How do you make friends while you’re travelling?

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How do you make friends while you’re travelling?

Avatar for Vicky
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Joined 2012-11-01

Hey guys,

I’m writing an article for any newbie travellers on how to make friends. In our recent survey it was identified as the biggest worry for anyone thinking about going backpacking.

Obviously I’ve got loads of ideas tongue rolleye. I’ve got at least 22 Facebook friends, but I was wondering what advice you guys had?

Any tips on what to do or even what not to do to ensure you make at least a few mates on your gap year?

Thanks!

Vicky

raspberry

     
Avatar for Fingfang
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Surely the same way you make friends when your not on a gap year.

Go out of your house, do something social - dance class, fitness, coffee meeting, activitiy club… and talk to other people there… without the use of facebook.

     
Avatar for Kiwi_hayley
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Stay in multi bedded rooms at a hostel and/or go to common areas at the hostel and just say hi…. Conversation will flow 99.9% of times after that!

     
Avatar for nat_eleanor
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Joined 2013-12-10

Staying in hostels and getting involved in volunteering projects has to be a couple of the best ways to make friends abroad. This is how I made friends in Nepal a year and a half ago and we still talk daily-weekly. One friend came to visit this year and me and my sister are actually meeting up with a couple of them next year when we go traveling!

     
Avatar for hdsimmons
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Dorms and common spaces in hostels. Walk up to someone, say hi!

If all else fails, book a short tour and meet people on that.

     
Avatar for Lucy789
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I find dining areas in hostels are great, as you often have to sit with other people, and they’re a captive audience if they’re eating! So easy to start conversations. Bars can also be a great place to spark up conversations, as well as dorms and common areas.

     
Avatar for Travel_gavin
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I think everyone has hit the nail on the head, saying hi in common rooms and dorm rooms usually does the trick. I found it a little bit different in SE Asia though where most places i ever stayed in were private rooms. However when your standing waiting for a bus/train/boat you cant help but talk to other backpackers.

     
Avatar for Vicky
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Joined 2012-11-01

Cheers guys!

Your suggestions are now live in the latest advice article… http://www.gapyear.com/articles/211972/top-5-tips-for-making-friends-backpacking

Thanks,

Vicky

     
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Joined 2014-01-06

Nice article Vicky! It is such a worry for so many people. If you’re the shyer type, hopefully hanging out in communal areas will also mean people come talk to you if you’re not confident enough to approach people first.

     
Avatar for Vicky
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Yeah exactly. For some people it’s really hard, and for others it just comes naturally - but you just have to put yourself out there as much as possible and you’ll soon reap the benefits in the form of friends from all over the world and a better experience overall. Just gotta be brave! cool smile

     
Avatar for Dave
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I recently went on a package tour, so I was with the same group of people for 5 days straight. I was pretty determined not to make any friends, because I’m grumpy and antisocial, but despite all my best efforts (ignoring people, eating in the corner, not showering) I ended up getting friendly with a bunch of them. It’s inevitable!

     
Avatar for Cleo
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Joined 2015-01-12

When I first get to a place I stay in the friendliest hostel I can find (my using reviews) and make sure to talk to the first 5 people I see. I’ll also join a few day tours too and just talk to people on that. Everyone wants to make friends when they travel, but some people just find it hard to start the conversation off so I try to be the one to speak first. The worst thing that can happen is that they ignore you, big deal!