5 Easy Tips to meet people as a Female Solo Traveler

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As a perpetual female solo traveler, one of the questions I frequently get asked is do I get lonely?

I mean, what a question! Of course, I get lonely when I travel solo but also sometimes when I am at home.

Traveling without a companion or partner can be completely daunting but I’ve found it to be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling styles of travel.

Like most types of travel, female solo travel has its ups and downs but at the end of the day, I heartily vouch that every person should try it at least once in their lives.

How to meet people as a Female Solo Traveler

1. Stay in social accommodation

No, I don’t mean a hostel. If you’re a backpacker on a budget and looking for cheap accommodation, shared dorm rooms in hostels will certainly introduce you to people.

But I’m past those years of my life, though occasionally I still stay in hostels but in private rooms.

Nowadays there is a wide range of types of hostels you can stay in, some are categorized as “luxury” even. So when I’m traveling and looking to meet people oftentimes, I’ll book into a high-quality hostel in a private room and spend time in the common room or communal areas to meet people or participate in hostel group activities.

But most of the time I don’t like staying in hostels so I look for smaller, more intimate accommodation options, ones where you meet the owners and other guests easily, like small B&Bs or on AirBnB.

AirBnB and other similar accommodation rentals are a great way to meet the locals and get to see a different side of a destination. I’ve made friends with many AirBnB hosts over the years and it feels like I’m visiting a friend in the city or country where I’m visiting.

2. Hop on a guided tour

Depending on your trip, your travel style and where you are going you might consider hopping on a tour.

Usually, there are a range of tours that meet every type of need and interest. Day tours or multi-day tours, photography tours and budget tours even pub crawls, there are many types to choose from.

Usually, when I’m in a place like Europe, I prefer to travel around on my own, but when I want to get to places where I need a car, I’ll just hop on a day tour instead. It’s a great way to pack in a lot of sightseeing and meet new people.

At the end of every tour I’ve done I usually leave with a couple of new friends and sometimes we would meet up later on and either travel together or just grab coffee. After all, everyone is in the same boat as you.

If I’m traveling to a country where I’m either not comfortable traveling alone (rare now but still it happens) or I’m looking for a different kind or unique travel experience, I’ll book a multi-day tour.

For example, I just came home from a 3 week horseback riding trip through Mongolia with Zavkhan Trekking. Not even sure how I would even begin planning that on my own.

Last year for Christmas I joined in on a small-group local tour around New Zealand called Haka Tours, both of which fitted perfectly for what I wanted and almost everyone else on the tours were also solo travelers. Even if you travel by yourself, you’re rarely alone.

Check out Get Your Guide for some of their awesome local tours We also love G Adventures for guided group tours.
Meeting the locals in Mongolia
Meeting the locals on my tour in Mongolia

3. Participate in group activities

Aside from hopping on tours when you’re traveling around, another great way to stay social and meet people on the road is to join in on group activities.

I love having hands-on travel experiences, like eating, when I’m on the road so I tend to gravitate towards activities like cooking classes, food and market tours, and lots and lots of adventure activities, like bike tours, boat outings, and scenic flights.

Most of these activities book more than one person on them so you are guaranteed to meet people. There is nothing quite like making a new friend as you kayak through rapids or bake a local dish in a new city.

Sailing in The Whitsundays, Queensland, Australia
I learned how to sail in The Whitsundays, Queensland, Australia

4. Make a travel buddy on the road

This usually works when you are traveling for extended periods of time and have a flexible schedule on the road, but also it can still work when your schedule is a bit limited.

Once I’ve met other solo travelers, if we’ve hung out a few times and have similar interests or want to go to the same place, sometimes it’s easy to just travel along together for a while.

This happens a lot on the well-trodden backpackers trails in Europe and Southeast Asia but also works in other parts of the world too.

Riding Petra, Jordan
Making friends in Petra, Jordan

5. Have a “Say Yes” policy when you’re feeling a bit lonely and be friendly

Maybe it’s just me but meeting people has never come easy to me. I am an introvert through and through, and it almost goes against my nature to intentionally be outgoing.

In the beginning, I had to force myself to talk to people. The easiest way is just to be really friendly. Depending on the country, I’ve found the majority of people love friendly solo travelers. It’s less intimidating than when you’re in groups and it just works.

On top of that when I’m traveling I try to have a “say yes” policy when people invite me to things.

Of course, I judge the situation and definitely say no if I feel unsafe or weird, but often times just putting yourself a little bit out of your comfort zone can be very rewarding.

These are the moments I tend to treasure the most on the road.

32 thoughts on “5 Easy Tips to meet people as a Female Solo Traveler”

  1. Hostels are definitely the place I meet people – I find other solo travelers are often the most interesting people to talk too, so many people are out having crazy adventures and I love hearing peoples stories

  2. Jacomijn's Travels

    I love to travel solo too! You always travel with fellow travellers..it is hard to be alone…unless you don’t do any activities,. 🙂

  3. Andrea Anastasiou

    Great tips, and ones that can certainly apply to couples who are travelling together but who want to meet other people. Sometimes I find it’s more difficult to meet new people when you’re a travelling duo!

  4. I am not recommending this…but I meet the most interesting people by being a smoker.
    We are all banished to the same areas to smoke, and we are a very social bunch.

    1. Beverley | Pack Your Passport

      Not condoning it either (it’s the worst habit I have!) but I also find myself meeting lots of people when I’m outside having a cigarette. I recently came back from a solo trip to Dublin and I met loads of people this way! Someone pretty much always wants to borrow your lighter and then you’re away! 🙂

      1. I am not a smoker, but have always had the urge to buy a lighter, simply to be provide what all smokers need! will definitely be packing it in my carry on haha

  5. I agree with you. Solo travel is a life changing experience everyone should do at least once. Taking tours is definitely a great way to meet people. On my last tour of Spain I met some really great people and we spent most of the tour exploring the country together.

    1. What’s the tour company you went through, if you don’t mind me asking.. Trying to plan my first solo trip this summer, so figuring out if I should take a tour or go on my own and stay at hostels and stuff.
      Thanks!! 🙂

  6. If you like photography, joining a local street photography workshop is a great experience to not only meet fellow photographers but also to approach strangers on the streets.

  7. Hey great tips for solo female travellers. It’s pretty scary especially when it’s your first time, but these tips definitely help.

  8. Beverley | Pack Your Passport

    Awesome tips, Liz! I’m a big fan of going on tours to meet people too. I went to Amsterdam on my own for my birthday this year and decided to go on a food tour on my actual birthday – I met loads of people and got to hang out on a boat with a beer in my hand while the sun was shining. So glad I booked it otherwise I may have been lonely on my big day 🙂

  9. Danni @Leftnleavin

    Learning how to make friends on the road has been one of my favourite accomplishments. I’m not shy in general but I have hard time striking up conversation and it’s been getting so much better. Honestly I really look up to the Austrailian attitude of meeting people and inviting everyone to join them. I’ve ended up traveling with complete strangers and it was so much fun.

  10. When I moved to Melbourne, I immediately joined some Meetup.com groups and have made many lasting friendships through that. There are also groups catered to travelers offering tours and nights out that would suit a solo traveler looking for some company!

  11. I love how you’re open to people and new experiences. I can imagine how rich your life has been. It is quite hard to open up as a female traveler especially if you are used to protecting yourself. But sometimes, you just have to open yourself to the world.

  12. Hi Liz,
    I was really shocked reading your solo travelling experience. I just cant imagine how could a trip will be enjoyable without a companion. By reading your experience I can understand the difference of both experience. It really inspiring me to arrange a solo travel like you. Thanks so much.

  13. Hi Liz, thanks for the great post! I think it’s good advice for being active in meeting new people and having new experiences in general, even if you’re not yet brave enough to go travelling solo yet. It’ll definitely come in useful if I pluck up the courage!

    Wondering what you think of using websites/apps to meet new people to participate in activities in a new area? That the sort of thing my website, Would Love To Go is aiming to do.

  14. Wao am just amazed by your solo travel experience. Everyone should plan his/her trip alone once in a life. Am going to have this awesome experience. Thank you 🙂

  15. I am 75. After 2 knee replacement surguries, l plan to do solo foreign travel on a very limited budget. In 1983 l traveled with 1 child and 2 sm. dogs to 47 states over a 6 month time in a motor home. Would like to use hostels and possibly rent a van to sleep in. Interested in Costa Rica, Europe, Africa, and the British Isles. Need all the help l can get to plan. Do not care for lg. tours, but did use Grey Line city day tours here in the states occasionally to avoid driving in some cities such as New York, Boston, and New Orleans.

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