Making Friends Abroad as A Solo Female Traveler: Sisterhood on the Road

Solo traveling can be such an incredible experience; however, you can take it to another level by meeting people and making friends on your journey! Sometimes, this can be easier said than done, so we’re here with plenty of tips to help you meet people and make the most of your time traveling. From where to stay to fun ideas to meet lots of people and some preparation you can do before you go traveling if you’re nervous, we’ve got you covered.

Stay in Backpacker Hostels

First up, our best piece of advice is to stay in backpacker hostels. These hostels will be full of people doing exactly what you’re doing, so they’ll be open to meeting people and having fun. If you want a private room then you won’t miss out on the experience, because these hostels usually have fun bars or communal areas attached so you’ll have plenty of chances to meet people. Perhaps do a bit of research just to make sure that the hostel is focused on backpackers so you can have as much fun as possible.

This is a great way to travel on a budget without compromising on your experience. Sitting in hotel rooms on your own when traveling can be quite lonely, not to mention expensive, so backpacker hostels are the perfect solution.

Go On Group Tours

Another great way to meet people and do something fun at the same time is to go on group tours. There will be so many fun and exciting things to do, from exploring local rainforests to seeing waterfalls, going horse riding, boat trips, or exploring a city as a group. You can make the most of whatever exciting place you’re in while meeting like-minded people. There are plenty of group tours designed specifically for females traveling alone if that’s something you’d be interested in too!

Go On Group Tours

Use Bumble BFF

Something else you can do to make friends as a female solo traveler abroad is to use Bumble BFF. This is an extension of the Bumble dating app, where you set up a profile with photos of you and your interests. Then, you can connect with like-minded people who you’d be interested in making friends with! This is designed entirely for platonic relationships to help you meet people and have a good time when you’re away.

I got super lucky meeting my best friend this way, so I assure you, with patience and a bit of energy, this works! You can set the location that you’re traveling to, to help you make a few connections before you arrive if that will help to settle your mind.

Or, you can land in the country and then get started on Bumble BFF! We’d recommend that you only speak or match with people who have been verified (Bumble makes sure that the person’s photos match up with what they actually look like) to help you stay safe. As with dating apps, you should only meet up in public places too to begin with to stay safe!

Sign Up for Classes or Activities Alone

Something else you can do is sign up for classes or activities. Have a look at what’s on offer around where you’re staying and look for some unique and fun classes. One of our favorites is to do a local cooking class, which is such a great way to learn more about the culture and to eat some delicious food.

Make sure to pack some gym sets and try out local fitness classes, or maybe try a local art or pottery class. There will be so much to see and do (especially when you’re going to places that are popular with travelers and backpackers), so make the most of it and use it as an opportunity to meet people.

Learn Local Phrases

Taking the time to learn some local phrases can help you to start friendships with locals, to get a more thorough understanding of what life is like in the place you’re visiting! If the goal of traveling is to immerse yourself in the culture fully, then making an effort to learn some local phrases will really help, as it’ll show that you’re open to learning.

Many locals also like to hear about your culture too, so it’s a win-win. It’s unlikely that you’ll be fluent quickly, however it’s just about showing you’re making the effort that will mean a lot. Knowing the basics will also make navigating this new place more manageable, so that’s also a bonus of taking some time to learn the language.

There are plenty of great tools to help you learn the language, such as Duo Lingo, although we think that the best way to learn is to speak to people, as you may learn different phrases that are more casual and less formal, which are better suited to social situations and so will likely be better received than the more traditional options.

Look for a Bar Crawl Solo

If you’re into having a few drinky-drinks, then look for a bar or pub crawl to join is a great way to get to know people. You can find organized tours online by simply searching “bar crawls for travelers (insert location here),” and you should find plenty of options. Again, with this one it’s important to make sure that you do your research and it’s a reputable provider to keep you safe and watch your drinks at all times.

You can never be too safe when it comes to traveling alone as a female, and so while you’re going to have fun, you do need to be smart about it. In popular places, there will be female-only pub crawls, so this is worth trying while you’re getting used to the area.

Join Backpacker Groups

Another great thing you can do is to join backpacker groups. On Facebook, you can join groups filled with lots of people who are traveling in a specific place, where they will highlight different activities that are going on, fun group trips, meet-ups, and parties, and generally just introduce people who want to meet other people when traveling.

They’re completely free to join and can help to transform your time away. Again, just make sure you’re safe when it comes to meeting up with people, and always make sure that it’s a public place to keep you safe. As well as going to fun meet-ups, people will likely also have great recommendations about where to go, what to do, and what to see when you’re traveling, so even if you decide to go to just one meet-up, it’ll be worthwhile!

Be Spontaneous and Flexible!

Something else we’d recommend when it comes to making friends when traveling is to be spontaneous and flexible wherever possible. Rather than pre-booking your whole trip, especially if you’ll be gone for a while, we’d recommend planning out your first week or two and then be open to different options. When you go out and speak to people, as well as learn a bit more about the area, you might decide that the next place you’d planned to visit actually isn’t quite right for you.

Most importantly, you could meet people who you really get on well with that are heading to a fun place next, and you’d love to spend some more time with them, so having the flexibility to go with the flow and head anywhere with people you want to be with is always a good thing! Just make sure that you have a return flight booked for when you planned, and then you can make the rest work.

In addition to making the big decisions like where you are headed and when being open and flexible when it comes to plans is vital for any solo female traveler. Try to make the most of your time traveling by being open to changes in plans.

Conclusion – Making Friends Abroad as A Solo Female Traveler

We hope we’ve helped you with a few tips to help you make friends when you’re a female solo traveler! As always, make sure you take precautions to stay safe, but also be open to new and different experiences that could potentially help you make friends for life. Making friends when you’re traveling can be incredible!

Often, you will find people who are like-minded and have the same sense of adventure, so you are likely to have a fantastic time together. From choosing sociable hostels to booking day trips and joining online groups to help introduce you to people, you’d be surprised at how much your experience could change when you put yourself out there. And as always, no matter where you choose to head next, always remember to Travel Till You Drop!

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About Jill

Hi, Jill Here

Hi! I’m Jill, a Dallas, Texas girl traveling the world. After a career in the Air Force and touring over 50 countries later, my need to explore keeps going! It’s time to rock & roll and find all those places I never knew I was missing.

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