Making Friends Abroad – How to Connect With Fellow Travelers

Having friends abroad can make your experience much more enjoyable. Friends can help you navigate your new home and offer support during difficult times.

There are a number of ways to meet fellow travelers, including hostels, language exchange groups and apps like Backpackr. Some programs also plan social events and activities that can be great icebreakers for making friends.


One of the most common ways people meet fellow travelers is by staying in a hostel. Hostels have communal areas designed to encourage socialization and a lot of them also host events that help travelers connect with each other like game nights, language exchanges or cooking classes. For those who are a bit more introverted and don’t want to share a room with strangers, hostels offer private rooms as well.

Regardless of how you choose to stay, be sure to talk to the staff. They know the area and can give you great advice on what to see and do. They can also give you insight into the local culture and history, making them a valuable resource.

If you’re staying in a hotel, consider taking advantage of the amenities on-site such as bars or restaurants. These are often filled with locals and can be a great place to meet other guests. The bartender or manager may be a good person to start a conversation with. Ask them if they recommend any of the local restaurants or attractions and get their opinion on what to do in the area (via Travel and Leisure).

Another great way to make friends while traveling is by joining a guided tour or visiting a museum or other tourist attraction. These tours are a great opportunity to learn about the culture and meet other tourists who have similar interests. Many of these people may have been in the same situation as you before their trip and could be a helpful source of information and tips for your own journey.

For those who don’t enjoy going out and meeting people, try looking into community groups and hobbies in the area where you’re staying. There are likely to be people who live or travel there who share your passion for CrossFit, dancing or horseriding. Depending on the type of hobby, there are probably online communities you can join to find others who have similar interests as well (via The Huffington Post).

It’s always a good idea to be respectful and courteous to the locals, but don’t be afraid to speak out and show your curiosity about the country or region. People are usually eager to welcome foreign visitors and will gladly start a conversation. Just be wary of those who seem overly enthusiastic, pushy or aggressive. They may have ulterior motives.


The best way to make travel friends while on the road is to join a group or an event. Social events, language exchange gatherings, or even an organized hike can be the ideal environment to break the ice and start a conversation. The key is to be yourself as people can sense when you are trying too hard to impress them. You may also want to bring up your hobbies in a natural manner, such as asking what local activities are popular among the group or how they enjoy doing their favorite sports at home.

Hostels are the best place to meet fellow travelers, as they usually have common areas that are designed to encourage interaction. They are also a great option for those traveling on a budget, as most hostels have bar and other social events that cost less than paying for an hotel room. If you prefer to stay in a hotel, try visiting some of the local attractions that are popular with the locals. You may be surprised at the number of people who are also interested in visiting the same places.

Another great way to connect with fellow travelers is to participate in a hobby that you enjoy at home, such as rock climbing, dancing, or horseriding. Chances are that the area you are traveling to has people who practice these hobbies and can offer advice and recommendations. In addition, you can look for an online community geared toward these types of activities or visit the local gyms and recreational centers to find people who share your interests.

Another way to connect with travelers is by joining a group that offers volunteer opportunities aligned with your interests and values. Platforms like Workaway and Worldpackers can match you with volunteer opportunities in destinations around the world that will allow you to give back while connecting with locals and other volunteers. If you’re a bookworm, take advantage of local bookstores and libraries to find other readers and strike up conversations about your favorite authors and genres. For art and history lovers, museums and galleries are great environments to engage in conversations with other patrons about the latest exhibits or historical events.

Meet Locals

While you’re on the go, try to meet locals and travelers through the various events that are hosted in your destination. These events will give you the chance to learn more about the culture and connect with people from all over the world who are also in your town or country. These types of events are often hosted at bars, restaurants, and even hotels.

Joining a guided tour will also allow you to meet other travelers in your destination. Whether you’re interested in learning about the history of a city, taking a cooking class, or even discovering falconry, there’s sure to be an option out there for you. Plus, since you’re joining a tour with people who have similar interests, the chances of making new friends is much higher.

You can also try out apps and social media platforms that are designed to connect you with other travelers while you’re on the road. These apps include SoloTraveller, Couchsurfing, and other traveler-centered communities. You can also sign up for a language learning program before your trip, such as FluentU, to get a head start on vocabulary and cultural terms. This will make a huge difference in your ability to speak with locals and open up the doors of communication when you arrive abroad.

When meeting fellow travelers on the road, be approachable and remember to check your body language. Do you seem guarded or closed off to talking? Be friendly and polite and smile, but don’t force a conversation. People on the road are more willing to talk to strangers than you might think, especially if they’re just as lost as you are in their new home!

If you’re unsure of how to make the first move, ask if they want to grab coffee or a bite to eat. Be respectful of their boundaries and privacy, but don’t be afraid to ask. Whether they’re a complete stranger or an old friend from back home, they’ll be more than happy to share their knowledge of the country with you. If all else fails, don’t be afraid to ask them for directions or recommend a great restaurant!

Social Media

When traveling abroad, you can connect with fellow travelers by using social media. Social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook can help you share your travel experiences with others. By creating and sharing engaging content, you can reach fellow travelers and locals and make valuable connections.

You can also join a group travel website or app to meet people while traveling. These sites can be free or paid and are great for finding people who have the same interests. If you’re an introvert, it might be challenging to meet other travelers on your own. However, you can overcome this obstacle by embracing your introversion and taking steps outside of your comfort zone.

Another way to connect with fellow travelers is to participate in group tours and activities. Joining a guided tour is a great way to meet fellow travelers and learn about the culture of your destination. The best part is that most tour guides are happy to introduce you to other people who share your interest in the city or country.

Travello is a mobile app that allows you to connect with fellow travelers by commenting on their photos and messaging them. You can also join groups of travelers on the app, such as Solo Travelers or Backpackers Asia. Alternatively, you can use social media apps such as Instagram or TripIt to find fellow travelers who are visiting your destination.

If you’re looking for a specific travel buddy, you can join a Meetup group in your destination city. There are many different groups available, including ones for female travelers or travel photographers. Another option is to join a global network such as BeWelcome or Couchsurfing, which will match you with a local who can show you around the city.

Another great way to meet travelers is by contacting the concierge of your hotel. They can arrange a dinner or coffee date with other guests. They can also give you recommendations for things to do in the area. Lastly, you can connect with other travelers through a social media site like Reddit, although it’s important to keep in mind that these forums aren’t always reliable and may not be safe. It’s also a good idea to share your location with a trusted friend or family member before meeting strangers on these websites.