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The Best Ways To Meet New People While Traveling


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Fayina Burnham



Traveling is an incredible experience that allows you to explore new places, immerse yourself in different cultures, and create lifelong memories. However, it can sometimes feel lonely when you’re in an unfamiliar destination far from home. The good news is that there are many opportunities to meet new people and make meaningful connections while traveling.


Meeting people while traveling not only adds a social aspect to your journey but also provides a chance to learn from others, exchange travel tips, and even form friendships that can last long after your trip ends. Whether you’re a solo traveler looking to connect with like-minded adventurers or simply want to experience the local culture through the eyes of the locals, there are various ways to meet new people during your travels.


In this article, we’ll explore the best ways to meet new people while traveling. From socializing in hostels to joining group tours, attending local events, and utilizing social media, these tips will help you expand your social circle and create meaningful connections wherever your travels take you.


Socialize in Hostels

One of the easiest and most common ways to meet new people while traveling is by staying in hostels. Hostels are not only affordable accommodation options but also popular among budget travelers and backpackers who are often seeking social interactions. Most hostels have communal areas such as lounges, kitchens, and common rooms where guests can mingle and connect with fellow travelers.


When staying in hostels, make an effort to be friendly and approachable. Strike up conversations with your roommates or join in on group activities organized by the hostel. Many hostels also arrange social events such as pub crawls, city tours, or game nights, providing ample opportunities to meet other travelers. Utilize the communal spaces to bond over shared experiences, exchange travel stories, and even plan future adventures together.


It’s important to respect the communal living environment in hostels, be mindful of noise levels, and be considerate of others’ privacy. Remember that everyone staying in a hostel is there to have a positive experience, so embrace the friendly and inclusive atmosphere.


If you’re shy or unsure about approaching strangers, look for hostels that offer organized social activities and events. This will provide a structured environment where you can break the ice more easily and meet like-minded individuals.


Hostels not only provide a conducive atmosphere for meeting other travelers, but they also often have staff members who are knowledgeable about the local area. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations on things to see and do, as well as any local events or gatherings that might be happening during your stay. This can lead to even more opportunities to socialize and connect with both fellow travelers and locals.


Join Group Tours or Activities

Joining group tours or activities is another excellent way to meet new people while traveling. These tours can range from guided city tours to adventure activities like hiking, snorkeling, or cooking classes.


Group tours are often designed to bring together individuals with similar interests or a shared passion for exploring. By joining these tours, you’ll have the opportunity to bond with fellow participants over the unique experiences you’re about to embark on.


When choosing a group tour, consider selecting those that cater to small groups. Smaller groups tend to foster a more intimate and sociable atmosphere, allowing everyone to get to know each other more easily. Additionally, smaller groups offer more opportunities for meaningful conversations and connections.


During the tour or activity, take the initiative to strike up conversations with your fellow participants. Ask about their travel experiences, where they’re from, and what brought them to the destination. Sharing your own stories and experiences will help facilitate connections and create a sense of camaraderie.


It’s important to be open-minded and approachable during group tours. Embrace the diversity of the group, as everyone will bring their unique perspectives and backgrounds to the experience. Be respectful of different opinions and engage in meaningful discussions to foster connections.


After the tour or activity, don’t be afraid to exchange contact information with the people you’ve connected with. This paves the way for further interactions and potential meetups in other destinations. Who knows, you might even end up traveling together for a portion of your journey!


Group tours and activities not only provide a chance to meet fellow travelers but also offer a structured and organized way to explore the destination. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from knowledgeable guides, discover hidden gems, and create lasting memories with your new travel companions.


Attend Local Events or Festivals

Attending local events or festivals is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the culture of a destination while also meeting new people. Whether it’s a music festival, a traditional celebration, or a local market, these events provide a vibrant and lively atmosphere that brings locals and tourists together.


Research ahead of time to find out about any upcoming events or festivals in the area you’re visiting. Local tourism websites, social media groups, and travel forums are great resources for finding information about these events. You can also ask the staff at your accommodation or locals you’ve met for recommendations.


Once you’ve identified an event or festival to attend, be prepared to engage in conversations with those around you. Strike up conversations with fellow attendees while waiting in line, during performances, or while browsing through market stalls. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations, tips, or insights about the event or the local culture.


Joining in on the festivities, whether it’s dancing to traditional music, participating in local games or rituals, or simply enjoying the local cuisine, is an excellent way to connect with others. People are often more open and welcoming during celebrations, creating a more inclusive and friendly environment.


Be respectful of cultural customs and traditions during these events, and show genuine interest and appreciation for the local culture. This will not only help you make meaningful connections but also contribute to positive cultural exchange.


Attending local events or festivals allows you to experience the authentic spirit of a destination and connect with locals on a deeper level. By sharing in the excitement and joy of these events, you’ll create memories and connections that will enhance your travel experience.


Use Social Media and Online Platforms

In today’s digital age, social media and online platforms provide a convenient and effective way to meet new people while traveling. There are various online communities and platforms specifically designed to connect travelers with each other.


Start by joining travel-related groups on social media platforms such as Facebook or Reddit. These groups often have thousands of members who share travel tips, advice, and experiences. By actively participating in the group discussions, you can connect with fellow travelers who may be in the same destination or planning to visit soon.


Additionally, there are specific travel apps and websites that focus on connecting travelers. Couchsurfing is a popular platform that allows you to connect with locals who are willing to offer free accommodation or simply meet up for a coffee. Attend local meetups or events organized through these platforms to meet like-minded individuals.


Another useful online platform is Meetup.com, which offers a wide range of interest-based groups and events in various cities around the world. Whether you’re interested in photography, hiking, language exchange, or simply meeting new people, you’re likely to find a meetup that aligns with your interests.


When using social media and online platforms to connect with others, it’s essential to remain cautious and prioritize your safety. Do your due diligence by checking profiles, reading reviews, and arranging to meet others in public spaces. Always trust your instincts and use common sense when interacting with people you meet online.


Building connections through social media and online platforms allows you to establish a network of travel friends who can provide support, advice, and even potential travel companions throughout your journey. It also provides an opportunity to gain local insights and learn from the experiences of others.


Remember to always be respectful, kind, and genuine when engaging with others online. By fostering connections through digital platforms, you can expand your social circle and create lasting friendships with fellow travelers around the world.


Take Part in Volunteer Programs

Participating in volunteer programs is not only a meaningful way to give back to the community but also an excellent opportunity to meet new people who share your passion for making a positive impact. There are numerous volunteer organizations around the world that offer diverse projects ranging from teaching English to conserving the environment.


Research and choose a reputable volunteer organization that aligns with your interests and values. Consider the type of project, location, and the duration of the program. Many volunteer programs provide accommodation and meals, creating a communal environment where volunteers can bond and connect with each other.


Volunteering allows you to work alongside local people, providing a unique opportunity to learn about their culture, traditions, and way of life. Engage in conversations with other volunteers and locals to gain insights and deepen your understanding of the community you’re working in.


During your volunteering experience, you’ll work together towards a common goal, fostering teamwork and collaboration. Sharing these experiences builds strong bonds and creates friendships that often last beyond the duration of the program.


Be open-minded and willing to step out of your comfort zone while volunteering. Embrace the challenges and opportunities that come with it, as they can lead to unexpected connections and personal growth.


It’s important to choose a volunteering program that is ethical and responsible. Ensure that the organization has a positive impact on the local community and follows sustainable practices. Engaging in responsible volunteering not only benefits the local community but also helps you to connect with other volunteers who are committed to making a difference.


Volunteering offers a unique opportunity to make a positive impact while forging connections with like-minded individuals. Whether you’re teaching children, building homes, or working on environmental conservation projects, the shared experiences and common goals of volunteering create a strong bond among participants.


Explore Shared Spaces such as Co-Working Spaces or Cafes

Shared spaces, such as co-working spaces and cafes, offer a dynamic environment where you can work and socialize at the same time. These spaces are popular among digital nomads, freelancers, and entrepreneurs, making them an ideal place to meet fellow professionals and travelers.


Co-working spaces are designed to foster collaboration and provide a community-like atmosphere. Many co-working spaces organize networking events, workshops, and social gatherings, creating opportunities to connect with other individuals who are also working remotely.


Introduce yourself to other co-workers and strike up conversations during breaks or at networking events. Share your experiences, exchange industry knowledge, and learn from each other. These interactions can lead to valuable professional connections as well as potential friendships.


Cafes, especially those frequented by travelers, are also great places to meet new people. Look for local cafes with a welcoming ambiance and a cozy atmosphere. Share a table with others or strike up a conversation with someone sitting nearby.


Many cafes have communal seating areas or outdoor spaces where you can easily engage with fellow coffee enthusiasts. Comment on the local cuisine, ask for recommendations on places to visit, or simply spark a conversation about shared interests. You never know who you might meet and what new connections you might make.


Take advantage of the laid-back and relaxed atmosphere of shared spaces to meet new people organically. Be open and approachable, and don’t be afraid to initiate conversations. Remember, everyone in these spaces is looking for connections and human interaction, so embrace the opportunity to meet new and interesting individuals from all walks of life.


If you’re a digital nomad or a remote worker, utilizing co-working spaces and cafes not only gives you a productive environment but also enriches your travel experience by allowing you to connect with like-minded individuals who share a passion for work and exploration.


Stay in Homestays or Airbnb

Choosing to stay in homestays or Airbnb accommodations can provide a unique opportunity to connect with locals and immerse yourself in the local culture. Unlike traditional hotels, homestays and Airbnb rentals often involve staying in someone’s home, allowing you to interact with the hosts and potentially other guests.


When booking a homestay or Airbnb, look for hosts who are known for their hospitality and willingness to engage with guests. Read reviews and descriptions carefully to get a sense of the host’s personality and their willingness to interact.


Once you arrive at your accommodation, take the time to chat with your hosts. They can provide valuable insights into the local culture, recommend hidden gems, and share personal stories that will enrich your travel experience. Engaging in conversations with your hosts can also create a welcoming atmosphere, making you feel more at home in a foreign place.


In addition to connecting with your hosts, you may also have the opportunity to meet other travelers if you’re sharing the accommodation with them. Communal spaces, such as shared kitchens or living rooms, often encourage interactions among guests. Use these shared spaces as an opportunity to strike up conversations, share travel stories, and potentially plan activities together.


Some hosts even organize special events or activities for their guests, such as cooking classes, neighborhood tours, or cultural workshops. Participating in these activities can not only enhance your travel experience but also provide opportunities to meet other travelers who are also staying with the host.


Staying in homestays or Airbnb accommodations can offer a more personal and intimate travel experience. It allows you to form connections with locals and fellow travelers, giving you a deeper understanding of the destination and its culture.


Remember to respect the host’s rules and privacy during your stay. Be courteous, tidy up after yourself, and follow any guidelines provided by the host. By being a respectful and considerate guest, you’ll foster a positive environment and potentially form lasting connections with your hosts and other guests.


Take Part in Language Exchange Programs

Taking part in language exchange programs is not only an excellent way to improve your language skills but also an opportunity to meet new people from different cultures. Language exchange programs typically involve pairing individuals who are looking to learn or practice a foreign language with native speakers of that language.


Research language exchange programs in the destination you’re visiting. Many cities have language exchange events or meetups where you can practice speaking with native speakers and fellow language learners. Additionally, there are online platforms and apps that facilitate language exchange through virtual conversations.


When participating in language exchange programs, embrace the chance to engage in conversations with locals who are eager to learn your language or help you improve your language skills. Share your own knowledge and experiences while learning about their culture, traditions, and language nuances.


Language exchange programs often create a fun and interactive environment where you can connect with people who share a passion for languages and cultural exchange. You’ll have the opportunity to build friendships while enhancing your language proficiency.


Outside of formal language exchange programs, don’t hesitate to strike up conversations with locals in their native language. Even if you make mistakes, most locals appreciate the effort and are often happy to help you improve. Engage in simple conversations, ask for directions, or order your meals in the local language. This can lead to meaningful connections with locals and create more authentic travel experiences.


By actively participating in language exchange programs or simply making an effort to communicate in the local language, you open yourself up to bonding with others over the shared experience of language learning. These connections can extend beyond language practice and turn into lifelong friendships.


Remember to have patience and maintain a positive attitude while learning a new language. Language learning is a journey, and the connections you make along the way will enhance both your travel experience and your linguistic abilities.


Connect with Other Travelers in Public Transportation

Public transportation is not just a means of getting from one place to another; it can also be an opportunity to connect with other travelers. Whether you’re on a bus, train, or even a shared taxi, striking up conversations with fellow passengers can lead to interesting encounters and potential friendships.


When using public transportation, be open and approachable. Smile and greet others, and don’t hesitate to start a conversation if you notice someone who looks like they could be a fellow traveler. You can begin by asking about their travel plans, the places they’ve visited, or any tips they may have for the destination you’re heading to.


Shared transportation often involves spending a significant amount of time with other passengers, providing ample opportunity for conversation. Use this time to exchange travel stories, share recommendations, and even plan activities together if your itineraries align.


If you’re traveling solo, connecting with fellow travelers in public transportation can make your journey more enjoyable and less lonely. You can share experiences, split the cost of taxis or tours, and even explore new destinations together.


Remember to respect personal space and boundaries while engaging with other travelers in public transportation. Some people may prefer to enjoy their journey in solitude, so be mindful of cues that indicate whether someone is open to conversation or prefers to be left alone.


It’s important to exercise caution and use your judgment when connecting with strangers in public transportation. While most encounters will likely be positive, trust your instincts and prioritize your safety. Stick to public transportation options that are reliable and reputable, and avoid sharing personal or sensitive information with strangers.


Connecting with other travelers in public transportation offers a unique opportunity to bond with people from different walks of life. You can gain insights into their travel experiences, learn about different cultures, and create memories that will enhance your travel journey.


Engage in Outdoor Activities or Adventure Sports

Engaging in outdoor activities or adventure sports while traveling not only allows you to experience thrilling adventures but also presents the opportunity to connect with fellow adrenaline-seekers. Whether it’s hiking, rock climbing, surfing, or skydiving, these activities tend to attract like-minded individuals who are passionate about outdoor pursuits.


When participating in outdoor activities or adventure sports, you’ll often find yourself in group settings or paired up with others. Take advantage of these moments to strike up conversations and bond with your fellow adventurers. Share your excitement, exchange tips and techniques, and revel in the shared experience of pushing your limits.


Adventure sports often require teamwork and cooperation, providing an excellent opportunity to connect with others. Whether you’re navigating a challenging trail or supporting each other during a whitewater rafting trip, these shared moments can create strong bonds and lasting friendships.


During breaks or after the activity, engage in conversation with your fellow adventurers. Swap stories about your travel experiences, share recommendations for other exciting activities to try, or simply enjoy each other’s company while taking in the breathtaking scenery.


Adventure sports and outdoor activities are also popular among local communities in many destinations. Engaging in these activities can expose you to the local culture and allow you to connect with locals who share a passion for outdoor adventures. Embrace the opportunity to learn from them, exchange knowledge, and immerse yourself in their way of life.


It’s important to prioritize safety when engaging in outdoor activities or adventure sports. Choose reputable operators, follow the guidance of experienced guides, and ensure you have the necessary skills and equipment for the activity. Participating in these activities with a group or under professional supervision not only enhances safety but also provides an avenue for meeting like-minded individuals.


Whether you’re embarking on a solo adventure or joining a group, outdoor activities and adventure sports offer a platform for connection and camaraderie. Embrace the thrill of the activity while fostering friendships and creating unforgettable memories with fellow adventure enthusiasts.



Traveling offers the perfect opportunity to not only explore new destinations but also to meet new people and create lasting connections. Whether you’re a solo traveler or traveling with friends, there are numerous ways to meet fellow adventurers and locals who can enhance your travel experience.


From socializing in hostels and joining group tours to attending local events and using social media platforms, the possibilities for meeting new people while traveling are endless. Engaging in volunteer programs, exploring shared spaces, participating in language exchange programs, and connecting with other travelers in public transportation are also effective means of building connections and forming friendships.


Throughout your journey, it’s important to be open-minded, approachable, and respectful. Embrace the diversity of cultures and backgrounds you encounter, engage in meaningful conversations, and be willing to step out of your comfort zone. Remember to prioritize your safety and use common sense when interacting with strangers.


The connections you make while traveling can greatly enhance your travel experiences. Beyond just being a source of companionship, meeting new people can expand your perspective, introduce you to different cultures, and create networks of friends from around the world.


So, whether you’re sharing stories in a hostel lounge, exploring a new city with fellow travelers, or immersing yourself in local events and activities, embrace the opportunities to connect with others. The memories and friendships you create along the way will enrich your travel journey and create experiences that will last a lifetime.