There are so many excellent reasons for travelling, but one of the key ones is the people you’ll meet along the way. Many travellers will tell you that they’ve made some lifelong friends on their trips! Whether you are travelling solo or with a group, there are plenty of opportunities to meet new people while you’re abroad. Here are some top tips for socialising on your travels.
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Socialise before you leave
If you’re travelling solo, then you might be feeling a bit nervous about not knowing anyone. However, there are plenty of forums and sites now that will introduce you to travel buddies before you even step foot on the plane. Just make sure you’re safe and sensible using these, and only ever agree to meet someone in a public place. Even if you’re not going solo, these are still great places to meet new people and share travel plans.
Learn some languages
You don’t have to be fluent in 15 different languages before you go abroad (although it helps), but getting the gist of a few different languages can definitely work in your favour. There’s nothing worse than communication barriers, especially if you’re trying to socialise abroad. French and Spanish are always handy languages to know a little bit of, and also the language of the country you’re visiting, of course! There are plenty of apps that will teach you the ropes, so you have no excuse not to try.
Understand the customs
Giving the thumbs up may be the done thing in some countries, but in others it actually means something much worse. According to The Secret Traveller blog at 1Cover, if you give someone the thumbs up in Iran, Afghanistan, Greece or Italy then it’s the same as showing them the middle finger. Ouch. This is just one example of why you’ll want to brush up on some local customs before you start offending any potential new friends.
Live like a local
If you want to make friends with locals, then you’re going to want to live like one! Do some research into where the locals go themselves, from the bars they visit, the restaurants they eat at, and the attractions they spend their time in. Spending more time like a local will give you more opportunities for socialising with people who aren’t just busy tourists, wanting to get from A to B on their holidays.
Strike up a conversation
If you’re a shy person, then you might find this one quite hard – but get used to it! If you want to meet new people and make new friends while abroad, you might have to be the person who strikes up a conversation. If this sounds daunting, try a few practice runs in your hometown first. Talk to some strangers, get some experience in, and then try it out when you’re abroad!
Throw yourself into it
If you’re staying in a luxurious hotel and only eating or drinking there, then you probably won’t find many chances to socialise. Throw yourself into the travel experience by staying in a hostel dorm room with seven other travellers, head off the beaten path, and practice living like a local as mentioned early. If you truly immerse yourself in the travel experience, then you’ll find it a lot easier to meet new people and socialise.
Making new friends is all part of the fun of travel, but you have to make sure you know how to do it first! Hopefully, these top tips will help you along the way.
Do you have any others to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.
More Travel Tips from ASocialNomad
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- Tips on Travel Research
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