How to meet people while traveling

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Plazas in Madrid, Spain.

 In a recent post of mine, I wrote about the benefits of solo travel.

Why solo travel is nothing less than liberating

After speaking with many fellow travelers, they have expressed both the ups and downs of solo travel and one of those downs included feelings of loneliness on the road. I’ve researched and tried different ways to meet people when traveling and here are my top suggestions.

1. Meetup.com

This site has basically every type of social group you can think of from sports teams to book clubs. I used Meet up when I lived in New York and joined groups that peaked my interests such as wine tours and travel. It’s free to sign up and become a member! It is also worldwide so you can find Meetups in most major cities and sometimes in smaller towns.

2. Language Exchanges

Need to brush up on your conversational language skills? Find yourself in a foreign country and want to learn some basics? Language exchanges are a great way to meet people! I tried this method when I first arrived in Madrid and found that there were many to choose from every week at different bars and event spaces! I was able to meet some locals to practice my Spanish with, and in exchange I helped them to learn English.

3. Facebook Groups

I think I am a member of over 20 different travel groups, but two really stand out to me and I have used them to meet some kick ass female travelers. The first group is Girls Love Travel (GLT). With over 100k members worldwide, you can simply enter in the search box the place that you are traveling to and see who else is in that location! Through this group, I met fellow travelers in Barcelona, Hong Kong, Rome, and Taiwan. It’s a great way to meet and exchange travel experiences. Another honorable mention is called Girls Gone International (GGI). This is an international organization that has different subgroups worldwide and they plan monthly events for the international community. I attended an event in Berlin and Tokyo and was able to meet some like-minded ladies.

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Some lovely ladies from GGI Tokyo!

4. Group Tours

Group tours are available in almost every place you visit and are a way to meet fellow travelers. I have been on wine tours, city tours, and historic tours. Do you research before visiting a place, because sometimes you can find free walking and biking tours! They usually only require that you leave a tip for your tour guide at the end of it. I did a free walking tour in Amsterdam, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.

5. Avoid Hotels

I love staying in Airbnb’s, not only for a more local experience but also for the opportunity to meet the hosts and fellow travelers. Depending on the host, they may offer to show you around or take you to a great local spot that you wouldn’t be able to find in the guidebooks. Many travelers like to stay in hostels as well and sometimes the hostels will organize group tours and activities for their guests

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