A major part of traveling is getting to know people from cultures different than your own, but this can prove difficult if you don’t know anyone to start with. Making friends while traveling can feel hard at first, but we have some tips to help you break the ice while you’re on the road.
Stay at a Hostel
If you’re traveling instead of vacationing, giving up a little privacy with your accommodations will go a long way towards getting to know people. Hostels are a great way to meet others and make the road a little less lonely. Some hostels offer dorm style bunking. While sleeping in the same room is sure to start at least a conversation or two, staying at a hostel that offers you a room and door of your own is fine, too. Most have common areas for people to mingle, so if you use your room for sleep and force yourself into the common areas for socialization, you should be golden.
Share Your Power
How annoying is it that a lot of airports seem to only have one outlet per terminal? In today’s digital age, that can lead to a lot of stress as everyone rushes for the seat next to the power source. Be a considerate traveler, and bring a port expansion hub. We found one on DinoDirect for under $5 (and that’s BEFORE coupon codes!) Port expansion hubs are a device you plug into the outlet, that then provide multiple spaces for people to plug in. You’ve just turned one outlet into three, and are most likely going to make two new friends because of it.
This tip can be used anywhere there’s a need for more access to electricity. Bus terminals, bars, or anywhere else where people congregate with nearly-dead iPhones and subsequent frazzled nerves.
Join a Group Tour
Yes, you’re traveling, and the last thing you want is to be touristy. But if you’ve been on the road solo for a while, or with a traveling partner and have been having trouble meeting people outside the two of you, a tour could be the best medicine. You’ll meet other people with similar interests as you, likely traveling, too. Participating in a group tour or organized activity is a great way to get in some socialization when you’re feeling lonely. You may even come out with a new travel buddy.
You Don’t Have to be Everyone’s Friend
If you happen to be traveling in a location that’s typically thought of as a vacation spot, remember that not everyone is looking for new friends. While these are admittedly sweeping generalizations, there are some cultural differences between American vacationers and those from other countries. For example, typically when Europeans go on vacation, they’re there to relax and spend time with the people they came with. Americans do the same, but are more open to making new friends while they’re at it. This can come off as annoying to some. So if you see a group of British people at the bar, carrying on like old friends, they probably are, and don’t want you to jump in on the conversation.
Setting up base at a vacation spot isn’t the norm, though. There are plenty of ways to naturally strike up new friendships, and no limit on the memories you can make together.