For some making friends while travelling is one of the main niggling worries when paying off those flights, If you’re going alone then of course you’ll want to meet people and if you’re going with your other half or your mates then, again, of course you want to meet people!
Make friends for life (not just for Facebook) with these simple steps and you’ll become the most popular person on the road.
Our top tips for making friends on your travels
Join a tour
A ready made band of brothers. Tours are great for meeting people and sticking with them after. A great adventure tour will attract like-minded, awesome people who love travel and are looking forward to meeting you too.
Bunk with strangers
And wake up friends! Or enemies, depending on how much they snore. Big dorms are really sociable and a great place to make new mates.
Share your maps, guidebooks and travel tips. Help carry bags, give swigs of your water, remind everyone to wear sunscreen. A good deed will be remembered.
Read the signs
The cool guy engrossed in a book may be enjoying some alone time. Be yourself, give him space, and if he likes the look of you too it’ll happen.
A regimented routine leaves little time for actually getting to know people. Pack too much in and you’ll miss out on late night chats and breakfast banter. Hop-on hop-off bus passes such as Kiwi Experience in New Zealand and Bamba Bus in South America are great for flexibility and meeting new people.
If you do meet someone awesome, don’t let them go. Use your Multiflex Pass and stick with them a while longer. After all it’s the people you meet who really make your trip completely unforgettable.
Learn to cook
The kitchen is the heart of any good hostel. Make big portions, share herbs and spices, and get everyone together.
Say yes to everything
OK, not everything. But say yes to most things. If you get invited on a day trip, a big night out or a detour, just do it. You’ll experience things you wouldn’t normally experience while getting to know someone new.
Be nice to everyone
Don’t judge a book by its cover and give everyone a chance. You might just bump into them again along the way – the backpacking world is a smaller than you think.
Don’t let language stop you
The best things in life don’t need subtitles. If you’re not hot on languages just smile and sign away. Everyone appreciates it when you make an effort.
Embrace the chaos
If something doesn’t go to plan, everything becomes a team effort. Seek out fellow travellers and overcome problems together. You’ll share stories about it later.
Be a night owl and an early riser
Your new best mate might be sleeping in the next dorm. Call into the hostel at different times of day to see who’s around.
Do the backpacker thing
Themed nights, fancy dress, pub crawls… it’s all part of the experience. These events are designed to get you to mingle, so take advantage of them.
Football’s always fun. Get to know the locals by having a kick about. It’s fine to have some healthy competition – just remember to let little kids win.
Head to the same bakeries, cafes and shops each day and you’ll soon become part of the scenery.
Hold your drink
Don’t get so wasted you forget your manners as well as people’s names. You’ll have to meet everyone all over again the next night. Or, if you were really badly behaved, the next place.
Just because you’re on your own, people automatically won’t assume you want some company. If you want a travel buddy, say so.
You may have planned to play it safe while you planned your trip in the comfort of your own home, but this is an adventure! The people going on the 4×4 tour, doing a bungee jump, or a diving trip might just change your mind.
Do what you love
Whether you love partying until the early hours, trekking for miles or exploring the sights, this is your chance to enjoy yourself. Your kindred spirits will be out there doing the exact same thing.
Go your own way
Don’t be too clingy. Just be confident and trust that you’ll meet good people along the way.