How to make friends when travelling

How to make friends when travelling


The friends you make whilst travelling can be one of the best aspects of any trip. Whether raising the roof on a night out or reflecting quietly at a special location, the moments shared can be unforgettable. These are the people that you will always associate with a special time, independently of whether you meet again or not.

Having said that, making friends isn’t always the easiest thing to do. It does not come naturally to everyone. Shyness, busyness or language barriers can all pose challenges to overcome when meeting people abroad. Here are a few tips on how to make it a little bit easier.

A great way to meet people whilst travelling is to choose friendly hostels geared towards backpackers. Here, not only will your fellow backpackers probably also be looking to make friends, the staff tend to be younger and more social and open to international friendships. Booking a group room can be an easy way to meet people – a simple ‘does anyone want to catch a bite to eat later?’ can lead to a social outing. Hostels also tend to have bars or communal areas that encourage congregation and getting to know one another. So-called ‘party hostels’ will also organise group activities and gatherings, which will make getting to know each other even easier. Buying a round will always go down well!

Shared activities outside of hostels can also be a great way to meet people. A sporting day out such as kayaking or hiking in a group will immediately introduce you to like-minded people. Walking tours can also be a fun way to get to know the area and people staying nearby; many cities offer free ones so check before leaving or ask reception once you’re there. You can also take courses such as bone carving or salsa dancing that will teach you more about local customs and allow you to meet other travellers doing the same.

There are many specific websites that encourage sharing and meeting between locals and travellers. Check out forums before leaving or ask around, and you may be able to meet some great people. Volunteering is also a great way to meet locals and travellers alike, although this is sometimes not easy to organise spontaneously and may require a longer time commitment.

Remember, most people will also be looking to meet new people, so just be brave and start up a conversation by asking people where they’re from and what they’ve experienced so far whilst travelling. Easy peasy!

Date posted: 23rd June, 2015

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