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  • "Best way to meet people on the road. "

Kim Dayman

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Canada

Best way to meet people on the road.

Planning for a two month trip this winter and it'll be the first time I have ever travelled solo. I'm a bit of an introvert and have booked a mixture of private guesthouses and hostels to get both experiences. I'm not too concerned about meeting new people when in a hostel but I'm anticipating there will be times where I'll get a bit lonely, so I'm wondering - what are great places to meet others that are open/friendly and looking to socialize? Side note: I'm married and not looking for dating scenes where people want to get picked-up! 

As a Canadian we're known for talking about our jobs and the weather as a default but in your experience are there any great topics that are universal relatable when starting a conversation with a stranger in a new country?

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12 Answers

  • Jessica Rhynalds

    top answer by

    Wine Tasting, beer tasting, meet ups, yoga in the park

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  • Joshua Moody-Arndt

    answered by

    Hi Kim,

    Hostels can be great if chosen carefully. I'd go for places that have a mix private and dorm rooms as well as a bar or restaurant that attracts locals. You're more likely to meet experienced travelers looking for more than just a party scene and locals interested in meeting visitors.

    AirBnB is great meeting local people. You can message back and forth with various hosts to find out if they are interested in socializing. This can be an incredible experience if you find the right person.

    I'd also agree that tours can be good. The more specialized the better. You will have at least one local guide with similar interests ready to offer advice and travelers with similar interests on the tour with you.

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    • Kim D.

      Kim D.

      Thanks Joshua, your tips are great. I'm hoping to find some great local guides - they really can make all the difference! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Maddie Sheard

    answered by

    Walking tours are a neat way to meet other travellers and the locals running them are always friendly :)

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    • Kim D.

      Kim D.

      Yes! I've been on tours before but usually while travelling with family but I can see how they'd be great opportunity for those who are solo - thanks :) · (0 likelikes)

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  • Sindi Stack

    answered by

    You did not say where your travels will be taking you so it is difficult to answer. But you must be a brave person if you plan to stay in a hostel. I travel alone most of the time but stay in hotels where I feel safe and can lock my room and not have my chattel stolen by other guests. I think you will find a better class of people at hotels as I have seen some of the types that stay in hostels and they are kind of seedy.

    I guess I would just go to some HH's and talk to people at the bar. I do that locally and meet some very interesting people. Just be sure to stick to the better areas when you do. Avoid areas with bad reps.

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    • Kim D.

      Kim D.

      Thanks Sindi. I'll be travelling around SE Asia and the hostels I have booked are all upscale with me paying extra for a private room (I couldn't handle a dorm!) I'll make sure to check the hosts on which are unsavoury areas to avoid them. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Lisa Mann

    answered by

    You might try couchsurfers.com. You don't have to couchsurf to use it. Many people listed are happy to just meet for coffee or show travelers around. Search for people who live in the in the areas you're visiting who have similar interests as you, and contact them to see if they're interested in meeting for coffee, or a hike or (insert interest here) or just giving you some advice on what there is to see and do in their home town.

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    • Kim D.

      Kim D.

      Thanks Lisa, I didn't realize you could use their site if you weren't actually staying with people but it's a great option to connect with people who are already accustomed to hosting travellers , cheers! · (0 likelikes)

    • Tianna R.

      Tianna R.

      I travel solo most of the time and use Couchsurfing not for a place to stay but as a way to meet people. Many cities have a weekly meeting at a bar or restaurant. I also like to make a general post on the board to introduce myself and see who wants to hang out. Then I respond back to the people who seem like a good fit. · (1 likelikes)

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  • claus andersen

    answered by

    Joining some walking or cycling tours of the places you visit can be a good casual way to meet people without having to do it in a dating scene and you will at the same time go some cool sightseeing.

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    • Kim D.

      Kim D.

      Yes I think tours are definitely the way to go. Bars are always a common place to meet people but as a single female I'm always aware of not wanting to come off as I'm looking to meet men. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Dilawar Tiwana

    answered by

    I travel a lot, some time solo, I find humor, light hearted humor appropriate to the scence is one good way to make acquaintances and to be at easy with strangers.

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  • Tiffany Weber

    answered by

    It really depends on where you're going, but in countries like Italy and Spain with a strong coffee culture, coffee shops are a great place to strike up a conversation. Often, a coffee shop has a long bar where people sit (sort of like our N.American bars) and chat. I've met some great people just pulling up a bar stool and ordering a coffee. People talk about the weather, news - you can ask about local things, what do see/where to go. You can even ask simple language questions - like how to say ____. In my experience, people are generally friendly and willing to help.

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    • Kim D.

      Kim D.

      Ahh coffee an international unifier :) I'm always up for a cup and hunting down a good cafe, thanks for the tip! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Seoulsfgirl :)

    answered first by

    Thanks for your travel advice to Toronto last time. We loved the people and the food. Maybe it was just me, but I have never seen more interracial couples in my whole life (which was great to see!!!). Anyways I just spent 7 weeks traveling all over. I was alone parts of the time and with different people along the way during certain portions. Anyways in my past experience traveling alone there are two ways to make friends easily. You could ask for advice about their locale or give them a compliment about their area. They always seem to like hearing from the perspective of outsiders. Another way that has helped me make lots of friends in other places is to request a language exchange if that applies to where you are going. You did not clarify your travel destination though. If you are smile, are friendly, and ask questions you should be fine. I used to use sites like meetup, or language exchange sites in advance of travel, but i don't think that those kinds of sites are popular these days. Maybe I am wrong though. Last but not least, bars can also be a good place to meet someone too, especially in the english bars of foreign countries. Good luck with your trip!

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    • Kim D.

      Kim D.

      Thanks Shelley! Glad to hear you enjoyed Toronto, and yes I am so spoiled by the cultural diversity here and how commonplace it is. I'm only usually aware of how different it can be when I travel and am struck by how separate racial groups are elsewhere. Asking for advice is a great ice breaker and I will definitely be looking for a lot of it on the road. Currently setting off for SE Asia which sounds notoriously friendly to begin with and am excited to greet strangers with a smile :) · (0 likelikes)

    • Seoulsfgirl :.

      Seoulsfgirl :.

      Which countries will you be going to? I have been to many countries in Asia...In Asia, they will be very friendly with you as they want to practice their English badly and are curious about Canada. You could easily make $50 an hour teaching/conversing in English, so if you want a language exchange you will have to be strict to enforce that to get your practice in too. Just don't drink anything from a stranger or that you did not watch being made-I know someone who had a bad experience with that in Japan. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Andy Huang

    Trippy Ambassadors are elite members of the community, hand picked to help you travel better! Interested? E-mail us at ambassadors@trippy.com.

    answered by

    I find that while on the road, talking about food is the easiest way to start a fun conversation. Everyone eats and everyone is happy to share their favorite places.

    Other than that I usually go to bars/restaurants and start conversation with waiters and bartenders. Not only do they have some of the best information about the local area, they are often fun to talk to. On more than one occasion I've been invited to hangout with the waitstaff after hours.

    Since you're a bit of an introvert, I think group activities is a good way to meet people. That includes walking tours, group bar crawls, and skills workshops. You can easily find meetups or events on couchsurfing that may strike your fancy. Chances are, you'll meet many others who are just like you.

    Remember, most of the time everyone else is feeling exactly the way you are. You both want someone to approach you to start a conversation. Why not be the one who starts the conversation?

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    • Kim D.

      Kim D.

      Thanks Andy <3 Who doesn't like food?! Eating is a love of mine and you're right asking people for a good place to eat is a great icebreaker! And spot on about waiters/bartenders - I don't know why I didn't think about that. Outgoing, friendly and helpful they're great people to talk to. · (1 likelikes)

    • Andy H.

      Andy H.

      Yup, good friends are often made over great food! · (1 likelikes)

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  • Brenda Burns

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    answered by

    You can usually find an irish pub wherever you are....I not kidding. When I get lonely during solo trips, I always find a pub and sit at the bar. Works every time. Also, giant smile and attempts at the local language are always an ice breaker.

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  • Random Walker

    answered by

    Listening more than talking works for me...

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    • Kim D.

      Kim D.

      Always a good tip :) I'm not so concerned once I've met people, it's more breaking the ice with minimal awkwardness. · (0 likelikes)

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