Solo travel has its advantages. You can do whatever you want and when you want, learn something new not only about the world around you but also about yourself, but if the journey is long, then loneliness can get to you. Remember what you most often need while traveling? Wi-Fi, of course. So if you go to McDonald’s, any coffee shop or bar that has Wi-Fi, then you will surely bump into other travelers there.
Naturally, talking to strangers is always a little scary, especially if you are naturally shy. But travel is just a great opportunity to gain courage. The worst thing that can happen; You will be ignored or answered rudely. But most people will contact you if you are genuinely interested.
Find a reason to strike up a conversation
Don’t be afraid to act like a tourist
Being curious and asking questions is a great way to start a casual conversation. Go on group excursions. It is best to opt for small tours led by locals. Ask your guide about life in the region and anything else that interests you.
Don’t be afraid to ask the locals what to see or where to go. People are usually willing to answer questions if you are friendly.
At the same time, beware of people who offer you something too insistent and are too friendly. They may be very friendly, indeed, but it’s better to play it safe.
Read also: Traveling with Jetlag: Tips to Avoid Stress of the Time Zone
Offer to take a photo
If you want to meet other travelers, settle down in a popular tourist destination. You will surely notice someone who travels alone and tries to take pictures with the background sights. Offer to help. After that, it’s easy to move on to discuss the pros and cons of solo travel. You can then offer to go on an excursion, visit some sight, or have lunch together.
Don’t hide your interests
Surely you have some things that can become a topic of conversation, for example, a book you are reading or a backpack with the logo of your favorite band. Keep them in plain sight when you want to get attention. Just remember that what is considered the norm in one country may not be appropriate in another.
It is unnecessary to wait for someone to comment on your taste; you can pay attention to what you liked from another person. It’s nice to receive compliments from everyone. After that, it will be easier to continue the conversation. For example, mention that you don’t know the area well and ask for advice.
Make a wrong guess
Try making some innocent remark, like, “This restaurant has the tastiest noodles in town.” Even if they disagree with you, you will be able to strike up an interesting conversation.
People usually don’t like answering questions if they feel like they are being interrogated. But they love to correct others and point out to them their mistakes.
Therefore, when you want to start or continue a conversation, but do not know what to say, make a suggestion, just not too personal. Don’t worry about being wrong. The interlocutor will gladly correct you, and the conversation will start.
Stock up on small gifts
Buy some unusual souvenirs (just not commonplace magnets or key rings) or something edible to share and carry with you. Small gifts like these will help build more trusting relationships and will delight your new friends.
Meet in places of residence
Hostels are great for solo travelers, especially for short trips. They can save money and help you meet other travelers. However, hostels have their drawbacks. It is almost always noisy there, and they are not very suitable for those who work remotely. And after a week’s stay, you get tired of communicating with other guests. The most important impressions of the trip are still associated with communication, not with other tourists, but with locals.
Most of the hosts are friendly, some do everything possible to make the guest happy, but someone may ask you for money for a small tour of the area. Be sure to read comments and reviews before booking your accommodation.
When you meet, present the host with a small gift in gratitude for the hospitality. This will help further endear them and increase the likelihood that you will be invited to go somewhere together. Ask the hosts what they like to eat and invite them to have lunch together. It is likely that so soon you will get to know the owners of the housing and their friends.
Use social media
If you are active on social media, share your trip and ask for recommendations on where to go and who to meet. So you can meet friends of your friends in other countries. You can also search for local interest groups on Facebook. Among them, there are probably those whose members speak English. This is a great opportunity to meet locals and other travelers.
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Don’t forget about safety.
This is the first thing to take care of; if you meet a new acquaintance from social networks or are just taking a taxi, send a photo of that person to someone you trust.
If anything about a person or situation makes you suspicious, leave or refuse to meet without a twinge of conscience.
When you move from one place to another or go on a camping trip, let your friends and host know where you are going and when you plan to return. Say, for example: “If I don’t let you know in X days, start looking for me.” Just remember to get in touch later, so people don’t worry.
All you need to meet while traveling is the desire and a little effort. And although you should not expect that all such acquaintances will remain your friends for life, do not be afraid to take the first step. In the end, dating in travel is no different from dating in your hometown; you need to be active and open and not forget about your safety.
Adapted and translated by Wiki Avenue Staff
Sources: Life hacker