How to Make Friends While Traveling
Making friends is hard; making friends on vacation is harder.
The window of opportunity to create relationships is that much smaller when you’re vacationing for a few days. As if making friends needed any more added pressure.
Unless you’re staying in a hostel, making connections isn’t as simple as it was when you traveled in your early 20’s, which is probably for the best after that awful horror movie was filmed.
If you’ve booked a nice and private Air BNB or a swanky resort, you’re going to have to get out there to meet people because you can’t just hang out in the lobby waiting for a group of people to walk up and invite you out. You need to get out there and make friends, and more importantly, you need to have a plan on how to make friends before you even step foot on the plane.
Lucky for you, the staff at The Social Man has got your back. We want you to have a blast on your vacation and leave the place with lots of memories and even more friends.
Make friends before you get to your destination
Too many people use the airport lounge and the plane ride as a chance to nap – or at least pretend to nap so that an awkward conversation with a stranger doesn’t occur. Because you’re a social man, though, you know better. Use that valuable waiting time as a chance to chat up people around you. After all, you’re all headed to the same destination.
Choose bar tops over tables when you head out for dinner and drinks
Sure, that table in the dark corner of the bar looks cozy, but it’s really not. It’s just your insecurities trying to trick you into avoiding people. The bar top is your best bet for meeting people as it’s the watering hole, the entire reason people are at the bar in the first place.
Follow the odd number rule: 1,3,5
You don’t want to try to join a group that’s too large because it’s easy to glue yourself to the sides of a few people, which can be awkward for the group. Making friends with couples is pretty tricky, too, since it’s hard to tell when they want time alone and when they want to be social. A good rule of thumb for making friends on vacation is to stick to the odds: 1, 3, and 5.
Stay away from obvious conversation topics
What do you do?
Where are you from?
How do you like it here?
These are all boring conversation topics to stay away from. People are on vacation to escape the mundane, so don’t drag them down right away with boring dialogues. Instead, ask questions that will make them excited to open up about their vacation.
Have you taken any fun tours you’d recommend?
Wow, that cocktail looks insane! What’s in it? I might have to get one.
I’m digging this bar. Do you know of any others nearby as cool as this one?
Do as the tourists do
You’re on vacation to have fun, so take tours that look fun to you. Why tours have gotten a bad wrap in recent years is beyond this author; I secretly blame authentic travel blogs. Forget the whole authentic travel slogan. If a tour looks like fun, take it. They’re a great way to meet tons of new people.
Another bonus is that these tours are fairly easy to sign up for, even on the day of the event. When you’re meeting people, see if they’d like to join you the next day for a tour, or ask if you can tag along to one they’re thinking of doing. Sounds like a scary invitation, but the odds of rejection are actually much slimmer while on vacation. Vacationing is probably where the expression “the more, the merrier” came about.
What are some of your favorite conversation starters that have worked while on vacation?
When traveling alone, what’s your favorite way to meet people?
Did the movie Hostel scare you away from them forever?