Solo traveling can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences a person can have. Despite what some people may think, traveling alone abroad is NOT a lonely experience.
In fact, I traveled on my own for 5 months through South America, and I wasn't alone for one single day. In this article, I will give you more information on why you won't get lonely while traveling alone abroad.
The Short answer
NO! Solo Traveling doesn't get lonely at all. As a matter of fact, I wasn't alone a single day on my 5-month backpacking trip through South America. Why? Because when you are traveling alone abroad, people who are traveling solo as well tend to connect with you really fast.
Here are my tips that you should follow to not be alone a single day during your trip when traveling alone.
Book hostels through HostelWorld
When you are solo traveling, you wish to meet new people. In order to do so, you should go to a place where solo travelers and backpackers meet frequently, and this place is called a hostel.
A hostel is a budget-friendly type of accommodation that is popular among solo travelers. Hostels offer dormitory-style rooms with multiple beds and shared facilities like bathrooms, kitchens, and common areas. Hostels are often located in city centers, near major attractions, and public transportation hubs, making them a convenient and affordable option for travelers.
My favorite way to find a good hostel for solo travelers is to look for them on the HostelWorld App. The hostels that appear on HostelWorld are rated by travelers just like you who decided to drop everything and travel the world on their own or with friends. So if you read that a hostel has an amazing social atmosphere and cozy vibe and that it is easy to make new connections, you can almost be certain that this is correct.
Another feature HostelWorld has launched recently is the possibility to connect with other solo travelers who booked the same accommodation on the same dates as you. You can already chat through their app or make some future plans with strangers who will likely become friends. Written from my own experiences, solo travelers don't react much in these chats. Because we know that once you arrive in the hostel you will make friends anyway, so there is no need to chat in advance. But if it's your first-time solo traveling, it can be reassuring to see who will be staying there during your vacation.
My favorite feature about booking my stays through HostelWorld is that you can see which nationalities and how many people will be staying in the hostel during your time frame. This is nice to know if the hostel will be crowded or empty and if there are other travelers from your country as well.
I recommend always looking for a hostel with great reviews towards solo travelers, a high occupancy rate, and some nationalities close to your home country as you will likely feel a closer connection to them.
Why is choosing a Hostel good for Solo Travelers?
There are several reasons why staying in hostels can be a great choice for solo travelers:
Social Environment: Hostels are known for their social environment, making them an excellent option for solo travelers looking to meet new people. Many hostels organize events like pub crawls, walking tours, and cultural activities, providing opportunities for guests to connect with fellow travelers from all over the world. Hostel common areas, such as lounges or kitchens, are also great places to meet other guests and exchange travel tips.
Affordability: Hostels are often the most affordable option for budget-conscious travelers, especially when compared to hotels or private rentals. The cost of a hostel bed is typically much lower than the cost of a private room in a hotel or rental, making it an attractive option for those looking to save money.
Access to Amenities: Hostels typically offer a variety of amenities that can be helpful for solo travelers. Many hostels have free Wi-Fi, luggage storage, laundry facilities, and 24-hour reception desks. These amenities can make travel easier and more convenient, especially for those traveling alone.
Safety: Hostels are generally considered safe places to stay. Most hostels have secure access systems, lockers, and 24-hour staff, making it easy to keep personal belongings safe. Many hostels also have security cameras or other safety measures in place to ensure the safety of their guests.
Cultural Experience: Hostels often offer a unique cultural experience that can be difficult to replicate in other types of accommodation. Hostels often have a more relaxed and informal atmosphere, providing a more authentic experience of the local culture. Additionally, staying in a hostel can expose travelers to different cultures and ways of life, making it an educational and enriching experience.
If you're a solo traveler on a budget, staying in a hostel can be a great option to save money, meet new people, and have an authentic travel experience.
Book Free Walking Tours with GuruWalk
You haven't met any friends yet, but do you want to do something during the day? This happened to me once as well in Santa Marta in Colombia. It was too dangerous to walk alone in the streets and during the day everyone was working on their laptops so no one wanted to join me on a walk through the city. My solution? I booked a local tour free on GuruWalk!
GuruWalk is a platform that offers free walking tours led by local guides in cities around the world. The tours are designed to provide travelers with an authentic and immersive experience of the local culture, history, and attractions.
The platform operates on a "pay-what-you-want" basis, meaning that travelers can decide how much to tip their guide at the end of the tour based on their satisfaction.
Why is choosing a Free Walking Tour with GuruWalk good for Solo Travelers?
When I was in Santa Marta I booked a tour with José on GuruWalk who showed me around together with 5 other travelers who were also traveling solo. I ended up being in a safe environment, with a local who could give me the best advice, and on top of that, I made friends!
Booking through the GuruWalk app can be particularly beneficial for solo travelers for several reasons:
Safety: Safety is a top concern for many solo travelers, and booking through GuruWalk can provide an added level of security. All of the guides on the platform are verified and vetted by GuruWalk, ensuring that they are knowledgeable, professional, and safe. This can give solo travelers peace of mind, knowing that they are in good hands with a trusted local guide.
Social Interaction: As a solo traveler, it can be challenging to meet new people and make connections while on the road. Booking a tour through GuruWalk can provide an opportunity to connect with other travelers and interact with locals. The tours are often conducted in small groups, providing a more intimate and personalized experience. This can be a great way to make new friends and share travel experiences with others.
Insider Knowledge: Local guides on GuruWalk have insider knowledge of the city they are showing you. They can provide insights and recommendations that may be difficult to find in guidebooks or online. This can help solo travelers get the most out of their trip and have a more authentic and immersive experience.
Budget-Friendly: As mentioned earlier, GuruWalk operates on a "pay-what-you-want" basis, meaning that travelers can decide how much to tip their guide at the end of the tour based on their satisfaction. This can be a great option for solo travelers on a tight budget, as it allows them to have a high-quality experience without breaking the BANK.
Booking through the GuruWalk app can be an excellent option for solo travelers looking for a safe, social, insider, and budget-friendly way to explore a new city. With local guides who are passionate about their city, travelers can get a unique and immersive experience that they will never forget.
Book Excursions through GetYourGuide
This is a bit the same as GuruWalk but instead of Free Walking Tours, this app focuses on paid excursions. I really like this app because I found one of my best friends now by booking a tour to Guatapé in Colombia on GetYourGuide.
We both were traveling solo and we met during this excursion, after the tour, we ended up traveling together for 3 months and got matching tattoos. The tours offer so much room for social interactions! But what is GetYourGuide exactly?
GetYourGuide is a platform that offers a wide range of tours and excursions in destinations all over the world. The platform allows travelers to browse and book activities in advance, ensuring that they can make the most of their time in a new place. GetYourGuide offers a variety of options, including city tours, cultural experiences, adventure activities, and more.
Why is choosing an excursion with GetYourGuide good for Solo Travelers?
Booking an excursion through GetYourGuide can be particularly beneficial for solo travelers for several reasons:
Convenience: Planning a trip can be time-consuming, especially when it comes to booking tours and excursions. GetYourGuide makes it easy for travelers to book activities in advance, saving time and hassle. With a few clicks on the app, solo travelers can secure their spot on a tour or activity and rest assured that everything is taken care of.
Safety: Safety is a top concern for many solo travelers, especially when it comes to adventure activities or excursions in unfamiliar environments. GetYourGuide works with trusted local tour operators to ensure that all activities are safe and reliable. This can give solo travelers peace of mind, knowing that they are in good hands with a reputable provider.
Flexibility: Solo travelers often have more flexibility in their travel plans than those traveling in a group. GetYourGuide offers a variety of tour options with different durations, start times, and meeting points, allowing solo travelers to create an itinerary that suits their needs and preferences.
Local Insights: GetYourGuide partners with local guides and tour operators, providing travelers with unique insights into the local culture, history, and attractions. Local guides can provide recommendations and insider tips that may be difficult to find elsewhere, helping solo travelers get the most out of their trip.
Group Experience: Many tours and excursions offered through GetYourGuide are conducted in small groups, providing solo travelers with an opportunity to meet and connect with other travelers. This can be a great way to make new friends, share travel experiences, and create lasting memories.
With a wide range of activities to choose from, I am sure that as a solo traveler, you can find the perfect tour or excursion to suit your interests and preferences, ensuring you a memorable and fulfilling travel experience.
Why will you love Solo Traveling?
Let's discuss the different reasons why I love solo traveling, and why I know you will too!
The Freedom to Do What You Want
One of the biggest advantages of solo traveling is the freedom to do what you want when you want. You don't have to worry about coordinating schedules or making compromises with travel companions.
This allows you to fully immerse yourself in the experience and take in everything around you without feeling rushed or distracted. The sense of independence can also be incredibly empowering and help you build confidence in yourself and your abilities.
The Opportunity to Meet New People
When you travel alone, you are forced to interact with people in new and different ways. You may find yourself striking up conversations with locals, fellow travelers, or even people you wouldn't normally talk to.
Being alone can make you more approachable and open to new experiences. This can lead to unexpected friendships, cultural exchange, and even romance. In fact, many people find that they meet more people when traveling alone than they would if they were with a group.
For me that's definitely true, I never made more friends in my whole life! I met more people in South-America than after 25 years in Belgium haha.
The Chance to Connect with Locals
Traveling alone can also give you the opportunity to connect with locals in a more meaningful way. When you're with a group, it can be easy to stay within your own bubble and not engage with the local community.
However, when you're alone, you may be more likely to seek out local experiences and connect with people who can give you a deeper understanding of the culture. This can lead to more authentic experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.
The Time to Reflect and Learn
Traveling alone also gives you the time and space to reflect on your experiences and learn more about yourself. You can take time to journal, meditate, or simply enjoy being on your own for a bit.
This can be incredibly rejuvenating and help you gain a fresh perspective on life. You may also find that you learn more about your own strengths and weaknesses and develop new skills or interests along the way.
Testimonials of Solo Traveling: Some Friends I made along the Way
Eva: "Because of Solo Traveling I met so many friends, Emeline and I got ourselves matching tatoos and I will go visit her in Belgium. I also had the most amazing experiences that I would have never been able to have if I went with friends or family."
Patrick "Solo traveling for 13 months, never felt better!"
Leia: "I started Solo Traveling and ended up finding the love of my life, living happily in South-America now!"
Josephine: "When you meet people along the way who are also traveling solo, it's a weird feeling because you get so close to them, you feel like you have known them your whole life. Solo Traveling gave me so many real friendships."
For me, solo traveling is something everyone should experience at least once in their life. Despite what some may believe, traveling alone abroad isn't a lonely experience. In fact, it can be a great way to meet new people, connect with cultures, and learn more about yourself.
So, if you're considering taking a solo trip, don't let the fear of loneliness hold you back. Embrace the freedom and opportunity that comes with traveling alone, stay in hostels, and see where the journey takes you.
See you soon around the world,
Keep on exploring & Fly Along!