5 Easy Ways to Make Friends While Traveling

Traveling is fun, it’s exciting, it fills us with anticipation, and it opens up the world to us in new ways. Yet the opposite can also be true –  it can be lonely, difficult, and our world can suddenly become much smaller when we leave our friends and families behind. But you can avoid this scenario by making new friends during your travels – whether you are traveling for pleasure or you are embarking on a study abroad experience – and you’ll get so much more out of your travels if you do. Here are our 5 top tips to help you make friends while you’re abroad.


TIP #1: Use your English

It’s a simple point but also a significant one. English is the most widely spoken international language, so it’s the best and easiest way to communicate with people from other parts of the world. The better your English is, the easier your travels will be; not just for making friends, but for your whole travel experience. Why not top up your English with one of our courses to get the best improvement?

make friends talking
Students getting to know each other at our English school in Torquay, UK


Tip #2: Start with something you both can talk about

Ever wanted to start a conversation with the stranger next to you on a long flight but didn’t? Even though you have hours and hours together, you’re only inches apart, and you’re both going to the same destination. It’s the same for most of us, but really it shouldn’t be that difficult. Ask them why they’re going and if they’ve been before. In any situation when you meet someone new, talk about something that interests you and that you might have in common, such as favorite films or music.


Tip #3: Join in activities

If you think about how you met your friends in your home country, it probably involved you doing something together – school, a club, work. The same rules apply when traveling. If you’re staying in a hostel, most of them offer excursions and activities for you to join. Similarly, Kaplan schools have a social program to make it easy for you to make friends during your time abroad. You may even make some friends during classes or in your residence at the end of the day.

make friends activities
Students exploring the local wildlife at our English school in Auckland, New Zealand


Tip #4: Embrace the differences

Humans are tribal – we tend to stick to people who are similar to us, whether that’s in origin, appearance, language, beliefs and values, whatever it is. But traveling is about new and different experiences, so be open-minded about the people you meet. The diversity of people and culture is what makes places like New York, London, and Sydney so exciting to visit.


Tip #5: Don’t think you’re alone

Just about every other traveler you encounter will know the feeling of unfamiliarity that you’re experiencing, and it’s for that reason that making friends while traveling can be much easier than you might think. It’s not just you, so connecting with people isn’t difficult.

make friends together
Students from our English school in Washington, DC visiting a famous landmark together


Have you got any top tips for meeting friends while traveling? We want to hear them, so add your comments below or share them on social media.

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