19 Tips to Make Friends in India as a Solo Female Traveller
We all know that India is a very famous tourist destination among people of all ages. But sadly, many people have a perception that India as a country is not safe for solo female travellers. Due to this reason, many travellers are hesitant to explore the wide variety of experiences that this country has to offer. Before continuing, let me make it very clear that India is a very safe country, and not only for solo female travellers but for others too.
I agree that solo travelling can get boring sometimes. But we have our own ways to get rid of that boredom. Be it listening to music, talking to people, learning the local language, eating food, or whatever helps us overcome boredom. The reason it can get boring sometimes is that we are alone, but not lonely. And one way to get rid of this is to make friends during solo travel.
I know that making friends while solo travelling is not an easy thing. I faced this issue during my first few solo trips, but after that, I was quite confident. Even though the chances of making lifelong friends on your solo travel are less, it shouldn’t stop you from trying to make friends who make your solo trip a memorable one. Here are some tips to make friends in India as a solo female traveller.
1. Make yourself available
Making new friends is not as difficult as it sounds. Firstly, you need to be open to conversations and put yourself out there. Keep in mind that people are not going to come to you if you look busy or have your earphones on. You just need to make an effort and strike a conversation. You might feel nervous, but trust me, it is better than not talking to others at all.
2. Don’t be shy to smile
Something as simple as smiling will make you look more approachable than someone who doesn’t. While people can’t see you smile behind your face masks in public places due to the pandemic, a face with a smile in places like bars, restaurants, and cafes will help you get approached by people! I do not mean to say that you have to smile all the time, but just be pleasant. Smile when you make eye contact with someone. It is as simple as that sounds!
3. Make the first move
While it’s nice if someone makes the first move, it is even better when you make the first move. Remember that not everyone is going to become your friend, but you will definitely meet some interesting people along the way.
4. Start a light conversation
After the standard greetings, start a conversation about something basic. For example, ask them about the weather, or the most famous Indian restaurant in the vicinity, etc. This way, you can build the conversation and dive into more interesting topics. Starting with something basic is not that difficult, and it helps you know if the other person is interested in talking to you or not.
5. Compliments are free of cost
After starting a conversation, compliment the person because everyone likes it! Trust me, you could end up being a reason for someone’s good day. But remember to compliment them only if you genuinely like something! Don’t compliment just for the sake of it. In fact, it just makes the entire situation a lot weirder!
6. Ask them if they would like to meet again
If you had a nice conversation with someone and would like to meet them again, just ask them! I know that you are here in India to explore the country, but having a friend who can take you to the best places is even better! If they agree, make sure to be a sponsor for the day!
7. Exchange phone numbers/Instagram usernames
This is the most convenient way to make some friends. You might not have time to sit at a restaurant or watch a movie during your solo travel. However, you can exchange phone numbers and text the other person if you want to continue the relationship further. But remember, do this only if you’re going to be friends with that person for a long time. Otherwise, it isn’t worth exchanging identities AT ALL!
8. Make a plan at a tourist attraction
This is best-suited for a solo traveller like you and me. While you are here to explore the place and visit some tourist attractions, the local people know them better. Ask someone if they would like to come with you to explore a place. Now, you don’t have to worry about hiring a tour guide with a fake accent via a scammy agency online!
9. Learn travel-friendly words/phrases of the local language
Learning a few words in the local language is more rewarding than you think. Honestly, it isn’t as tough as it seems. When you try to communicate in the local language, it shows that you are interested in the dialect of the country. And if you start a conversation in the local language, you’d make great friends with locals during solo travel! I suggest you learn some easy Hindi phrases during your first solo trip to India.
10. Step outside your hotel room
If you plan on staying in an Airbnb, a hostel, or any other place, I would recommend that you step out of your room and go for a walk. This way, you will be able to meet a lot of people. You might also meet some solo travellers like yourself, which is always a nice thing as there would be a lot more to talk about!
11. Take up a volunteering service
If you like animals, children or wish to give back to the community, take up volunteering services. This way, you can meet a lot of other volunteers and get along with them. By doing this, you can help others, make friends with socially responsible people, and learn more about the community. Trust me, it’ll create a huge impact on your solo trip.
12. Visit touristy places
You can find a lot of tourists like yourself around the touristy places. The best part of it is you can spend the rest of your solo trip exploring places with them. I made friends with a couple from Scotland during my solo trip to Rajasthan, and we ended up becoming good friends for life!
13. Use public transport as a solo traveller
Instead of booking a cab or taking an autorickshaw, try travelling on a bus or a train. You will be able to meet a lot of people and start a conversation with them. For example, you can ask them to open the window for you. Just ask them something and take it forward from there. Well, it worked out for me!
14. Use the CouchSurfing app
CouchSurfing is a global hospitality exchange service app that lets you hang out with other members and create events or participate in them. While their services are not available in all parts of the country, you can find hosts in almost every major city here. Even though India is a safe country, I would recommend that you thoroughly check everything before joining. And if possible, join other tourists just to be on the safe side.
15. Take a class
This is one of those things that I never attempted during my first few solo trips. But after my first class on yoga in Goa, I made friends with the instructor, solo travellers, and other attendees without even trying. Not only is this a way to make some friends, but you will also get to learn a lot.
16. Make friends at restaurants/cafes
Who said that restaurants and cafes are places only to eat? It’s a great hub to connect with people who are also on their own. I know that it can be awkward, but if you find an opportunity, make the best of it. You can talk about food, and there is no end to this topic!
17. Team up for shopping
No matter where you decide to travel to in India, you will find a bunch of shopping complexes around. While you can choose to shop in malls or local markets, your chances of making friends are almost non-existent at malls. Any local/street market is the place where you will find a lot of people, and this is where your bargaining skills are put to the test. You can always spot friendly faces in the crowd and ask them to take you to their favourite shop. You will save yourself from all the tourist scams if you are with a local, so that’s a win-win situation for you. In fact, starting a conversation with locals is easy in India! Indians are extremely helpful and friendly with tourists from around the world.
18. Your best friend is YOU
If none of the tips that I have mentioned works for you (which is almost impossible), it’s fine! Don’t stress yourself just because you can’t make friends. If you consider yourself to be an introverted person, you would be better off enjoying yourself alone. Remember, your best friend is you. So don’t shy away from eating a meal on a table meant for six people at a restaurant! After all, Mr. Bean does it effortlessly.
19. Go out there and enjoy
Being able to make friends in India is a great experience. You can explore the country in a completely different way, something that you wouldn’t be able to do without friends. Also, feeling lonely during a solo trip is an understatement. But don’t worry, India has a lot to offer to keep you busy all the time!
Those were some of the tips that I had for you. I hope this blog helps you while you prepare for a solo trip to India. You can also bookmark this page and go through it when you are in India. If you are travelling solo to India for the first time, get ready for an amazing experience, but keep these things in mind too.
How did you make a friend on your solo trip?
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.