Whether you’re traveling for business or you simply decided to get away from it all, every vacation or trip provides opportunities to explore and learn. When traveling with friends or family, the classic vacation itch can set in and make it hard to be around each other. Traveling solo, however, often presents the opposite problem: what is there to do when there is nobody else around? Depending on your trip, you’ll probably have things to do during the day that’ll keep you active, but what are some things you can do when you’re in downtime mode? We’ll give you some helpful ideas to help pass the time.

Follow the Youth

When you have some downtime, you may not know where to start when it comes to finding entertainment and fun. Usually in any city, you’ll find night-life, entertainment, bars and more in close proximity to young people. College campuses like Rutgers have seen massive development around their campuses because of this dynamic. If you’re completely lost on what to do in a strange city, find out where the young people usually congregate. Once there, you’ll probably strike up plenty of interesting conversations with people, whether they’re in the same boat as you or living there full-time pursuing masters in social work degrees.

Take Yourself Out to Eat

Maybe you’ve had your share of business lunches while traveling alone, but that doesn’t mean you need to be holed up in the hotel room with a pizza every night. Passing the time can feel forced, but doing things that you’ll enjoy and that you would do in some form anyway – like eating out – can be a great pastime. You’ll get a chance to see strangers in action, overhear conversations and otherwise take in the locale you’re visiting in a passive way.

Meet Local People

Traveling solo can be an intimidating act: striking up conversations with strangers is even more so. Every city and community has its own story, as told through its people. When you have downtime and nothing else to do, go out to a market, visit a crowded venue, and try to find people with whom to speak. You’ll meet plenty of colorful souls walking the streets of any city and you may just make a new friend.

Sightsee by Foot

If you’re in an area where you can take public transit or otherwise move about on foot, then ditch your mobile phone for guidance and begin exploring the area using your own two eyes. Too many of us remain glued to mobile devices, televisions and other gadgets, letting them do the work for us. If you want to pass the time when traveling solo, then walk out of the front door and begin sightseeing. You’ll find all sorts of interesting things to look at, and you’ll sooner or later run into something or somebody that interests you.

You don’t need a masters in social work to meet new people or to have a good time in a strange city. When traveling by yourself, you’ll fill the gaps a lot more easily if you decide to be proactive, get out of the room, and see what the city has to offer. This will help you pass the time, meet new people and have some much needed fun.

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