How to Meet People When Traveling Alone
Who says you can’t be social while riding solo? Here, our guide on how to meet people while on the road.
Stay in a hostel
There’s no better place to fly stag than at a hostel. These hip, budget-friendly stays are full of public areas perfect for mingling. Check into any of the Generator’s 11 outposts in hot European cities from Berlin to Barcelona, and you’ll find design-forward rooms, cool lounges and buzzy rooftop bars. We love the Generator London’s game room (picture: billiards and foosball) which hosts open mic nights, acoustic music sets, live DJs and more. Generator Paris also has weekly events like wine and cheese happy hours, dance parties and petanque contests. The best part? You can crash for less than $100 a night!
Join a tour
Gone are the days when group activities were only for tacky tourists. Book an out-of-this-world excursion with Black Tomato (heli-surfing in New Zealand, anyone?) and El Camino, a travel company that offers unique experiences in Colombia, Nicaragua and Mexico.
Grab a seat at the bar
Nothing breaks the ice quite like alcohol. Instead of eating at a table alone with a book as your buddy, snag a stool at the bar. It’s easy to strike up a conversation with other diners — or that smokin’ bartender — and you’ll be making friends in no time.
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Go to school
Signing up for a class is a guaranteed way to meet people. And you’ll learn something, too. There are tons of options to choose from including cooking courses, dancing lessons, or whatever else interests you. We love Tuesday Tango at La Catedral in Buenos Aires and the culinary classes at Castello Banfi Il Borgo, a gorgeous 18th-century vineyard and villa in Tuscany.
Hitch a rideshare
What better way to get to know someone than sitting in a car with them for a few hours? Use UberPool on short inter-city jaunts, and for longer, cross-country trips, there’s Karzoo and Ridefinder (which are especially popular in Europe).
Use social apps
There’s an app for everything — including finding new pen pals! Our favorites: Meetup, InstaMeets and EatWith. Meetup has more than 27 million members across 180 countries who come together to socialize and share hobbies, so you’re bound to hit it off with someone. If you’re an insta-addict, InstaMeet is for you. Go to a designated (read: hashtagged) spot to join the group, or follow Worldwide InstaMeets (#WWIM), where ‘grammers around the globe can join (psst, there’s one coming up on Sept. 17-18). Hungry? Download EatWith to attend a pop-up dinner party cooked by local chefs.
Chat up your seatmates
Make the best of the dreaded middle seat by making small talk with the travelers beside you. (Just don’t be the chatty kathy who bothers your sleeping seatmates!) You never know, you may end up swapping digits and visiting each other later on!
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