If you’re an open-minded, outgoing individual, then vacation goes hand in hand with meeting people from all over the world. Away from every day, you have much more time to dedicate to authentic connections and get to know different cultures through other like-minded people.
If, however, you find the prospect of walking up to someone you don’t know and striking up a conversation daunting, you’re not alone. For many, especially more introverted folk, meeting new people abroad can be challenging, but here are all the ways you can make the process easier. From utilizing social media to joining group activities, here’s how to meet new people on vacation.
If the thought of approaching a stranger and striking up a conversation fills you with dread, there are other ways to forge connections that don’t require you to put yourself out there in such a major way. Before you head to your destination, investigate any traveler or backpacking apps or pages on social media – there, you can approach people online, which is a lot less intimidating.
Once you’ve chatted a bit online, you can organize a little trip together or even just a cup of coffee. You might even get wind of a traveler’s get-together where you can meet a whole host of vacationers.
|Utilize travel-focused apps, social media groups, and online forums specific to your destination. Popular platforms include Couchsurfing, Meetup, or Facebook travel groups.
|Start conversations online to get to know fellow travelers or locals before meeting in person. Share your interests, travel plans, and ask about the local scene or group events.
|Arrange for a casual get-together, like grabbing a coffee, attending a local event, or joining a group outing. This provides a comfortable setting for the first in-person meeting.
|Less intimidating than face-to-face introductions, allows for pre-screening potential meet-ups, and offers the chance to connect with like-minded individuals.
Step out of your comfort zone
Approaching new people, if you’re at all introverted, is challenging. Not only are you putting yourself in a vulnerable position, but you are also opening yourself up to someone you don’t know which, let’s face it, doesn’t happen at all often in real life.
To make the most of meeting new people on vacation, you first have to get out of your comfort zone. You’re not going to make any new friends by staying in your room and watching TV!
Join group activities
Sometimes, all a social connection needs to thrive is the right setting. Group activities are a great way to meet new people as you all have a common thing that you can discuss: the experience! Something like a hiking tour or a trip to a cultural site will unite you in a common interest, during which you can discuss exactly that, or use the social setting to connect on other things.
Don’t know where to find these group activities? You can always book a group tour that’s advertised through travel agencies or ask at your accommodation reception if they have anything you can join. Otherwise, you can always suggest something on a social media group page.
|Types of Activities
|Engage in organized group tours, local classes (e.g., cooking, art), outdoor adventures (e.g., hiking, snorkeling), or cultural experiences (e.g., historical site visits).
|Consult with your accommodation’s reception, local travel agencies, or check online platforms like TripAdvisor and Eventbrite for group activities and excursions.
|Group activities naturally foster interaction through shared experiences. Discussing the activity or the surroundings provides an easy conversation starter.
|Reduces the pressure of initiating one-on-one conversations, aligns you with people who have similar interests, and enhances the overall travel experience through shared enjoyment.
Allow for spontaneity
The most important thing about meeting new people abroad is to go with the flow. Don’t overplan anything and leave space for impromptu drinks or a spontaneous trip. You’ll find these kind of trips the most enjoyable!