Traveling solo is awesome. It’s why we do it. But those of us who travel solo don’t do it because we don’t like the company of others, we do it because we like the freedom to do anything we want to anytime we want to, or we need the break (from an overly social life…) or because none of our friends are ever available at that time.
Most of us who solo travel, love to meet new people. Some of us love to be social every day and every night. Others like more alone time, but appreciate a little company once a while, like a dinner partner or some hiking buddies. Regardless of how much or how little socializing you like to do as a solo traveler, finding unique ways to connect with other locals and travelers while you’re traveling, makes a trip infinitely more fun and rewarding.
Whether you’re looking to meet up with some fellow travelers for a hike or a pub night, eat traditional food prepared by a local in their home, or mix and mingle at a cocktail party with an international crowd, these five sites will hook up you with something just your style:
Connects you with locals for experiences ranging from wine tastings at local vineyards to things like architectural or history focused city tours or a cooking class in someone’s home. Though this site is relatively new, it’s grown significantly over the past year to include more and more local hosts in more locations. Guests rate and leave comments about their experiences.
Connects you with accommodation in local hosts’ homes. This is a great way for solo travelers to save money while also getting a more unique cultural experience and a personal connection with a host (versus other travelers/tourists). For example, a private bedroom in a nice Porto or Lisbon apartment including breakfast provided by your local host can cost you as little as 18-25 Euros a night. Talk about a bargain.
Connects you with home-cooked meals in locals’ homes. Options range from experiences such as simple tapas and wine on a secret rooftop in Spain, to full on five course meals cooked by a French chef, to outdoor ‘al fresco’ dining at someone’s villa in Italy. Take a look, your mouth will start watering just looking at some of the pictures.
Of course Meetup has been huge in the U.S for a while now, but it turns out it’s also gone seriously global. More and more meetup groups pop up in European cities every day. Just like in the U.S, this is a great way to connect with people who have similar interests, in a place where you might not know many people yet. From language exchange groups (very popular), to artist and writer and hiker’s groups, Meetup has got something for almost everyone. Groups are often a mix between travelers/expats and locals.
Connects travelers with the local expat communities in cities. This is an invaluable resource for solo travelers who are less backpacker and hostel type travelers. Solo travelers who are perhaps simply looking to stay longer in a city or working towards relocation and want to get some networking or socializing in. If you have ever thought about re-locating or moving abroad, this is the community you want to connect with. And even if not, it’s a thriving international community of people who can help you with finding accommodation, social, educational, or networking events to attend or just helping you deal with culture shock. Remember to check out their housing forum which boasts of quite a few short term and sublet options that can save you a lot of money over nightly places.
Featured photo credit: Chris Biron via Unsplash via images.unsplash.com