Regardless of if you're travelling solo, with friends or your partner, the best thing about travel is the people you meet along the way. But as a Solo traveller, sometimes taking that step out of your comfort zone is tough. You know it'll be worth it, but how do you go about starting a conversation to begin with?
Break the ice
Who cares what you say, just say something! Heck, talk about the weather! Put yourself out there that you are up for a conversation, and see what comes back. At home this might be strange to do on the packed train on the way to work, but you are not at home now, take that leap and strike up a convo! Most likely the other person is also happy to have a chat also, and if not, smile and try the next. No harm done.
What to say
Don't overthink it. All good conversation starters should feel natural, so just give it a go. Didn't go well, then mark that one down as a loss and try again with the next. Are you seeing a theme here? Don't get hung up on being the perfect charismatic traveller that everyone wants to be around, just be yourself and see what comes back.
Here's some good conversation starters to get you going; Where are you from? Where have you been on this trip? Where to next? It's my first time travelling solo. Any good tips?
Keep the questions travel related, because that is one thing you can guarantee that you have in common. All travellers love to share their travel stories. You as a solo traveller will surely have some great ones to share in no time!
It's not a date!
Just because you are chatting to someone from the opposite sex, it doesn't have to feel like a date. Let down your walls and be open to a chat. For guys this is a lot harder as unfortunately there's been plenty of bad eggs before you, so don't be offended if the girls have their guard up. Be friendly, without being creepy! Girls, give the guy a chance. Remember how hard it is as a solo traveller to strike up that conversation.
Find the group
As a solo traveller, it's going to be intimidating to bust in on a group having a chat, but more often than not, groups abroad are a mish-mash of solo travellers anyway. You're all in the same boat (so to speak), so they’ll likely be very receptive and welcoming.
When all’s said and done, you just need to pluck up the courage and make the move when it comes to approaching new people while travelling. What’s the worst that could happen?
Didn't go well? Don’t take it personally. It’s all in the practice, and the more you do it, the easier and more natural it'll get. Go for it!