(photo above: Myself and my friend Hanna from Sweden who I met and became great friends with on a tour in Fiji)
It’s new years resolution time and I bet a lot of people have “travel” near the top of their list, I know I do. However often times people don’t end up traveling because they don’t have someone to travel with and are afraid to travel alone. Honestly its almost impossible to really be by yourself when traveling unless you want to be. I know its been said on other blogs hundreds of times, but I don’t think people believe it until they have experienced it but trust me traveling solo isn’t really traveling alone.
After my last trip through the UK and Europe I realized that I don’t really travel solo that much anymore. I instantly unintentionally make friends or I tend to have friends in most places I visit and no not because I’ve intentionally gone to visit them. I’ve honestly visited a few places and posted on facebook that I was there and have had more than one friend message me back and tell me they were there too. Clearly it is my lifestyle as a travel blogger and “traveler” that has caused this to happen and I love it.
Don’t be a hermit
If you are staying in a hostel aside from just making friends with the other people in your room also hang out in the common area and join in on the hostels activities whether its a pub crawl, cheap dinner together or going to a baseball game and you will be almost forced to make new friends. Slightly harder to do this if you are staying in a hotel but you can take a tour of the city where you are or even a day trip or over night tour from where you are and you can make friends with other people on your tour.
Check out couch surfing if even just for the meet ups
I have never couch surfed myself but couch surfing is obviously a great way to make friends when traveling. If you are weary of couch surfing many cities have couch surfing “communities” that meet up regularly and you don’t have to be a couch surfer to attend.
Check out Globetrooper.com
Globetrooper is a great site! If you don’t have a travel partner and you refuse to travel alone or even if you have been traveling solo for a while and feel like sticking with someone for a while or maybe want to visit a place that you think you would feel safer with another travel companion then Globetrooper is the site for you. They pair up travelers! You can list where you want to go or browse through other peoples listings and be paired up, brilliant.
Go a Travel Massive
Once a month currently in 15 different cities around the world travelers meet up for a night just to hang out and talk travel. Anyone can go, often its a lot of travel bloggers but they are open and welcome to anyone joining and geeking out over travel. Check out www.TravelMassive.com
Be active on twitter
Before your trip, search out on twitter through simply using the search function and see who is talking about the place you are going whether they live there, are traveling there right then or are also planning a trip there soon. If you don’t make friends from these people then you can at least get tips and ideas on what to see and do when you visit. I know it seems weird, I grew up in the 90s where we “weren’t suppose to talk to people on the internet” but just trust your gut and only agree to meet up with people in busy crowded areas where you have safety in numbers.
(photo above: Candice and I met through twitter first and how now become friends, business partners and a person for me to visit in Newfoundland)
Use the power of Facebook
Aside from just posting that you are visiting a place also put a call out to your Facebook friends and as if they have friends that live where you are going. They might even have friends who have at least been there that could give you tips and or hook you up with friends of theirs there.
If you follow some of my tips I am sure you will be surprised with just how small this world actually is. Keep those 2012 resolutions, get traveling and hopefully we will meet somewhere on the road!
New York Makes Me Sick | Cailin TravelsFebruary 20, 2012 at 11:00 am
[…] conference. I toured my friend Candice around to places I had been before, went to the conference, met lots of new friends and finally met a lot of people that I had known from twitter and online face to face. We […]
JarmoJanuary 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm
Great tips Cailin! Travelling solo isn’t definitely travelling alone. One tip I’d add is meeting people on the bus. Last year I often met people on the bus on the way somewhere; that’s why I never have reservations for accommodation, just in case I meet some interesting people on the bus, so we can get accommodation together :) But even with this tip, you might have to say hello to someone you don’t know ;)
CailinJanuary 12, 2012 at 9:18 pm
Very true Jarmo, I haven’t not booked a place for that reason yet but I have definitely regretted staying at a different place from people I have met so maybe I should start doing that? haha :)
VanessaJanuary 8, 2012 at 5:21 am
While I’ve travelled on my own and had no problems with it, my husband and I have yet to travel much together. I do worry that we get along with each other so well that we’ll forget to talk to others and meet locals/other tourists/whoever!! I guess that’s something to watch and be aware of when we get more time to travel.
CailinJanuary 8, 2012 at 1:52 pm
I have definitely heard of that problem happening too! People forget to socialize outside of their travel companions :)
AlouiseJanuary 7, 2012 at 7:54 pm
Great tips. I have to work on the “not being a hermit one.” I often forget smiling and saying a simple hello can go a long way.
CailinJanuary 8, 2012 at 1:51 pm
It really can go a long way! :)
Chris Walker-BushJanuary 7, 2012 at 12:53 am
CailinJanuary 8, 2012 at 1:51 pm
thanks Chris! and thanks for sharing it on your site :)