There are some unusual ways to make friends nowadays. One Canadian site on the web is offering rent-a-friend for $10 an hour while at home or abroad. But why dish out when you can make and find friends for free, anywhere in the world ? Check your shyness at the door and get out there! Here are 7 tips for meeting people and making friends while travelling abroad.
Couchsurfing.org not only lets you find free places to sleep anywhere in the world, but it’s also a great way to make connections with people abroad. Search for couchsurfers that are available for coffee or a drink in the city that you’re travelling to or post a comment in one of the city groups saying that you’re looking for someone to see the sights with, you’re sure to find a friend for an afternoon, probably even longer!
2. Join a class or a guided tour
Learning and travelling seem to go hand in hand, which is why more and more travellers are getting involved while on holidays by either taking a cooking class, learning massage, taking a language class, etc. The possibilities are endless. Another way to meet people in a group is to join a guided tour. Sandeman’s for example offers free walking tours in Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Edinburgh, Hamburg, London, Madrid, Munich, Prague and Paris! Sign up and start chatting!
3. Find the right bar
It’s almost certain you can find an English pub just about anywhere these days. Find a pub that is hosting a quiz night, karaoke, dart or billiard tournament and, if you have the means buy a round. Your soon to be comrades will definitely appreciate the gesture!
4. Ask questions, even if you know the answer
Stop and ask someone the way even if you know it, ask the price of a metro ticket or how to say “thank you” in the local language… Asking questions starts conversation even if you already have the answers in your travel guide. Chances are the person you’re asking will want to know more!
5. Start a blog
The on-line travel community is a busy place: bloggers on RTW (round the world) trips, tweeps who just can’t get enough of #TravelTuesday, forums and Facebook… Start a blog of your own about your trip, post your photos and ask questions. Post comments on other blogs and create a global conversation that way.
6. Start on the aeroplane
You have a 10 hour flight, you’re terrified of take-off and your kind neighbour starts up a conversation which ends up in an invitation to couchsurf. These kinds of things don’t just happen in the movies! While waiting at the gate, keep your eyes open, your next friend could be sitting right beside you!
7. Don’t try too hard, it’s natural
In general it’s quite natural to meet new people on the road and while travelling. Backpacker hostels and hotel lounges are key meeting places to strike up a conversation while waiting for your dinner reservation or to go out for the night. Some of the best friendships happen by accident, without notice. So just relax, be open and don’t be shy…
You can also find friends around the world on our liligo.com Facebook page, join the conversation and become a fan!