When I travel, I always want to get a deep understanding of the country I visit by choosing the cultural side of things over the touristic one.
One of the main ways to immerse in the cultural pool of a place is to meet the locals. Well it can get difficult depending on the person’s personality or the country visited but it’s definitely not impossible!
Here are some tips I use during my trips to meet and interact with people:
6 ways to meet the locals while travelling
I’m not going to lie, having a nice hotel room with a good view may be a real pleasure for some, but in the other hand, you miss the opportunity to live in a local environment and sometimes inside local households.
There are many tools to do so but my favorite is to rent through Airbnb. It not only makes me save money for the trip but also gives me the opportunity to stay with amazing people (Welcoming families, artists…etc.) My previous bookings were definitely a priceless experience!
Don’t worry, just go out of your comfort zone and try. You will be amazed by the opportunities you will get: living in a local ambiance or an exotic one and even in the heart of touristic areas.
Airbnb is so far my favorite as I got amazing experiences through it.
Hostels, female friendly hostels (female-only dorms), CouchSurfing.
I always check for communities that share the same interests as me and check their next gathering or event in my calendar: be it a gallery opening, a concert or stands. It’s always easier to talk with people sharing a common interest as it gives you plenty of common subjects to discuss.
I look for themed coffee shops and restaurants as I like to discover some nice or weird ideas but not only, there are many who are about sociable gatherings (Languages coffee shop, discussions about music, art, sports…) a friendly way that can give your social network some diversity!
I also look for activities websites to meet new people and learn new things (Some cool stuff from learning how to fish, doing Kayaking, learning salsa, introducing a language or having an English tea party…etc.) People organize different types of activities so never forget to check these out from local websites.
You can choose and travel specifically for a mission, or just offer your services directly to organizations once there.
And you know what; just talk to the person next to you, in a train, a bus, a park. Engage into conversations and you never know who your next good friend will be.