Making New Friends Abroad

Sometimes meeting people on the road can be difficult. Part of the adventure of traveling is meeting other people and sharing an experience or stories Often we connect over a common thing or place. (I once met a guy from my small hometown while standing in line at Madam Tussaud’s Wax museum in London.) Other times we connect with folks over the love of something, like travel or… Indian food. Making connections while traveling can lead to lifelong friendships. Whether you are traveling alone or you are a couple looking to make new friendships along the way, here are 8 ways to meet other people.

  1. Walking Tour Group. It might not seem ideal but joining a walking tour group can actually be a lot of fun. You get to know the area and may even have a laugh. If you connect with someone in the group, suggest a coffee or meal together after the tour.
  2. Online. Now is a great time to meet your online friends. If you have made any connections (online) overseas and you are planning on visiting their country, now would be a great time to meet them.
  3. Hostels. I have met a lot of great people in hostels. You might meet people who are traveling to the same places or going to where you’ve been. There are so many topics to connect on when staying at a hostel.
  4. men talking.jpgRent a room or couch surf. Renting a room and couch surfing are about as personal as it gets. Staying in someone’s home immerses you in the culture of the country you are visiting. Often times hosts are thrilled to show you the things they love most about their area. It’s also not uncommon for a host to prepare a meal for you or invite their friends over to meet you. Someday you may even have the opportunity to host them in return.
  5. Bars. Bars are good for more than a drink. Sit up at the bar for a meal. I have always had good luck meeting people while eating at the bar. Pick the bartender’s brain for places to go and things to do. Your barstool neighbors can often be an excellent resource for finding out the local gems.
  6. Local Meet-ups. Local meet-ups are fantastic ways to meet new people, usually over a common interest. Download the app to see what events will be available to you while you are visiting.
  7. Take a class. Take a yoga class on the beach or a drum circle class in the park. Ask your hostel host, the hotel or your couch surfing host to recommend a community center close by to see what classes are being offered.
  8. Volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people. Again you are connecting over a common cause. You and your travel partner can give back to the community and make new friends in the process.

What are some ways you’ve made new friends while traveling? Let us know in the comments below.

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