If you’ve booked, or are thinking about booking, a solo trip for the first time you might be having a few worries. It’s totally normal to feel a bit nervous about setting out alone, especially if you’re not that experienced with travelling. The good side is that doing something outside your comfort zone will push you to learn and become way more confident – which is always a plus! On top of that, there are loads of ways that travellers can take the worry out of going solo – especially with the help of the internet and smartphones. As seasoned travellers, we’ve listed our favourite tips to help you embrace solo travel and start your journey as you mean to go on…
This is an obvious one. If you’re going alone and making friends while travelling, you probably don’t want to be staying in hotels. The whole point of solo travel is to meet other people and share your experience, and while the luxuries of hotels might seem appealing, they aren’t much comfort if you’re alone all day every day!
It’s all very well having that executive desk and widescreen TV, but in our opinion if you’re doing travelling right you shouldn’t be spending enough time in your room to use them! Staying in hostels will give you easy access to a whole network of other travellers, most of whom will be really happy to get to know fellow solo trippers. It’s so much easier to introduce yourself in a dorm or common room, rather than in a hotel lobby!
On top of the sociable aspect, staying in hostels will save you HELLA money. If you’ve ever tried to stay in a single hotel room you’ll notice that the prices are usually hardly any different to a double, and you won’t have anyone to split the cost. So if you’re keeping an eye on the purse strings and are keen to meet people from all over the world, hostels are the obvious choice.
When you first arrive in a hostel dorm room, it’s super important to introduce yourself right away to whoever might be in the room when you check in. If you don’t do it right away, saying hi to everyone else will feel way more awkward having sat in silence for 10 minutes. You don’t want to come across unfriendly – just think how you’d feel if someone did that in your dorm. Sometimes it can be hard, but remember – fake it till you make it! For every time you push yourself to walk straight into that room, greet everyone with a smile and introduce yourself, it’ll feel a little bit easier next time!
When you book through Euroventure you’ll stay in our partner hostels, all of which you can be sure have great facilities and really sociable environments – we specially pick them to make sure of it! A good way to meet other people then can be to go along to some of the tours or activities that are available – these don’t have to specifically be provided by your hostel, but a lot of information about them can be found at reception. Walking or bike tours are an awesome way to connect with other travellers, as well as the classic pub crawls and club nights. No pub crawls on at the hostel? Why not check out our selection of hilarious European drinking games – get any of these crackers started in a hostel common room and you’re guaranteed mates for life!
Once you get into the groove of meeting people, a good way to get to know people better can be to ask other solo travellers if they’d like to head out for dinner or drinks together. It might seem quite forward in the real world, but travelling is kind of different – people always appreciate the friendly gesture and you never know who you might meet! Whether you’ve met people in your hostel, at an activity or even on a train, experiences are more fun shared, so both of you will be glad that someone was brave enough to suggest it. Some of us at Euroventure have met lifelong friends this way.
If you’re still feeling a bit stressed about the prospect of making friends while travelling, why not let technology help you out? Our friends at The Hostelite have designed an app especially to help solo backpackers meet other people in their hostels. Simply download the app and it’ll use your location to check you into your hostel. You can then create a bio with a little bit of info about yourself, and see who else will be hanging out in your hostel that day (if you put in your bio that you’re travelling with Euroventure it’ll be super easy to spot others who are too!). Start a conversation using the chat feature, or use the bulletin board to check out the events that your hostel is putting on that day and arrange to meet up there. With Euroventure sorting your hostels and The Hostelite introducing you to hundreds of potential buddies, you honestly won’t have anything to worry about but taking in the adventure!
We know travelling solo can seem daunting, but it’s incredibly exciting at the same time. Hopefully with our tips under your belt you’re already feeling inspired to travel alone. It’s an experience you’ll remember forever – and you definitely won’t regret taking the plunge!
If you’re still freaking out about where to start, why not let us help. We’re the Interrailing Experts, and have been sorting out trips for over 5 years. We know the best ways to travel Europe: we know all the ins and outs of travelling by public transport have the best partner hostels and know the best routes for different types of travellers.
Travel independently, but ditch the stress. You just tell us where you want to go and we’ll sort out the best train passes, reservations and hostels for you. Then we package them all up in a beautifully personalised travel pack complete with recommendations, maps and directions – not to mention a 24 hour helpline in case of any problems. You can even travel on a group tour with like-minded backpackers if you prefer!