Are you bored of traveling alone in a new destination? Are you too shy to start a conversation with a foreigner? Are you always enthusiastic to experience new cultures and connect with people abroad? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, this article is your ultimate solution to your next awesome meet-up with international locals and travelers during your future trip. Here is how to find them:
Have a local plan your entire trip
There are so many tours offered by a bunch of travel agencies out there to choose from. If you don’t like walking around a new country looking like a tourist, and would rather experience local life, book your trip at Triip.me in any of the 86 countries listed. All sorts of tours, ranging from sightseeing to culinary and street-art tours, are designed by local experts. Before deciding to book any tour, you can view the photos of places in the itinerary and read reviews from previous participating travelers. As it is more difficult to get around on your own in Asia than other continents without knowing the local language and transportation system, I highly recommend taking this kind of tour in Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, for example.
Enjoy food at a local's home
For foodies, you can now enjoy dining with locals in their homes by reserving a seat at a local’s table or booking a chef for your own private event at BookALokal. The site connects you with unique local hosts and venues, which are perfect for large groups. You will be hosted in local homes or creative venues all around the city including clubs, restaurants or even vineyards. You’ll have an exquisite menu with great food for cheaper than what you’ll find at a restaurant, plus you’ll get great travel tips from a local!. The site users are mostly located in America and Europe.
Stay with hosts who can spend time with you
One of the most popular ways for experienced travelers to meet locals is probably using Couchsurfing and Airbnb. With these sites you can have the experience of living with a local who most likely will share the same interests, meals and quality conversation with you. A great advantage of staying at a local’s house is that you can have the similar convenience and feeling of staying at home. Keep in mind to read the hosts’ profiles and reviews carefully before you choose to stay with anyone.
Join free walking tours
Joining free walking tours is a fun, affordable and convenient way to see a city, making it easy to explore a new city without getting lost. It is also a reliable way to meet fellow travelers from all over the world — for free. Most likely you will end up meeting solo travelers on the tour. Ask them a question and start a conversation simply by asking where they are from and how long they will stay here. Many times I have made new friends on these tours and had them join me for dinner or few drinks afterwards. Free walking tours are very popular in many destinations around Europe. Some of the operators I recommend are New Europe Sandemans, Can You Handle It, and Balkan Bites — one of the first free food tours in Europe, taking place in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Join pub crawls and beer/wine tasting events in hostels
If you have no budget for luxurious hotels and do not mind sleeping in casual dorm beds, go for the hostel experience, like me. Hostels rooms and common hang out spaces are such great locations to meet with like-minded travelers of all kinds, from adventurous explorers to receptionists who have lived all around the world. Many hostels organize dinners, beer or wine tasting events (especially in Germany and Belgium), walking tours, day-cruises (in Greece), day trips and pub-crawls for guests.
There are also many other ways to meet people when traveling such as using car sharing services, Facebook groups for travelers and so on. Staying connected with local people is one of the best ways to experience a new culture and make the best memories from your journey.
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