How to make friends when backpacking

Backpacking is akin to an adventure. And some turn out to be the best adventures of your life, with memories and stories to last for years.

An integral part of these memories are the friends you make them with and we at Travset can testify that there is no mode of travel that will help you get friends than backpacking. There are however a few tried and tested methods that we use to meet and make new friends on the go.

Hostel dorms

With travelers from around the world sleeping in beds next and atop you, hostel dorms are the most natural places to meet people and make new friends. Get started with asking where your bunkmates are from and we guarantee you’ll be sucked into an all-night chat about their past travels and destinations.

Once you acclimated to your bunkmates, head over to the hostel bar for an even wider range of travelers from all over the world. This is the epicenter of the hostel and we’ve never met a hostel bar we haven’t liked!

Keep an open mind and open up!

Traveling is an adventure and backpacking even more so! So, let go of your reservations, keep an open mind and start talking to as many people as you can while at it. This we’ve found is the best way to meet and learn from your travels.

A good place to strike conversations up is coffee shops, bars, bookshops and basically anywhere with a large gathering of people. You’d be surprised at what others have to teach you!

Share your food or ask for recommendations

There is nothing that brings people closer than bonding over their shared love for trying out new food. This serves as a great opening for new conversations!

Use Couchsurfing

Fast gaining a name for itself as the best way to meet locals and experience the culture from a grassroots level. Couchsurfing is a must-try when backpacking.

Do however keep in mind that Couchsurfing is not only for free accommodation but for an exchange of experiences and cultures between you and your host.

Go on a pub crawl

We will let the definition of a pub crawl do the talking-

A pub crawl is visiting a range of pubs with a group, trying the drinks on offer and making some friends over a couple of pints.

Go on a walking tour

Most cities offer free walking tours to tourists and all those who are new and would like to know about the locality. These we have found is another excellent way to meet and make friends as you are already united by a love for travel and curiosity for all that is new.

Partake in group activities/excursions

Most hostels or hotels arrange discounted group activities or excursions for their guests to enjoy the local area. We recommend investing in these as they are one of the best means of meeting and making friends!

Find a rideshare

Ridesharing is a new concept but one that is being taken up pretty fast due to its easy and outgoing nature. It’s almost impossible to not make friends with someone you are riding with for a couple of hours or even days!

Say hello

Say hello to all those you meet, whether it be in a plane, bus, train, tuk-tuk or in the back of a truck carrying chickens. There is nothing that brings travelers closer than bonding over their mutual love of travel and a ride in the same direction.

“There are no strangers, only friends you have not met yet.” – W.B. Yeats