News & Blogs

5 Mar

How to Meet Other Travellers and Backpackers While Travelling

Meeting interesting people and making new friends is half the fun of travelling. So in this post, we’re going to learn how to meet other travellers and backpackers while travelling.

So let’s get started!

Stay at a Hostel

Ella-PhotoframeAnnnnnd it comes as no surprise that the good folk at Hangover Hostels are going to recommend that you stay at a hostel, right?

But seriously, we’re approaching this purely from the perspective of what this post is about, and we have to admit that, hands down, this is the BEST way to meet other travellers and backpackers!

Think about it, when you’re staying at a place that’s going to have other people just like you staying and passing through, you’re bound to bump into one another and make friends. It’s inevitable.

Most hostels including ours also arrange lots of special activities just to help guests socialise and get to know each other. Whether it’s Games Night or a Movie Night, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to mingle with fellow travellers. And that’s not counting breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because, if you choose to dine in, then that’s another three opportunities each day to hang with your travel buds.

So with hostels, you just can’t lose!

And just so you know, you don’t have to bunk down in a dorm, just because you’re staying at a hostel. With most hostels, including ours, you can rent a private room if you want your own space. But you can still benefit from the awesome social scene that hostels have to offer.

There’s an App for it

Yes, you read that correctly. Actually, there’s not just one but many! (But not all have good reviews, so just check before you buy or download.)

And there’s seems to be something to suit everyone’s needs and style.

So whether you’r looking for somebody to dine with, or you’re a solo female traveller who wants to meet other female travellers, there’s an app that’s perfect for you!

Just browse through the following list and see what takes your fancy (but remember to check out the reviews from the App Store or Google Play before you download):

We hope to write a post with more detailed information on these apps sometime soon. But until then, if you’re extra-keen on travel-buddy apps and would like to learn more, check out this article from The Jakarta Post and this video from Hostel World.

Take a Class

There’s probably no better way to meet people with similar interests than taking a class together. They’re all taking the same class because they’re interested in the same things, right?

So take your pick and get learning! From surfing, to yoga to cooking local dishes (all of which we offer at our hostels), you’ll find something that’s just right for you… and you’ll meet others who like it too!

Book a Trip or an Excursion

Hitting the road on your ownsome can be a fun kind of challenge. Plus, it gives you total freedom in deciding when to set off, where to go and how long to stay there etc.

But there’s still a lot to be said for doing it with a group. It’s not only a great way to get yourself thrown in with a bunch of new people, but it also takes a lot of the planning and responsibility off your shoulders, so you can just relax and enjoy the moment.

And there’s no denying that some experiences are simply better when you have someone to share them with. So whether it’s a boat ride to explore a lagoon, a safari to see wildlife, or a hike to watch the sunrise over Ella, just give it a shot!


People have been leveraging the phenomenal power of Facebook to build communities and travellers are no exception. Simply pick out your favourite from the many groups and pages devoted to travel (these include groups related to ‘Singles Travel’, ‘Single Women who Solo Travel’ and “Southeast Asia Travel’ etc.) and you’ll be connecting in no time!

Just a few words of caution though:

  1. Take it slow and get to know people a little before you dive in and exchange personal information.
  2. For the initial meetings, consider meeting in a public place, during daytime, and perhaps as part of a group (with some other people attending as well).
  3. Remember to read and follow the guidelines for each group and page, so you stay on the right side of the admins!

Meet Up

This platform offers similar possibilities to Facebook in terms of offering groups based on interests and location etc. But unlike Facebook, it is devoted to helping people meet in person and is therefore well worth considering.

A quick look at their ‘Travel‘ tab indicates that there are over 11 million people and 8000 groups related to the subject! Plus, they also have an app.

Volunteer Your Time

While day trips and classes are a great way to meet people, sometimes, it takes more than one meeting for us to get to know someone well enough to figure out if we’d like to spend more time with them.

Volunteering is the perfect solution in these situations, because it brings you in contact with the same people over an extended period of time.

The opportunities for volunteering while travelling are numerous and cover interests such as teaching, farming and wildlife conservation, just to name a few.

So, no matter what your skill-set and interests might be, there’s bound to be something that will suit you.

Please note that you will usually not receive payment (and in most cases, your visa will not permit paid work as a tourist or traveller) but you can expect to receive food and even accommodation.

So give volunteering a chance. You’ll not only be making new friends, but you’ll be learning new skills, helping local communities and even saving money on food and accommodation!

If you’re interested in learning more about the different types of volunteering opportunities that are available out there, this post from is a good place to start: 2020 Best Volunteer Abroad Programs, Organizations, & Projects.

And this post from is full of great information on how to go ahead and plan and apply for these opportunities: How to Ethically Volunteer Anywhere in the World.

Final Thoughts

That concludes this post and we hope that it gave you some ideas and inspiration on how to meet backpackers and other travellers while travelling.

Keeping with the present theme, you may enjoy this post from Hostel World about meeting people while travelling solo:

11 Fun & Easy Ways To Meet People While Travelling Solo

As always, if you enjoyed reading our post, then please share far and wide.

If you’re planning a trip to Sri Lanka, then you’ll certainly find lots of useful information in some of our other posts:

Don’t forget to sign up to our email newsletter for more posts like this and for travel tips and special offers from us.

*You’ll also receive a copy of our ‘Backpacker’s Guide to Sri Lanka’ when you sign up.

Sign up

Leave a Reply