Boi From Troy

The Best Ways To Make Friends On A Gap Year

If you’re taking your first year abroad, and you’re venturing solo, you may have some reservations about feeling alone. Traveling solo means that you’ll have the opportunity to visit countries on your own schedule when you want. However, it’s all the better if you get to enjoy the experience in good company. While you’re in foreign lands, you may just make some friends for life.

Keep the dormitory ground rules

Living out of a backpack often means living frugally, which means your hard-saved cash probably won’t be spent on hotels and luxurious dwellings. Hostels are a great way to make friends as it forces you to co-exist with people you don’t know: and the best way to do this is to befriend your roommates. However, if you want to keep your new-found friendships rosy-looking, here are a few things to bear in mind while sharing a dorm:

  • Keep the noise down after lights out
  • No late night whispering while people are sleeping
  • Don’t bring a party in without everyone’s permission
  • Don’t hog the bathroom
  • Keep your mess to a minimum

Go on a group tour

Group tours not only offer an opportunity to see aspects of a country’s culture that you may not have considered but also make friends with those who are also coming along for the ride. For example, bonding over making Thai food, a difficult hiking path or the vibrant atmosphere in a street festival will bring you together in a unique way that you’ll find nowhere else. Finding group trips and days out at is a great way to meet like-minded people who are looking to share some experiences.

Stay with a host family

Host families play a huge role in many backpackers’ experiences abroad. Not only is the accommodation on offer usually cheaper, but it gives you the opportunity to understand a country at a local level. Chatting and sharing experiences with your host family may not only allow you to understand them more on a personal level but also make you some life-long friends. Just like staying in a dorm, however, there are some ground rules and advice to bear in mind. Keeping your room tidy and offering to help out around the house are just two ways to ensure that you’re a peaceful and enjoyable house guest.

Work while you’re away

Hopefully, you’ll have stockpiled plenty of money to survive on while away on a gap year; while you may be relatively free in terms of commitments, there’s no real replacement for being free to eat and drink as you please. However, you may want to make a little extra money while you’re out there. Taking up a legal, regular-paying job while you’re abroad will give you some valuable experience. It will also help you to create a bond with local employees and visitors to your place of work.

Before you set off by yourself, you’ll want to do plenty of research into what country you’re visiting, and how to stay safe there. Making plenty of friends while you’re abroad will not only make for happy memories, but a better understanding of where to go, and where not to go.