Couchsurfing is a social platform which allow locals to meet travelers. It started as a platform for travelers to find accommodation with a local wherever they travel. However, over the last decade Couchsurfing has developed in a giant community of people.

Today there are events, parties, quick hangout activities and social gatherings in mayor cities. I met some of my best friends at Couchsurfing events and now that I live in Berlin, I organize some events by myself too.

Couchsurfing is free and everything you have to do is create a profile and check which events in the area there are.

Read more: How to find a good host on Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing events are great for meeting people from all over the world
Couchsurfing events are great for meeting people from all over the world

Engage at social media groups and meet ups

The times of traveling around the world with just a map and a compass are over. Nowadays there are hundreds of apps that facilitate a travelers life. Traveling with a smartphone is now basically obligatory.

Even though carrying a smartphone and spending time in social media alienates people, it can also serve as a connection between travelers and locals, as well other travelers.

Most social networks have travel related groups, where users post about their travel plans, ideas and itineraries. It’s a great way to meet other travelers before arriving in a new spot and even do together a travel route, you don’t want to do alone.

On facebook there is probably a travel group for everything. However, some of my favorites are the “backpacking community” groups or the “find a travel partner” groups.

In meet ups you can find your next travel partner
In meet ups you can find your next travel partner

Stay at hostels

Every backpacker knows that you have to stay in a dorm if you want to meet other people.

Hostels are not anymore these ugly and dirty places, where only the most budget backpackers went to. Nowadays some hostels have swimming pools, relaxing rooms, yoga in the mornings and even massage services.

Travelers are able to choose if they want privacy by staying in a private room, or stay in budget and get a dorm.

However, what makes hostels the best place to meet other travelers are the different activities hostels plan for their guest: From quiz night to karaoke and family dinners. There is an event for each kind of person.

Read more: 15 different types of people you meet in a hostel

Hostel Colombia best hostel in the world
Hostels nowadays look sometimes better than 4 star hotels. Aerial view of Casa en el Agua – one of the world’s most famous hostels

Experience the city on a free tour

Almost every large city in the world has free tours. These are events organized by a private company in which a local will show travelers the key attractions of a destination completely for free. At the same time, travelers can tip what they think that the tour worth or their budget allows.

These kind of tours are an excellent choice for meeting other backpackers on a budget. These events usually help travelers to interact with each other and sometimes I had build short friendships with people I have met on these events.

Read more: How to be a traveler at home

Free tours around the world
Free tour guides are known for carrying a colorful umbrella in the city’s main square

Socialize in pub crawls or nightlife events

Night events are fun. Locals and travelers meet for a beer and a good chat. From pub crawls to pub quiz nights, there is no better way to meet fascinating people when you are traveling alone in a city.

Some of the best nights I had while backpacking were happening in these kind of events, and although sometimes encounters are just for a drink or a fun night at the club, these can also still be very memorable.

Check out on the internet if the city you are visiting offers a quiz night, board games night or simply a pub crawl. These are the best events for socialize and relax after a long day – no better way to meet other people traveling.

Read more: Tips for travelers who will start their adventure alone

Pub crawls usually take you to 4 or 5 different bars around the city
Pub crawls usually take you to 4 or 5 different bars around the city

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