Traveling or exploring new destinations can offer countless opportunities to meet like-minded adventurers and create meaningful experiences. Especially if you’re traveling or backpacking in Asia which is relatively safe, budget-friendly, vibrant, and has plenty of decent infrastructures for backpackers, these factors can greatly enhance your exposure to new cultures and travel experiences. So, why not explore other countries with ease whilst creating worthwhile connections?
In that sense, Lub d comes up with 10 effective ways to socialize, network, and create memorable travel experiences with fellow travelers in Asia!
1. Staying at Hostels
If you’re on your solo travel journey or simply just embarking on a backpacking adventure in foreign countries, ditch hotels and stay in hostels instead! Unlike its stigma, staying in backpackers hostel is not just about sleeping in a small bunk bed. Instead, hostels are more like a socialized hub for travelers who are looking for a reasonable choice of accommodation whilst getting to make connections with other travelers.
Hotels are actually a popular choice for budget-conscious backpackers and often serve as hubs for meeting new friends. Hostels are actually a place where travelers from all walks of life look for opportunities to make a new connection, and exchange tips or insider knowledge which would make travel experiences a lot easier.
Travelers who choose to stay in a hostel are already keen to make new friends and look for group activities to join which would be super easy to meet new friends from around the world. Hostels these days also offer private rooms for those who have a higher budget or travel with friends or as a couple. Even though you’re someone who prefers privacy but still would love to effortlessly socialize or someone who wouldn’t mind sharing a bed with strangers, hostels are definitely your answer.
Nonetheless, the most awesome aspect of hostels is that many of the reputable hostels organize events such as parties, movie nights, pub crawls, and communal dinners, plus friendly and “guest experience” staff who will make sure that you will get to effortlessly make new friends, socialize and have a blast time while staying there.
Lub d got you covered with both private and dorm rooms for your specific preferences with the variety of activities and tours available. From joining a pool party in the most vibrant area of Phuket: Patong Beach to attending a cooking class in Siem Reap, Lub d got all types of events for everyone!
2. Hostel Social Events and Activities Are The EASIEST Way To Make New Friends
Many hostels have their own social events and activities on a weekly basis like game nights, language exchanges, cooking classes, and more to mention. These activities create a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere and are essentially an icebreaker for anyone who is looking for new friends and connections.
On the other hand, it also encourages travelers to learn about the local culture in a more immersive and engaging way. And let’s not forget about the ultimate social event: the legendary pub crawl. If you join a pub crawl organized by your hostel, it will definitely guarantee a blast night out and fun memory. Some hostels have been hosting legendary pub crawls where everyone is down for a good time, so, don’t ever sleep on joining pub crawls!
3. Joining Backpacker Facebook Group
Online platforms like Facebook and Meetup offer a wide range of backpacker groups dedicated to specific countries or regions in Asia. These groups allow you to connect with fellow travelers, exchange tips, and even organize meetups during your journey.
By joining these backpackers Asia or backpackers South East Asia Facebook groups, you gain access to a vibrant community of travelers eager to share their experiences, insider tips, and practical advice such as where is the best place to find delicious street food. Whether you’re seeking recommendations for the best-hidden gems, looking for travel buddies to join you on epic adventures, or simply craving some travel-related chitchat, we recommend you join the groups before you begin traveling abroad.
If you’re planning to travel to Koh Samui and looking for a social accommodation where you can easily connect with other like-minded travelers, join Lub d Koh Samui Whatsapp group to connect with other backpackers, chitchat, event updates, and many more.
4. Joining Group Tours
We totally suggest you join a group tour or a day trip while traveling, especially if you travel solo. As some of you might already feel comfortable and liberated with the experience of solo traveling — doing things or going anywhere you want on your own terms, joining a controlled group tour might be something you intuitively want to steer away from. However, it is one of the simplest and effortless ways to make new friends while traveling abroad.
On the other hand, the tour options are plenty — organized island-hopping trips, hiking, temple tours, and more to mention which allow you to personalize the activities to match your preferences.
On these day trips or organized tours, you get to spend an entire day with fellow travelers, providing ample opportunities to make connections. It’s a fantastic way to meet new people and create friendships as you would have a whole day to do things together.
The best part is, you’re in a secure environment with a guide and a group, ensuring your safety throughout the experience. So, don’t hesitate to give it a go and embark on an organized day trip to enhance your journey and create wonderful memories.
5. Finding Travel Companions Online
While the concept of solo travel is already liberating and empowering, getting to make new connections with ease with the help of today’s applications and websites significantly double the joy and fun of traveling in foreign countries. Apps like Hostelworld, Eatwith, and Couchsurfing conveniently and effortlessly connect travelers seeking companions for specific trips or destinations.
This application offers an amazing opportunity to connect with people who share the most delightful passion in the world: FOOD! This app is usable in 100 countries and it offers a unique and streamlined experience for those who have a passion for cooking and eating nice food. It’s super easy to use Eatwith you can just go on the mobile app or the website, choose the city you’re visiting, and explore the food experiences on offer.
Hostelworld is considered one of the backpacker essentials due to the platform being super easy to use among travelers who look for both accommodations and activities, specifically for those who do backpacking.
It has its social feature called Solo System—a range of features, including a mobile app, that allows guests to engage with fellow travelers at different stages of their booking and during their trip The “See Who’s Going” feature, available on both the Hostelworld website and app allows you to view other travelers who have booked the same hostel and destination around the same time. This enables guests to identify potential companions.
Additionally, the Solo System’s “Traveler Profiles” feature allows customers to learn more about their fellow guests through the public profile so that they get to decide whether they would like to hang out with any specific travelers based on their preferences.
Couchsurfing is a unique application. It is where the locals sign up if they are cool with offering a place at their house for strangers or travelers — for free! However, whether you’re looking for a free stay or you’re staying in a hostel, the app can still be used for other useful functions, for instance, connecting with other backpackers by joining the planned activities that they would share on the application.
Tinder can be more than just one of the dating apps. You can use it to find friends or connect with the locals. The key is how you create your bio. By updating your description and clearly mentioning that you’re not seeking hookups, but rather hoping to find individuals who can show you around the city or hang out for a casual afternoon, you set the right expectations.
By using Tinder in this way, you open up opportunities to meet and connect with locals or fellow travelers who are looking for the same thing. It is one of the most-used applications, hence, a chance to meet similar travelers like yourself is also higher.
6. Networking at Traveler Hotspots
Well-known cafes, bars, and restaurants are some of the great places to meet travelers or locals. Many cafes in Asia offer a friendly and suitable atmosphere for travelers and expats with so-called digital nomad lifestyles by, for example, offering free internet, co-working space, etc. This can be one of the ideal atmospheres where you can start a conversation or simply can just ask some questions that can be useful for your journey.
Nonetheless, most of the hostel spaces and common areas are designed to be an area where people can hang out, do fun activities, or simply just lounging. These are one of the great hotspots for you to start saying hi to people who stop by. Some hostels also have a bar area where you can sit on a bar stool where you can have an opportunity to say hi to anyone walking past or even get to be friends with the staff.
7. Learning the Local Language If You Want to Make New Local Friends
Traveling in foreign countries can already be simple with just English and a bit of creative sign language. However, learning some basic phrases in the local language can make a world of difference! Knowing local languages, even though it is just a simple word or phrase, allows you to connect with people beyond the usual English-speaking backpacker circle and offers a fresh perspective on your destination.
8. Volunteering or Participating in Work Exchanges
Many countries in Asia offer a wide range of job opportunities for foreigners looking to work and contribute to local communities while backpacking. Volunteering is a popular choice as it allows travelers to engage in meaningful experiences while becoming friends with other fellow volunteers. There are various volunteering programs available throughout Asia, catering to different interests and causes.
From environmental conservation projects in Thailand to becoming an English teacher in rural schools in Cambodia, the options are countless. These volunteer experiences not only provide a chance to immerse yourself in local cultures but also offer a fulfilling way to give back to the communities you visit. The job openings can be searched from both official and unofficial sites. For instance, you can also look up jobs in Asia for foreigners from Facebook groups or Whatsapp groups, or can simply sign up on the official sites that are specifically for volunteer jobs.
BONUS: Sharing Your Travel Experiences on Social Media
With the rise of Instagram Reels, TikTok, YouTube, and various other social media platforms, documenting your travels and sharing tips online not only allows you to showcase your experiences but also serves as an effective means to connect with like-minded individuals while traveling abroad.
By creating and sharing engaging content, you can organically reach other users who share similar interests, sparking conversations and forming new friendships along the way. Social media platforms offer a great opportunity to reach fellow travelers, locals, and even potential travel friends. Therefore, don’t ever underestimate the power of sharing your insights or any form of content on social media as these channels can be one of the best ways for others to get to know you and can potentially turn virtual connections into real-life ones.
Making new friends along the way of your journey is definitely something meaningful that should be cherished. Especially these days in which friendship and connection could never be this easy to make when we have the aids from technology and information that can be easily accessed through the internet, it is a great opportunity to explore the world while meeting new faces and potential life-long friends. We hope that these tips would help and hope that you could make new meaningful connections. Happy backpacking everyone.