If you’re like most people, you probably enjoy meeting new people when you travel. This can be an exciting way to make new friends, but more importantly, get more experience with the local culture. Moreover, it’s exciting to meet other travelers to experience a new space together. However, we obviously live in pretty tumultuous times, so while your desire to meet new people is great, it’s important to do so in a safe and responsible way. Here are some tips for meeting people while traveling.
First, do your research before you go. Read travel blogs and guidebooks to learn about the culture and customs of your destination. This will help you avoid any misunderstandings or offending someone inadvertently. But it’s also important to allow yourself to be a “tourist.” Be your most authentic self while traveling; locals often find themselves curious about foreigners and want to engage and speak with them. We all love delving into another person’s experience that’s different than our own. Being authentically you extends an olive branch. While having your research in mind about what to do and what no to do in social interactions, don’t let apprehension hold you back.
Start small. Instead of going to a crowded bar or club, try visiting a cafe or museum. These are great places to start up conversations with people. If you’re feeling extra brave, go on a walking tour led by a local guide. This is an excellent way to get to know the city and its history, while also getting some tips about the best places to eat and drink. And if you really want to make friends with locals, sign up for a cooking class! This is usually a pretty intimate setting where you can chat with your fellow classmates and learn about their culture and traditions.
Try staying in a hostel. Hostels are great places to meet other travelers. You can bond over your shared love of travel and experiences. Hostels often have communal areas where you can relax, read a book, or play games with new friends. And if you’re traveling solo, don’t be afraid to ask someone to join you for an activity or meal. Most people are happy to show you around their city and recommend their favorite spots. Or you could try a homestay. This is where you stay with a local family in their home. This is an incredible way to really immerse yourself in the culture and get to know someone on a personal level.
Be the first person to say hello to new people. It can be intimidating to approach someone new, but remember that everyone is in the same boat. We’ve all been strangers in a new place at some point in our lives. Just walk up and say hello! You never know, you might just make a lifelong friend.
Pay attention to body language, your own especially. Just as you would at home, be aware of your own body language and personal space. Be open and approachable, make eye contact, and smile. nod if someone catches your eye. But also be respectful of other people’s personal space. If they seem uninterested or standoffish, don’t force a conversation.
Be patient and have realistic expectations. Don’t expect to make best friends with everyone you meet while traveling. It takes time to get to know someone and build trust. And not everyone is going to want to chat with a stranger; that’s perfectly normal! Just take things slow, enjoy the process of getting to know new people, and soak up all the amazing experiences that come with travel.
Stay positive and exude this energy regularly on your trip. People are attracted to others who are positive, so put out this good vibe and you’ll be more likely to attract friends. Positivity is also contagious, so even if you don’t feel like it at first, try faking it until you make it. Soon enough, you’ll be surrounded by a group of new friends that share your love for adventure.
Try joining a tour or volunteering locally. These are both excellent ways to meet people while also giving back to the community. When you join a tour, you’ll be with a group of like-minded individuals who are all there to learn and explore. And when you volunteer, you’ll have the opportunity to work side-by-side with locals on various projects. This is a great way to get to know someone and learn about their culture and traditions.
Of course, it’s always important to use your best judgment when meeting new people. Trust your gut and if you ever feel unsafe, remove yourself from the situation immediately. With these tips in mind, go forth and make some new friends while exploring the world! safe travels!`;
Finally, remember that it’s okay to say no. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, just politely excuse yourself and walk away. Your safety should always be your number one priority when traveling.