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Want to Meet New Friends on Vacation?

Chatting up fellow vacationers is easier than you think!

When we’re preparing and daydreaming about our approaching vacation, many of us look forward to the people we’ll meet. Whether it’s with hotel staff members, the local vendors or our fellow-tourists, mingling is a natural part of vacationing. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that some of the greatest people you’ve met in your life, you’ve met on vacation. Am I right?

For many people, though, it can be a daunting task to approach  complete strangers, let alone try to buddy up to them. Let’s face it – rejection can be painful. But it’s actually not that hard to chummy up to your fellow-vacationers, as long as you know how, when, and where to do it.

The art of meeting people and making friends

the bar is a great place to chat it upThe bar – Plop yourself down at the main bar and stay a while. This is probably the easiest place to break the ice. First, if they’re at the bar, they’re probably feelin’ happy and relaxed – and willing to chat. Strike a conversation with those who appear to be sticking around for a bit. Anything could be a topic of conversation: from tasty cocktails to the entertaining bar staff. So easy.

Group dinners – Choose a group dining option, like a Teppanyaki restaurant, at least once on your vacation. Think about it. What’s the one thing people do while waiting for their meal at a restaurant? Talk! And if you’ve ordered several courses, that translates into a lot of talking, probably with a lot of different people.

GoGirlfriend Hot tip – Don’t be the first to sit at a table. Wait until the others are seated, then choose the seat next to someone you think you’ll click with.

Poolside – Beach chairs around the pool are usually only a few inches apart, so you can’t help but chat up the person sitting next to you. A simple hello as you sit down usually does the trick.

The hot tub – Most hot tubs at hotels/resorts hold a max of 8-10 people, so chances are you’ll be shoulder to shoulder with strangers. It’s not a blast if the person next to you isn’t your cup of tea, but it is if you’re surrounded by a fun crowd with lots to talk about.

The shuttle bus – Think about how happy you are when you finally reach vacationland. By the time you get through customs and fetch your luggage, you’re ready to get the party started. So are all those other people sharing the airport shuttle. Everyone’s in the talking mood, so seize the opportunity to meet folks.

join in group activitiesOn and off resort activities – Taking part in group activities is one of the easiest ways to meet people. Often these activities require you to work (or play) closely with other people (think beach volleyball), which means there’s a strong chance you’ll get a few new buds out of the deal. The activities are always a great conversation starter the next day as well. Here’s how it usually goes “Oh, hey, you were on my volleyball team yesterday! That was a blast!” Next thing you know you’re all out having dinner and exchanging Twitter handles.

Take their Picture – You see it all the time – a couple taking a picture of each other or a solo traveler trying to take a selfie with the beach in the background. Run up and offer to take their picture with their camera. You’ll be the nicest person they’ve met all day.

Ask a question – If you’re trying to find something on the resort or figure out whether the resort offers a particular service, ask a fellow-vacationer sitting at the bar or around the pool. Chances are they’ll be happy to help. And when you see them later, you can tell them you found what you were looking for and thank them for the help. It’s an easy way to get a conversation going.

Give compliments – Don’t be afraid to tell the person next to you at the bar that you like her hat or sunglasses (or whatever it is you like). People love being complimented and will want to chat with the person giving the compliments.

People to avoid on vacation…

If you don’t take rejection very well, there are people you should probably just leave alone, because chances are that’s what they want you to do.

  • ask to take their photoLovey-dovey-all-the-time-couples – You’ll see these people huddled together in a corner of the bar, gazing into each other’s eyes. It’s clear that nobody else in the room matters to them, so there’s no need to approach.
  • Large groups – They’re there for a family reunion with 40 people they haven’t seen in years. Chances are they’re doing everything in their power to spend as much time as possible with each other. The last thing they’re usually looking for is to make time for new friends.
  • Painfully shy people – These people are almost impossible to get out of their shells. You see them sitting alone, avoiding eye contact or engagement with anyone around them. Approaching them could make for an uncomfortable and awkward few minutes.
  • The messy drunks – What’s the point – they probably won’t make a lick of sense and they definitely won’t remember even meeting you.

Approaching your fellow-vacationers can be a big gamble, I get that – you never know if they’ll love you or hate you (and vice versa). But if it means you get a life-long friend out of the deal, it’s a gamble worth taking, every time!

Love to travel? Love to meet new friends? Share your secrets with us below in the comments or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. We'd love to connect with YOU!


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