Seek Out Others
Usually I join in on some group tourism activity, like a walking tour or a cooking class—something where like-minded people are around. All it takes is a quick 'hello' and you're making new friends. More often than not people are really open to solo travelers, and I’m regularly taken under people’s wings. Sometimes when I’m lonely, I’ll go someplace that’s really crowded like a market or local mall; a few hours spent wandering around in crowded spaces is enough to make me happy and grateful to return home alone.
Use Meetup to Find Others with Common Interests
Meetup is a social media platform that's about locals finding people who share their interests, but it can be used by travelers to the city as well. For instance, look for a Meetup that concentrates on the area you are going to. You may find others going to the same spot at the same time. If not, you will find people that have an interest in that area and can give you a lot of good tips. For example, if you like hiking, you may get a lot of good information about trails in the area you are visiting. They may even give you names of people to connect with when you get there.
Find Friends at Mealtime
Make friends at breakfast. Breakfast is a wonderful meal to linger over when you’re traveling alone. Read a book, plan for the day, chat with the staff—that’s when they're likely to be much less busy. Make lunch lighter, as you’re on the go, and make dinner, which can feel so self-conscious, a snack at the bar with a glass of wine. It’s quick, casual, and very much lets you merge into the crowd in ways that sitting alone at a table in a dining room might make harder. Happy Hour is also a great time to meet people.
Become Part of the Neighborhood
Take advantage of the time you have to meet people from the area. Go for a walk and visit neighborhoods. Sit in cafés and local restaurants. Even go to supermarkets or street markets and pick out groceries for your hotel room. It is a part of everyday life and can be comforting.
Enjoy Alone Time
It’s about changing your mindset. Instead of focusing on all the activities your not doing or moments you are not sharing with someone, focus on all the things you get to do because you are solo. Lounge in a bathtub for 30 minutes? Read a book at a café? Make an itinerary that’s 100 percent filled with what you want to do? Sleep late or get up early and enjoy the sunrise. Lounge around for the morning without feeling guilty.
No matter what you do, challenge yourself to do something different. Something you may not do when you are with a friend. You may want to climb a mountain, try new foods, a cooking class or a biking expedition. Classes are a great way to meet people and share the culture. People may even take you under their wing. If safety is a concern, join a group tour.
Peterson Travel Pros