Meeting Other Travellers and Locals

Meeting the Locals

Firstly while most solo travellers are looking for other like-minded people don't under-estimate the locals! In many cases you will meet locals that are like-minded, that do like to travel themselves and that are overwhelmingly friendly!

For instance on a recent trip to Bali I got to know the local guys that were on the beach who rented out surfboards. They were very friendly and I could hang out with them all day and have a great time (even when I was n't giving them any business).

Through these guys I got to meet quite a few travellers which was totally cool so I could n't lose! I even got invited back to one of their homes and met family and friends and ate traditional Bali food.

I guess the trick is not to be afraid of locals. It does not matter which type of country you are in. All countries have their good and not so good citizens!

Meeting Other Travelers

Meeting other traveller is easy when you are on the road. This is particularly the case if you are travelling on your own. There are many tips to help you meet more people and broaden the travel experience.

Here is a list of tips that will ensure you are never lonely on the road.

Travel to places off the beaten track away from busy backpacking centres

This may sound perverse but it works. Believe me the Koh Sarn Road in Bangkok can be one of the hardest places to meet other travellers, particularly if you are a little bit shy.

From experience travelling to remote far off places will increase the chances of meeting other people and striking up a conversation. If you have made the effort to get to some far flung village in Western Thailand and you meet another traveller you are much more likely to communicate with them than a group of backpackers on Koh Phi Phi!

If you are naturally very outgoing then of course you are likely to be meeting people all over the place, but if you are a little bit shy then get off that well trodden road!

When going out to dine look for other single people

Okay this might not be so easy as it sounds. Most people fear that the person sitting on their own in merely waiting for their partner. The worst thing that can happen is that they will say 'I am sorry but I am just dining with my friend tonight'. End of story! Big deal.

Simply approach someone who is on their own (you can spot them especially if they have a book on the table or are looking around a lot) and ask them if they would n't mind you joining them.

There is more on this subject in the Dining Alone section.

Wear or carry something that might be a conversation starter.

This is simple but can be highly effective. If you have been to an interesting place then go against your natural instinct and buy that 'I've been there T-shirt'. It might not be considered that cool at home but when you are travelling it can be seen as an invite to a conversation.

If you are into a particular activity then wear something that says 'I love to Dive, Surf, Trek, Go on cookery classes' or anything!

Try and stay in dormitory style or shared accommodation

This has got to be the single most effective way of meeting other travellers. When you arrive in a new dorm and you choose your bunk it is inevitable that you will talk to any other persons in the room, however shy you or they are. Trust us on this one.

The one downside to this method is that is many countries, particularly the cheaper nations, finding dorms can be hard as most travellers can afford their own room in guesthouses or hotels. On the positive side most accommodation had communal areas to meet others.

Smile at other Backpackers and look happy!!!

Yes another simple method. Smile! People are attracted to smiles and fun and you are far more likely to be approached if you radiate fun! If you are not happy when you are travelling then when will you be happy!

Sit around looking miserable and lonely and that is how you will end up.

Offer help and assistance to other travellers.

If you see a traveller struggling with a map, a disgruntled taxi driver or a persistent tout then offer help. If you can speak the local language this will be even better.

Don't be afraid to ask questions if you are stuck

This can be another great way of striking up a conversation with a fellow traveller. If you are lost or wondering where the best hostel is to stay then simply ask.

Other travellers are more than likely happy to help and pass on their advice.

Look out for trips and short package deals

Ok so you're suppose to be an independent traveller but short multi day packages are a great way to meet other people. Three day sailing trips around the Whitsundays in Australia, island hopping in Indonesia and multi day hiking in Nepal are all good examples of these organised tours.

Similarly organised day trips can be a great way to meet other travellers.

Try a new travel related activity

Have you ever wanted to learn how to cook Bali style? Fancy learning to surf on a surf safari trip along the west coast of Australia? Always wanted to learn to dive in the Red Sea and become a certified scuba diver?

By learning a new activity while you are away you are bound meet loads of other traveller who are likely to have the same interests as you. Not only do you get to meet other people you can eventually return home with a new skill or qualification.

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