Making friends when traveling can be very easy for some, yet uneasy and hard for others. Loneliness, while some love it sometimes when traveling, seems to be the scariest to go through these travels entirely alone.
Meeting new people abroad seems to be one of the most troublesome issue that travelers seem to face. It is a lot easier when you have someone with you when you are traveling, but solo? It’s tough, especially if you are an introvert!
Yet, there is nothing more special than meeting people aboard and creating these everlasting and incredibly special relationships.
So many people travel and backpack every year, so you are bound to meet some amazing people! And who knows, by talking to people you may just discover new interests you never thought you would be into. It is one of the perks of traveling, to share your amazing experience with some great friends. In the end, we are all there for the same reason– to travel that city, to learn about new cultures, to explore the world, and to meet new people who could become life long friends.
This is how you make friends abroad
Sign up for tours
We did heaps of tours- snorkeling, sight seeing, hiking, canyoning, adventure- and through them, we met so many great people! People have signed up for these tours the same reason you did, so it’s a good start for a common ground. People on your tours are traveling the same country in the same light you are.
So take a tour that interests you as you will not only explore the city in an awesome way, but you’ll also meet some amazing people with the same interests through them.
Dorm hostels are seriously the best because you are sharing a room with others who want to meet a few people and are most likely traveling the same way you are—on a budget! Already sharing a room with a stranger is an easy way to initiate a conversation, just introduce yourself and we guarantee people will be happy to chat!
It isa great way to meet people but if you are not into dorms and sharing a room, hostels still provide fun ways to meet others by organizing social events like BBQ, club entries, pub-crawls, happy hours, beer pong tournaments, and site seeing tours!
The point of a hostel is not just to have a cheap stay, but to meet other travelers just like you!
A really smart way to find people to travel with (especially if you are going solo) is by Facebook groups! There are so many groups dedicated to certain destinations and to backpackers that allow for meet ups or group activities.
We joined several for Southeast Asia where people are constantly looking for a travel buddy, a drinking buddy, or even for a group to make the tours cheaper. Everyone is looking for friends so the Facebook groups are an easy way to initiate conversation or even a fun adventure.
*Just be careful with who you meet on the Internet and meet somewhere public for the first time.
What better way to meet people than everyone looking to get smashed and have a good time? A pub-crawl is a fantastic way to turn strangers into crazy, fun travel friends. If you need some liquid courage to speak to others, a pub crawl may be your best bet!
Although, I am sure you have a fantastic personality and don’t need to be drunk to talk to others so a pub crawl can just be for the fun! ;) Through a pub-crawl you can get free t-shirts, drink specials, explore local bars, and it becomes an easy way to facilitate friendships.
Work Traveler jobs:
In every country, there are some super cool traveler jobs that helps you meet some awesome people! A bar tender, a promo person, a travel agent, au pair, even a background extra in films and commercials!
Find a job that allows flexibility to travel but is also social enough to meet other people. No one wants a 9-5 desk job while they are traveling! That gets you stuck working and makes you a bit anti-social.
I worked for music festivals while I traveled in Australia, so I was able to have fun at the music festivals, meet some super cool people, and dance my butt off with my work mates!
Getting involved with volunteering projects that you are truly passionate about is probably the best and most rewarding way to meet new people abroad. It is already a shared interest and you get to make an impact while meeting others who are out there to do the same.
Volunteering is a win win- if you don’t meet many people, at least you had an incredible experience helping the world!
The best way to start making friends is before you go, ask all your friends if they have connections in the city you will be going to. People always have that friend of a friend living somewhere or that one friend traveling there, so it never hurts to ask.
All you need is a contact or better yet, a connection (through a cc email, group text, meet up..). For all you know, you will meet some great people who could even introduce you to more potential friends (or even take you on some local experiences!).
Plus, if they are friends with a friend of yours, surely they would be good fun! It is a great and convenient start to making friends abroad.
Some Tips To Always Remember:
– Don’t be shy. Most travelers are quite friendly and also looking for friends so don’t be afraid to go up to them and say hello!
– Smile! You never know how far a smile can go.
– Keep in contact with other travelers through Facebook and email because you never know the next time you will cross paths again!
– Don’t be afraid to ask questions– ask for contacts in that city, ask a new friend to get drinks, ask where they’re traveling to, ask a local the must do’s! You never know if you don’t ask.
– If you have Twitter, why not try reaching out to other travelers or hashtagging specific hashtags that may spark interests and friendships? If they respond, go meet up for coffee.
– Talk to those next to you on your flight or train cabin. You are already going to the same place, see what their plans are while they are there!
– Keep an open mind and don’t judge too quickly. Just because some may have different tastes in certain things, doesn’t mean they will be awful travel buddies. For all you know, they could have awesome ideas on things to do that you never even thought of!
– Get out of your comfort zone. You already proved it thus far by going and traveling, so why not step out a little further and chat to people!
– If you want to meet friends, go out and meet them! You can’t meet people if you don’t put yourself out there!
– Put a bandaid on your face- someone will no doubt ask about your accident (come up with an epic story because an aircon panel falling on your face while in bed, is a bit lame)! ….Thus, became the start of bandaid girl and her legendary story! :)
In the end, we are all traveling for a certain reason, whether it is to explore a new country, to go sight seeing, or learn about culture, you can always do it with a travel buddy. Traveling is the best common ground to meet new people so be open to all these new experiences and future opportunities it brings you.
As much as you love your friends at home, it is nice to find friends elsewhere (and knowing you still can!). You are traveling, so you will meet all types of different people and they will make you more open minded while traveling.
These friendships can last an hour over coffee, a week during your trip, or for the rest of your life, so make some fun memories with some awesome people. We can’t thank everyone we met while we traveled enough for truly making our trips so amazing!
If you travel, how do you meet friends abroad?