To some people it comes naturally, to others it’s an anxiety-inducing activity but whatever the case may be be for you, there’s a skill to making friends on holiday. We’ve reached out to our savvy community of travellers over 60 and asked what their favourite tips for meeting people while on the road are. Whether you’re going on a week-long cruise or spending six months driving around Australia, here are some of the best ways to make friends on holiday.
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1. A smile will do the drink
It’s incredible how profound a simple smile can be, and that’s exactly what Robyn from Ayr found during her caravanning trips across the country. “Just a smile or a wave can be the beginning of a conversation,” the recent retiree said. “You don’t have to know or remember names, just be prepared to socialise. It’s amazing the people we have met and had conversations with.”
2. A drink can break the ice
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There’s nothing like a glass of wine and the promise of conversation to win some potential friends over, at least that’s what grey nomad Malcolm has found during his trips. “We spend a lot of time now holidaying in caravan parks (had previously been travelling Australia for 13 years in a caravan) [and] all you need is a glass of something in your hand and you will end up in a conversation very easily,” he says.
3. Share your story
Sometimes, sharing a little bit about your own life and your own story can be enough for someone else to open up to you. “Take an interest in others and share photos of your kids/grandkids as well as travel stories,” says regular traveller Jennifer. “Everyone loves showing off their family or adventures and if someone takes an interest, then there’s an instant bridge to cross and stay a while!”
Read more: Meet the over-60 travellers who love backpacking
4. Go it alone
Seeing someone travelling alone makes them all the more approachable, says traveller Julie. “I have met some adorable young and older people in my travels overseas [as a solo traveller]. Seems I have one of those ‘come talk to me’ faces,” she says. Travel at 60 reader Robyn agrees, adding: “The reason I love traveling alone is meeting people who wouldn’t talk to you if you were not alone.”
Do you have any other tips to make friends on holiday? Let us know in the comments section below.