When people hear that you are traveling solo, it usually translates to “I am traveling alone.”
When I first started traveling solo, I can remember being seated to a guy (around the same age as me) on my flight, who was also a solo traveler. The entire flight we chatted and he told me about all of his solo travel adventures (side note: I never had conversations with people on a flight until this moment). I felt like that was my sign from the universe, that I was not truly alone. Once I landed from my flight and began my first solo trip, I kept meeting people…and the more comfortable I felt, the more people approached me.
Never on any of my solo trips have I felt alone. On cruises I would attend solo traveler meet-up’s, but also would randomly make friends with anyone around me. I think it is because everyone is on vacation, and most likely in a good mood, so they are more willing to strike up conversations with a stranger. It could be at a bar, a pool lounge chair, waiting on line… whatever, there will always be someone to talk to.
I do personally like to book some sort of group excursion. Whether it is a tour group for the day or for the entire trip, or just an organized event… either way, it automatically includes you in group setting, and your odds of making friends are significantly higher.
My suggestions for meeting people to chat with, or even becoming friends is to be yourself. You do not need to impress anyone, you are already a badass for traveling on your own. Most of the time, people you meet will be captivated by the fact that you traveled to [enter amazing destination here] by yourself, and will want to learn more about you.
Smiling also helps to make yourself more approachable. Out of the tendency of feeling like I need to protect myself when traveling alone, I sometimes put on my RBF (resting b*tch face) to ward off any unwanted approaches. Once while in St. Thomas, I was wandering around by myself, and I guess I was wearing a strong RBF that day, and the man who ran the ferry asked me why I looked so angry. That moment was a wake-up call for me to not feel like I am always on the defense when I am traveling on my own. That it is OK to smile and show people I am enjoying myself. I don’t always need to look like I am about to rip someone’s head off for speaking to me. So the point is, if you are happy or excited, feel comfortable sharing those emotions with others. Most likely they will feed off of your positive vibes and want to interact with you more.
Safety tips for meeting new people while traveling solo:
1- Trust your judgement and gut-instincts
2- Never give out your hotel location/ cruise cabin number
3- Don’t take drinks from strangers and watch your drink at all times
4- Avoid telling everyone you meet that you are traveling solo. Only people you feel absolutely comfortable with. Even so, it is OK to lie and say you have family that lives in town, or you are traveling as a part of a group.
5- Be smart. You are an adult, use your discretion.
Do you have any other tips for meeting new people while traveling solo? Please share them below!