How do I find interesting people
Meet New People: 44 Tips to Meet Locals & Travelers
Do you want to meet new people too? Not only single travelers seek contact with locals and other travelers. Here are 44 tips for making new friends.
My wife Michela and I have each other Taken in Chile in 2012. Since then we've been traveling together at every turn and got married in Hong Kong in 2017.
We met on the day of the Maya Apocalypse in a hostel, but we met before on the Single exchange OKCupid.
You too can enrich your trip if you go on Aids like social apps, meetups for travelers and (travel) dating sites.
Meeting people while traveling is something special. It's a filter, travelers have one different mindset. You too are more open and free when you are on the move.
Maybe you are still in contact with special people from your previous trips. Or did you even marry one of them? ;)
A trip is best measured in friends
We all enjoy looking at sights while traveling. But encounters with locals and other travelers are more memorable than any temple.
"A trip is best measured in friends, not in miles."
- Tim Cahill
If the memory of Angkor Wat has long since faded, you will still remember the travel encounters on the way there.
We are particularly sociable as single travelers. In many backpacking countries it is very easy to find and lose travel partners on the go.
But even as a couple or in a group, you probably want to meet new people. Or maybe you are more interested in the lifestyle of the locals in foreign countries.
You don't necessarily have to travel to meet travelers. You can also find cool frequent travelers in your hometown. More international travelers are likely to get through than you think.
But it is not always easy to find the right people and to make acquaintances. The following 44 tips and websites are of great help.
1. Events, Meetings, and Meetups
Regular events, weekly meetings and thematic meetups are a great help to get to know a lot of interesting people at once. It's just as interesting when traveling as it is in your hometown.
The largest website for casual gatherings is themed by group. You can get to know locals, expats and enthusiasts for certain hobbies here - from photography to trekking.
- Couchsurfing events
Couchsurfing is not just a way of staying overnight, it's also a large community. In many cities there are regular CS events that attract a good mix of travelers and locals. You don't have to sleep on couches to go to the meetings;)
- Mundo Lingo
Learning and practicing languages is a priority at Mundo Lingo. But nobody looks at you crookedly when you just want to speak English. Mundo Lingo meetings are sometimes very large, especially in travel destinations such as Bangkok, Saigon, Buenos Aires, Lima, London, Paris, ... - but also in Cologne or Stuttgart. Fun Fact: My wife and I started Mundo Lingo Bangkok because we loved it in Chiang Mai.
- Facebook events
Facebook always knows where you are right now. This can also be useful at times. Under Events you get suggestions for events in your area.
- Facebook groups
You can find even more meetings and events in Facebook groups. In many cities there are groups for informal get-togethers such as “After Work” or “Nightlife”. Expat groups or special event groups where events are made known are also interesting. Just search for your travel destination.
Internations is aimed at older semesters. Above all, expats and locals from the upper class come to the regular meetings. Internations is chargeable, but there is a trial month.
Eventbrite is all about professional networking. However, among the many seminars and events, which are usually paid for, there are also more informal meetings.
Local festivals also make it easy to get to know people and to experience the country from the chocolate side.
2. Social apps for radius search and hangouts
Would you like to get to know travelers or locals on the spot? There is an app for the social area search - or rather, a number of apps.
- Couchsurfing hangouts
With the Couchsurfing App you can call up Hangouts, e.g. "Who would like to have a beer tonight?" You don't have to sleep on couches to use the app;)
- Area search app
There are several social apps that you can use to find people in your immediate area who have time. You can then make plans via a chat. You can find an overview of such apps in my travel tools.
- Itinerary app
Other apps let you coordinate your travel route with other travelers. This works especially well when you know when you are where you are. You can then make plans together. You can find an overview of such apps in my travel tools.
- Party With
Party With is a special app for friends of the night. You can use it to find party-loving people for nightlife and parties
WeChat is much more than a social app. The Chinese use it to manage their entire everyday life, from video chats to booking train tickets to mobile payments in 7-Eleven. There is also a proximity search for (Chinese) acquaintances.
If you don't want to install umpteen apps for the same function, limit yourself to Couchsurfing Hangout. Most of the users are there.
3. Search for travel partners in travel agencies
If you are looking for a travel partner as a single traveler, travel companions are very helpful. You write when and where you want to travel and what kind of travel partner you are looking for.
- Travel Exchanges
There are several special travel companionships in German for finding travel partners. You can find an overview in my travel tools.
- Search for travel partners in world travel forums
German-language world travel forums such as Weltreise-Info.de and Weltreiseforum.de have their own areas to find travel partners. You can find the links in my travel tools.
- Travel Facebook groups
There are several Facebook groups to search for fellow travelers. In addition, travel partners are also repeatedly searched for in Facebook groups for a specific region.
- Couchsurfing groups
In couchsurfing groups you will mainly find adventurous fellow travelers from all over the world. The group “Travel Companions around the world!” Will soon have 100,000 members.
Companion exchanges are more intended for travel preparation, but you can also search for travel partners during the trip.
4. Get to know people with the right accommodation
The way you spend the night makes a huge difference to getting to know people
Hostels are probably the easiest way to meet fellow Flashpackers. You will find people to talk to in the common room at the latest.
If you are interested in the everyday life of the locals, homestays are the right place for you. They are mainly found in rural areas without much tourism.
With Couchsurfing you can get to know a travel destination from its non-touristy side. Please do not confuse couch surfing with a free place to sleep. Take enough time with you and get involved with your host.
With a room at Airbnb, you can also temporarily rent a flat share. Many hosts are happy to introduce you to their city if they have the time.
- House sitting
You often only meet homeowners when you're house sitting between the door and the hinge. By walking the pets every day, there are enough opportunities to meet people.
For digital nomads there is “coliving” with other nomads. The price-performance ratio of providers such as Nomadpass is very poor compared to the monthly rent of condos and apartments.
5. Courses to learn and make friends
You and your new friends grow together much more strongly than on sightseeing tours in a joint cooking course or even a language course lasting several weeks.
- Cooking class
Learning to cook in a Cooking School is part of a trip for many. Most courses only go one morning, but that's enough to get to know new people. Instead of on-site, you can also book online at a tour portal. You can find an overview in my travel tools.
- Eating with locals
You can learn to cook not only in special schools, but also in local kitchens. Bon Appetour and Eatwith are two providers that connect you to home cooks. You can find the links in my travel tools.
- Language courses
If you travel to Latin America, you will likely want to learn Spanish. I took a Spanish course in La Paz, Bolivia for 4 weeks and was out with my classmates in the evenings and on weekends.
- water sports
No matter if diving course, learning to surf or sailing school. You are guaranteed to meet your fellow athletes at the end of the day for a sundowner.
Of course there are more courses. In Bangkok alone you are spoiled for choice between a massage course, Muay Thai training, several yoga courses, and much more ...
6. Tours for sightseeing and meeting people
It's super easy to meet people on a sightseeing tour or hike. Even if you don't make new friends, at least you'll see something.
- Couchsurfing tours
Yes, couch surfing again. In particular, guided cycling and hiking tours are a frequent offer in the Couchsurfing events and are sometimes well attended. You don't have to sleep on couches to go to the tours;)
- Book tours online
You can find a list of all tours in your travel destination on tour operator portals. You can also book in advance. You can find an overview in my travel tools.
- Tours with locals
Instead of professional tour providers, you can also do tours with locals. Sometimes locals let you into their kitchen and cook typical local cuisine for you. You can find an overview in my travel tools.
- Free walking tours
There are daily free walking tours, especially in European cities. Sometimes you have to reserve in advance. You can find an overview in my travel tools.
- Tours on site
Book easily and cheaply with the tour operator on site. Especially in Asian and Latin American countries, this is possible without prior notice and waiting.
7. Searching for a partner with dating apps and single sites
Dating sites can also be helpful in finding travel partners. My wife and I met 6 years ago in Chile.
- Dating sites for travelers
The Miss Travel dating site is specially designed for travelers. Participation is free for women, but men have to pay.
- Single exchange for nomads
Nomad Soulmates is a partner exchange for digital nomads. Find a partner who also works and lives independently of location.
- International partner exchanges
With classic partner exchanges, you should better rely on international websites when traveling. My American wife and I met thanks to OKCupid.
- Dating apps
Everyone knows Tinder, but there are also good alternatives such as Bumble or Tantan. You can find the links in my travel tools.
- Dating on Facebook
Allegedly, Facebook wants to get into online dating soon. That would be the biggest single exchange of all time. There is no date yet. Of course you can say that Facebook is already a dating site anyway ...
Of course, dating sites should be treated with caution if you are looking for a purely platonic acquaintance, especially for women.
8. Meet interesting people offline
Even without the internet it is possible to meet interesting people and make friends.
Do you like to do yoga or play an instrument? Take your hobby with you when you travel! A friend of mine always took his climbing shoes and visited climbing halls or bouldering walls.
- Tourist area
Tourist areas have a bad reputation, but nowhere is it so easy to meet other travelers. Whether it's a bar on Khao San Road or a food stall in the Old Quarter Hanoi, just speak to the people at the next table.
- Airplane and airport
Especially in areas with little tourism, the airport is the best way to meet other travelers. In 3 weeks northeast India we met other travelers almost exclusively at the airport. Please do not address each of the thousand farang in Bangkok. That's not what it means. ;)
What do you do in Dhaka, Bangladesh? There is no tourism and nothing to see. So I went to university and talked to students. They are sociable, interested and speak great English.
9. Work and projects while traveling
- Hand against Logi
On sites like WWOOF, Help-X or Workaway you can work against board and lodging, for example on a farm. This not only saves money, but also lets you immerse yourself in life.
Would you like to help out on site? This is a great chance to get to know people, whether they are employees or locals. Make sure you take enough time with you and find out more about this controversial topic.
Some digital nomads go to co-working spaces in order to work regardless of location. At work, you should let people work in peace, but there are opportunities to gossip during lunch breaks or after work.
- Work and travel
If you travel to countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Chile, Korea, Japan,… with a work and travel visa for U30, you will get to know more than enough people.
Do you know any more tips and websites to meet new people?
The pictures are from our weekly Mundo Lingo Language Social in Bangkok. If you are in Thailand, stop by and meet new people!
The travel camera for my photos is a Canon professional compact *
* Affiliate advertising link: If my information helps you, please use it to buy - nothing extra!
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