Last Updated on July 19, 2023
Wondering how you can make new friends while traveling? Well, keep reading, we will give you some useful tips.
International travel may appear to necessitate establishing new friendships from the start, but that is not the case, so refrain from stressing out. While traveling with friends is good practice, it is not necessary to have them in advance. You may well go to the solo traveler world, and in the process make pleasant acquaintances. If you feel the need to socialize more with locals or make new friends, you can follow basic steps to form new relationships during your trip abroad. Let’s talk about how people make friends while traveling.
How do I meet people while traveling abroad?
#1 Stay positive
Let’s spread good vibes! Keep a happy and positive attitude while traveling. It’s way easier to make friends when you’re cheerful and friendly. You won’t make pals if you’re such a downer! When you look at a local or foreigner, greet them with a smile and a “Hey.” And who knows where that could take you!
#2 Attend travel abroad program
Similarly to back home, your time as a young professional or college student abroad will offer numerous events to participate in. You may attend engaging panel discussions, watch documentaries, or cheer on your team’s competition. There will be no shortage of opportunities to meet new people, but the more you take advantage of them, the wider your connections will expand.
One of the advantages of attending a program abroad is the chance to belong to a travel community from day one. However, that benefit only applies when you actively participate and engage with other exceptional members of your program.
#3 Connect online
As a planner, you can use online communities to get insight from people going to the same place as you before you leave. Create a post on social media to let your friends know about your destination and to see if they know anyone. Once you arrive, check Facebook group pages, Instagram, Bumble BFF, and other apps to connect with other travelers.
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#4 Stay in hostels
Want to make the most of your solo travels and make new friends? Staying at a hostel is your ticket to a social adventure!
Here’s how you can meet fellow travelers:
1. Head to the common areas – that’s where everyone hangs out. If you stay in your room, you’ll miss out on meeting new people.
2. Take part in hostel activities – whether it’s a group tour or a social gathering, just show up and be open to meeting new people. You’ll be surprised by how quickly you’ll make new friends.
3. Join breakfast for a chance to socialize and make new friends. At hostels, breakfast is often free and includes tasty treats like pancakes. While enjoying your meal, strike up a conversation with other guests about their plans for the day. This is a great way to start making connections that can lead to fun activities or meaningful conversations. Don’t forget to follow up later on how their day went. The key to making friends while traveling is as simple as showing up for breakfast.
#5 Learn the language
If you want to immerse yourself in a culture, learning even a few phrases in the local language can be really helpful for making friends with the locals. I used to be embarrassed to even try speaking another language because I knew my accent was terrible, but I found that even making an effort is appreciated. I try to speak in their language first, even if I suspect they speak English. So, maybe it’s time to brush up on your language skills with Duolingo!
#6 Volunteer or do a work exchange
Worldpackers offers a great way for solo travelers to make new friends through volunteer and work exchange opportunities. My volunteer experience with Worldpackers connected me with locals and other travelers, many of whom I have stayed in touch with. In this program, you’ll spend plenty of time with your fellow hosts and volunteers, making it easy for even the most introverted travelers to connect.
#7 Connect with other program participants in advance
Begin establishing your travel network prior to your arrival! Ask your program advisors to put you in touch with current and former travel abroad alumni to get a jump start. You could even request a pre-travel abroad pen pal. Initiate contact over email or Skype and inform them of your arrival time. By the time you begin your travels, you’ll already have potential companions.
#8 Be brave
Making friends as adults is not as easy as it was on the playground in elementary school. It requires a degree of bravery and the willingness to put yourself out there. You have to muster the confidence to make the first move and introduce yourself to a stranger. Once the awkwardness of that is over, however, you’ll have plenty of time to create memories and take selfies together as friends. Before you know it, you’ll be laughing together, completely forgetting about those first awkward seconds.
#9 Share your interests
Make new connections with fellow travelers who share your school, team, or locality by donning a shirt or cap that highlights your roots. On the other hand, make a statement by sporting a pin, patch, or sticker that reflects your interests and sparks conversations. You can even grab a luggage tag with your company’s name as a potential conversation starter with a neighbor.
#10 Step out of your comfort zone
When you’re outside, trying out new things might be necessary to meet new people. Identify places where you could start a conversation with someone unknown yet comfortable. Some people head out to bars alone to meet friends, while others prefer a coffee shop or co-working space.
#11 Be curious
Asking more questions presents more opportunities to connect. Throw out queries like “What’s your hometown?” or “What do you do?” to find common ground with whoever you’re talking to. Additionally, inquiring about the best place they ever visited can spark further conversations.
#12 Go on group tours
You may not be a fan of “total package” vacations, where you travel with a tour group the whole time. But you should enjoy walking tours when I first arrive in a new place.
It’s a great way to see the highlights of a city quickly and figure out where you’d like to spend more time. It’s also a great way to meet other travelers. A simple “Where are you from?” or “What have you done since you got into town?” is an easy way to start a conversation.
Making new friends while traveling abroad is definitely doable and can help immensely in creating an enjoyable trip. To ensure success, stay open to conversation opportunities with strangers and capitalize on meeting new people through activities like bicycling, hosting a meet-up, or planning a free walking tour. Also, don’t be afraid to let your curiosity guide you by exploring off-the-beaten paths in order to maximize potential experiences.
Not only can these moments provide interesting stories for the future, but also could very well lead to connecting with someone you may never forget. All in all, making friends while traveling can be an enriching experience that will not only allow you to explore different cultures but also discover valuable lessons from fellow travelers alike.