Traveling on your own can be a great way to do exactly what you want on your trip and get everything you’ve wanted out of it. But traveling alone to an event can also be a little intimidating.
Especially for those who aren’t extroverts, meeting new people at an event can be something that you’re not terribly enthused about doing. So to help you get comfortable for this potentially difficult situation, here are three tips for traveling alone to an event.
Look for Other Solo Attendees
Depending on the type of event you’re at, it might be fairly easy to spot other solo attendees. If you’re going to a business conference or are at some other type of conference-type event, try to keep your eyes out for those who are standing off on their own or are focused a little too intently on their electronic devices.
To help you find those who maybe aren’t as obvious about being on their own, Ginny Mineo, a contributor to HubSpot.com, shares that many events will use a hashtag and create a version for those who are there on their own so they can spot others in the same position. People like to feel they belong, so don’t be afraid to approach someone you think might be alone and make contact.
Don’t Be Afraid to Eat Alone
Although it can be nice to meet up with other people who are solitaries at the event, it’s also totally fine to stay by yourself for some things anyway. According to Johnny Jet, a contributor to Forbes.com, eating by yourself can actually be a great way to get your thoughts together and take some time to wind down.
If you’re not comfortable with getting a table for yourself at a restaurant, you can always take your meal at a cafe or outdoor seating area where you’re likely to spot others who are there on their own too. And even if you’re not eating, you can still visit these more casual areas to get some work done or just relax by reading a book.
Learn How to Keep Conversations Going
When we’re adults, meeting new people can be kind of awkward at times. Especially when you’re starting from nothing, you may not be sure how to initiate and keep a conversation going.
One trick to help with this, says Ed Hewitt, a contributor to Smarter Travel, is asking the right questions. Try to ask other people open-ended questions that will encourage the person you’re talking to to give you longer answers.
A good approach is to ask them about what they do, or their family. Most people can’t speak enough about their families or their passions, so this can be a great way to get to know someone better and find common ground that you can connect on.
If you’re expecting to go to an event alone in the near future, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you make the most of this experience.