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How to make friends for life Whilst Backpacking

By Jessica Green

Posted: 18th July 2016 08:37

Backpacking with friends can be a daunting prospect in itself, wondering if you’ll be able to survive each other’s company for months on end - but backpacking alone can seem like the scariest prospect to many young gap year travellers and students, often diswaying people from taking the leap to travel. However it needn’t be that way, backpacking your way through the continents is the best way to meet like-minded travelers who all share the same life ethos and goals. Not all young travelers are openly confident and have the ability to make friends on the spot, so its understandable why the thought of being pushed into such situations can cause a great deal of stress.

Here our are top tips for making friends on your backpacking trip and making the most of the adventure of your life:

Hostelling

Any experienced backpacker will tell you that this is the best way to make friends whilst traveling, so it is important to select the best kind of hostel – look at sites such as hostelworld.com and hostelbookers.com. Although you might be diswayed from these kinds of hostels (after all sometimes you just want a good night’s sleep) always opt for a hostel which promotes itself as a fun, sociable environment. Remember to check the hostel reviews before booking ANYTHING – these will give you an idea of the kinds of travellers who are passing through, and how easy solo backpackers found it to make friends there. Hostels are great because they usually throw their own bar crawls and social events on a daily basis during high season. Their environments are relaxed and filled with travelers from all over the globe. One evening you could be dining out with two Peruvians and an Australian beach bum – the next you could be going to a local bar with someone you know through a friend of a friend who went to the school five minutes down the road from you without ever previously stumbling into them – you’ll find it’s a small world after all.

Free walking tours and organized excursions

Another great way to connect with like minded people, and as you’ll be spending usually an entire afternoon with roughly 20 people, it’s almost impossible to stay silent. Get chatting and be interested in their views - you’re on a walking tour of Berlin’s history – you already have more in common than you know.

Bar Crawls

Another great way to explore the culture of the place you are in and an even better way to make new friends – merriment and mingling go hand in hand here. Bar Crawls are usually very cheap with the promise of a successful night out.  Even if you aren’t the biggest drinking enthusiast – this is one of the easiest ways to make new friends abroad.

Trains, planes and automobiles

Not an obvious choice, but always remember to consider your surroundings. When you are travelling – whether that be interrailing through Europe or taking a boat around Thailand’s islands or enduring a long bus journey down Australia’s East Coast – there are always like minded people to be found. Striking up a conversation on public transport abroad is much easier than you think especially when you’re going to the same destination!

Online Forums

Finally, try joining online travel forums; student chatrooms, blogs etc. to find solo and group travelers alike who will be in the same place and the same time as yourself – get chatting and organize a get together for when you are there. It will establish immediate connections and will provide you a sense of relief knowing that you have made friends before evening leaving for the airport!