Its been almost 2 years since my life-changing solo trip to Australia, but I’m still talking about it like it was yesterday. As more and more of my friends are heading down under very soon I thought it would be a good idea to rewrite those thoughts and memories from 2 years ago and share my experiences of how I made friends while travelling alone.
Spoiler alert: it’s easier than you think.
If you have followed me on social media for a while or even followed this blog (meaning my old blog I lost last year) then you will know that I travelled the USA and Australia solo. I was just 19 years old when I decided it was time for an adventure alone, and it was the best decision I ever made. One thing I never thought about at the time was meeting new friends, as I had travelled to visit family and decided to take a trip to New York alone but didn’t expect to meet anyone along the way.
Here are 4 easy ways to meet friends while travelling…
1. Stay in hostels
Staying in a hostel isn’t always on everyone’s bucket list, but it can save you hundreds and even thousands of pounds and is definitely the easiest way to meet new people. Literally I have lost count of the amount of friends I have met while staying in hostels. I found hostels to be safe and pleasant places to stay, offering private and dorm rooms. Most hostels also offer rooms by gender also. There are communal spaces like the kitchen and living room areas as well as organised nightly activities, such as pub crawls, tours and more – so it’s easy to bump into new people!
2. Group Tours
Booking through a travel company is also a good way to meet new people, but also comes with a big price tag. I booked a 7 day trip with Ultimate Oz through the website Gap360, which I booked way in advance before I had even landed down under. I was scared of being alone and not making any friends, but I really didn’t even need the trip in the end. By day one of landing in Oz, I had met so many people in my hostel that I didn’t want to leave them and embark on a 7 day trip in Sydney after all.
I ended up only completing 3 days of the group and wasted a lot of money in the end. If you are going to pay for these trips, make sure you do them straight away, as I booked mine for 3 days after I landed and already I had discovered most of Sydney by myself.
The tours themselves are great for first time travellers. I made a lot of friends on my tour but because I had already seen a lot of Sydney’s main attractions by myself, I didn’t see the point of a tour guide showing me them also. The activities that I did take part in were amazing, we went on a boat tour around Sydney Harbour drinking beer and having an Aussie BBQ.
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My hottest day in Sydney so far. 35 degrees! ☀️I have had such a relaxing day. Drinking beer since 12:30, cruising around on a boat for 4 hours full of amazing people and swimming in the sea to cool down. Even had a BBQ on the boat. Off to the North of Sydney tomorrow, so exciting!! 🐢🐨🐬🐟🐋🐡🐳🐍🐙
3. Travelling with a group/company
Group travel to me is by far the best thing I have ever done while travelling. I booked a hop on hop off pass with a company called Loka (who have now changed heir name to Stray Australia). You choose your trip starting date and location online and that’s the hardest part! Travelling with Loka for me was so enjoyable, as it gave me the chance to meet so many like minded people from all around the world. I laughed, I cried, I had the best time with Loka (Stray Australia). Honestly, if you’re going to Australia – book with them. I promise you won’t regret it!
There are so many companies out there all over the world that offer group travel. I used to think that most companies were aimed at older people but I was totally wrong. They are available for anyone.
4. Social networking
I have come across various different Facebook groups set up for solo travellers. One of the main ones I have communicated myself in is Where’s Mollies Global Travellers which is not only great to meet new people who are also going on the same adventure as you, it’s also great to ask questions and find recommendations too! I had the pleasure of meeting Mollie Bylett on her first group meet up in Sydney two years ago and met a number of travellers who were also going to be doing the same things as me.
Another great way is using the app Bumble. Bumble is a dating site but also has an option ‘bff’ where you can search for people wanting to make new friends. Most the time you find people who have recently moved into the area and don’t know anybody – so it’s great to find people who are in the same boat as you.
Solo travel is the best thing you will ever do, I promise you. It’ll teach you so many things about yourself and will open doors to opportunities that you never realised were for you.
I hope you enjoy your adventure!
Heading down under soon? Be sure to view my Australia blog posts! Click here.
A 24 year old from the Midlands, always looking to escape her hometown for an adventure.