If you’re like me, you probably do a lot of solo traveling. I like having the freedom to do whatever I want and change my itinerary at a moment’s notice. While spending time with friends and family is important too, I think it’s so much more rewarding to explore a new place by myself. When I feel lonely, I try to befriend the locals. Unfortunately, although most people have been nothing but kind, I’ve met a few people who were untrustworthy and had arrest records. So, what are the best and safest ways to make friends while you’re traveling?
Strike Up Conversation
Have you ever been at a bar by yourself and noticed someone else who was alone, too? Next time, see if you can talk to them. I’ve made so many friends just from starting casual conversations at bars and train stations. Keep in mind that some people might just want to be left alone, so don’t pressure them for conversation if they’re not interested. Also, be sure to get to really know the other person before making additional plans with them. You don’t know if they’re a criminal with arrest records or not. One good way to find out is by taking down their information and looking them up online. You can then decide if you’d like to see them again or not.
Do Your Research
Airbnb is quickly becoming the most popular site for travel accommodations. Their listings tend to be cheaper than hotels and offer a more personal experience. The risk comes with the hosts that manage each property. They’re regular people just like you and me, and that means that you need to see if your Airbnb host is trustworthy. Some hosts may have arrest records or an extensive criminal past. Researching the person you’ve booked your stay with will help you stay safe and learn more about them. Once you know that you’ll be safe, you can let your guard down a bit and maybe even spend a little time with your host. They might have some great stories and restaurant recommendations that you’d love.
Go To Local Restaurants And Stores
America has such a widespread influence that other countries have some of our national chains. Among these are McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. I understand that you may want the comforts of home every so often, but try to keep it to a minimum. Eating at local restaurants and buying souvenirs from small, local stores will really give you the full experience. Depending on what country you’re in, locals can usually recognize foreigners and might want to try to get to know you. Even if you don’t speak the language, you might have some great interactions that you’ll remember for years to come.
I swear by these tips every time I travel, so I hope they work for you too! Making new friends is fun, but you need to know how to protect yourself, too. Have any questions? Contact me and I’ll get back to you soon.