Traveling allows you to discover new places and get to know the local culture. This is why we all love to travel, but traveling also comes with the opportunity to meet new people.
If you travel alone, this might not be the easiest part about traveling, as you have to be aware of people around you, in order to stay safe. But it is possible to enjoy meeting new people while traveling solo and stay safe, if you choose the right places to hang out.
Keep your mind open as you walk around the town you are visiting and head towards experiences that you love. For some, it might be hiking, for others, it can be a visit to the local museum.
When you do the things you love, there are high chances of meeting like-minded individuals, who are likely to become your best friends for life.
Even if you are introverted, traveling can help you make new friends. All you have to do is engage in something you love to do and be yourself!
The hotel bar can be a goldmine for meeting people!
What do you do after checking in at your hotel?
You probably hang out at the bar for a drink or two, to unwind after the road. This is what most travelers do, so hotel bars are one of the best places where you can meet fellow travelers.
Start the conversation with a simple question, like “where is the best restaurant in town” and you will be amazed at how many people will open up to you. You can “practice” this with the bartender.
Couchsurfing and ride sharing
The best way to get to know a place is by meeting the locals. You can do this in multiple ways, but two of the most popular ones are couchsurfing and ride sharing. Couchsurfing is an amazing way to meet locals and get away with cheap accommodation. There is no way you will be entering one’s house without hanging out together for a chat.
Ride sharing is another great way to get from one place to another and make new friends. You can start talking with your driver about the places you want to visit and ask for their favorite spots around the town.
Another way to meet new people is having a homestay. I did this in Sapa, Vietnam and it was an amazing experience, which enabled me to see the local’s lifestyle and befriend my host.
Have you ever thought of dating on the road? You don’t even have to date, if you don’t feel like it, but you can use dating sites to meet locals and hang out with them for a couple of hours or days. They can become your guide.
If you worry about your safety, you can try joining traveler’s and digital nomad’s social media groups. You can chat with other travelers online and find out if there is someone else from the group in the same place where you are. There might be another traveler who is looking for company for their next hike.
Go to an event
There are many events you can attend abroad, perfect places to meet new people. A morning yoga class or a blogging conference offers both the opportunity to meet people with similar interests and a topic. This is why events are great for introverts who can easily find someone to chat to about things they love.
Enroll in a course
Learning something new while traveling is going to provide you with a new skill and lots of people to talk to. There are many courses you can take abroad, from cooking to scuba diving and, of course, the local language classes. In some parts of the world the courses include homestaying experiences, which help you immerse in the local culture, as you get to speak (or, rather hear) the language, eat the local food and get to know how people actually live, day by day.
Volunteering abroad is a great experience and many people join volunteering organizations just to be able to travel, help other people and make new friends. The emotional reward you get from volunteering is enough to motivate you to work in exchange of food and accommodation. The people you will meet during volunteering are going to become your friends, as you will share with them both the tough and the happy moments.
Offer to take a photo
Yes, it can be as simple as that to meet people while traveling. You can offer to take a photo of someone or you can ask someone to take a photo of you – either way, this can be the perfect opportunity to chat a little. You might discover you are from the same place or that you will be traveling to the same place in the next days. Or none of these!. You can just decide to keep in touch, because you are both travelers!
Join a travel group
Not all travelers want to walk the same old paths; some want to explore the least known parts of the world. But, these are best explored in small groups, so you can join other enthusiast travelers in a travel group. There are some organizations which can take care of the logistics, but you can also use social media to connect with other travelers.
Most of the times, these small travel groups are very tight, as you get to experience the same things, like exploring Galapagos together. And after the initial trip, you can always gather again and head towards a new adventure.