Group travel has its benefits, but there’s no need to worry if you can’t find a traveling companion to join a group tour with you. Traveling solo within a group can be a great way to break out of your comfort zone and meet other people who share your passion for exploration. Plus, with these tips for breaking the ice, it’s even easier to find a new friend on tour.
Bring something to share with the group
A great conversation-starter is a small gift to share with the group when you first get on the bus, as it gives people a better idea of who you are and where you came from. For example, creative intern Christie H. handed out tennis balls to her fellow group members when she went on the Provence Walking Tour, after hearing that they helped alleviate tired feet from long days of walking—and her group truly appreciated the gesture.
Take the initiative and invite others to join you
Chances are that there’s at least one other person on tour who wants to see the same things you do. Speak up and invite others to join you on your adventures. By doing so, you just might meet someone who shares your passion for watercolor paintings or affinity for street food.
Switch up your spot on the bus
It’s natural: even though we’re no longer in elementary school, there’s something about the routine of assigned seats (or choosing the same seat every time) that appeals to us. But if you’re on your own in the group, switching up your seating as often as you can will allow you to meet different people at each stop along the way.
Don’t be afraid to go it alone
While it can be preferable to have a travel buddy, there are some cases when you just want to take some time to yourself, and that’s more than okay. It’s certainly not necessary to be with someone 24/7—if you want to grab a cup of gelato on your own while strolling through the plaza, have at it! It’s your tour, and you should enjoy it however you like.
Say hello to the locals
Smiling and being friendly is a great way to break the ice, and chatting with the locals will give you an even better idea of the city’s culture (not to mention what to do with your free time). From your local tour guide to the owner of your favorite chocolateria, practicing your “hellos” will likely lead to discovering some new adventures and hidden gems while you’re on tour. Keep in mind that when you’re friendly, people will be friendly back!
Ever gone on tour solo? What are your tips for making friends on tour? Tell us in the comments or share your story by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.