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How to Meet Locals and Find Friends When Travelling

Whether travelling solo or with friends, you may want to expand your social reach for a more authentic experience. Locals can always recommend things to do, but you’ll make stronger memories if you actually participate in the things they do and frequent the places they go.

Unfortunately, meeting people is not easy—introducing yourself can feel awkward and inappropriate.  If you’re not a social butterfly, then try these introverted ways to spread your wings.

Use Technology

Apps make connecting with new people simple. From online dating like Tinder to event-based communities like, you can find locals to date or hang out with little effort.

If you’d prefer not to talk with complete strangers, Huffington Post suggests a clever way to leverage your existing Facebook contacts:

  • Search Facebook using the phrase “My friends who live in…”
  • Search Facebook using the phrase “Friends of my friends who live in…”

Once you’ve shortlisted the people you know or share a friend with, you can post your travel plans and mention their names in the message. This notifies them that you’ll be in the area and would like to meet.

Volunteer in Groups and Organizations

Helping others can make for a rewarding travel experience. Most volunteer groups welcome new members, so look up a few organizations and pick one that resonates with you. United under a single mission, you will find many of the other volunteers like-minded.

Attend Local Festivals and Events

While you can hunt for city-run activities, you should narrow your search parameters to a specific niche interest. There will be a smaller turnout, but the people there will all have things in common. For example, if you’re into live music, then look for a festival in your favourite genre. Likewise, if you’re an active individual, see if there are marathons happening or sporting events.