Traveling solo can seem a bit daunting or lonely, but it does not have to be! Making friends when traveling solo just requires a little bit of effort – and sometimes a willingness to try something new. It serves even the most introverted person well to get out of the box once in a while. Take your trip and dare yourself to make a new friend!
Here are a four tips to help:
#1: Start a conversation on transit
At Starr, many of our trips require a bit of time before reaching your destination. Instead of plugging in headphones or turning to the next chapter in your book, why not start up a conversation with your fellow travelers? You already have your destination in common. With that knowledge, you can simply ask what they are looking forward to seeing on the trip, have they visited before, etc. Make the most of the drive by socializing.
#2: Make small talk over meals
Dining with others is always an easy entry to making small talk. A few simple conversation starters are: Where are you from? Is this your first trip with Starr? What has been your favorite part of the trip so far? Open-ended questions are always best because they leave room for the conversation to grow.
#3: What NOT to do
Don’t expect everyone to have everything in common with you. It’s a GOOD thing to meet new people who are passionate about different things. Be open to people with diverse backgrounds and interests, varying ages and life experiences. This gives you the opportunity to learn from each other and you might find out you have more in common than you think. Don’t be discouraged to make a new friend or let your fears hold you back. Many times, we can “clam up” if the conversation goes dry. If that happens, just ask another question! Don’t ask personal questions too quickly or act nosy. This can deter people away.
#4: Forget Your Hang-Ups
This might be the most important tip. If you’re anything like me, you might make excuses for meeting people or trying something new. You might say you’re too old, too young, too scared; the list goes on. Leave the excuses at home and meet someone new.
#4 Staying in touch
After returning from your trip with new friends, find a way to keep in touch. It may be a little awkward to say, “Hey, I really enjoyed spending time with you on this trip. Would you like to exchange numbers and meet for lunch sometime?” but put yourself out there. The worst they can do is say no. Exchange numbers and other contact info – connect over social media. Find a fun class to take together or, better yet, plan to get together again on another Starr trip! A friend you meet traveling can easily turn into a friend for life!
When traveling solo, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to put your fears aside and enjoy the adventure. Strike up a conversation while standing in line or step out of your comfort zone to try a new class. There’s no need to stick to the norm, especially when it comes to meeting new people. Traveling solo is all what you make of it. Make your trip a great one and make a new friend!