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5 ways to make friends while travelling alone

I’ve travelled alone quite a few times in my life. Travelling alone usually gives you totally different kind experience than it would if you would travel with friends, family or your partner.

To be honest, I like to be with people. I enjoy having people around me. This is not to say that I don’t also enjoy spending some time on my own. But mostly I do enjoy the company. I like to share my experiences.

Sometimes I think big time travellers want to emphasize on how much they enjoy travelling alone. But to me travelling alone has usually been a way to meet new people. So I can’t really say I love travelling alone, it’s more that I love travelling with new people.

But how to meet new people on your way? Sure it can be just a lucky coincidence but most of the time people won’t stop on the street and say “Hey, let’s be friends!” (though that oddly enough happens too, but rarely!).

So here are my tips on how to make sure you find company on your travels:

1) Accommodation: When you share your accommodation it’s easier to make friends. If you spend your night at a five star hotel it is not as likely to meet new people as it would be at a hostel.

If you’re moving to another country for a while you might want to consider roommates. Sure you might end up living with a crazy person (it’ll make a great story later) but most of the time you’ll meet great people to spend your time with.

2) Right forums: You can easily find people online on platforms such as Couchsurfing. This is an easy way to find traveller activities close by or just someone to hang out with. This is a good way to meet locals and other travellers.

3) Group activities: You can take part on group activities like tours or classes. There you’re likely to meet people who you already have something in common with you as you’re doing the same activity, be it a pub crawl or a pottery class.

4) Use your contacts: People are very international and well connected these days. Somebody always knows somebody. You’re probably familiar with the six degrees of separation theory according to which everyone is connected to each other through others by at most six steps, like introductions (Also check out funny game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon… Not really related to travelling, but fun!).

I do think there is a lot of truth to this theory so reach out to your existing connections and ask around if somebody already knows someone in the location you’re travelling at.

5) Open mind: This is such a cliché but this just is the most important advice anyone could give. Even if you did all of the above you won’t get anywhere without an open mind. You have to be willing to meet new people and take contact. Be ready to meet people who are very different from you and learn to enjoy the differences. You should also be ready to take the initiative and ask people to hang out. You can’t just sit around and wait for people to find you. You need to find them!

Profile photo of Sanna Tolmunen

Travelling, films and good stories in all forms. These are my great passions in life.

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