Getting out and about and networking while traveling can be a difficult social situation to navigate. Whether you’re traveling solo for the first time or on one of our Pangea Dreams Retreats, here are our top tips for networking when traveling.
Leave your room
It might sound simple but getting the courage to leave your hostel, Airbnb, or hotel room and join a public space, can be pretty scary.
But you’re not going to get to know anyone if you don’t leave the space you’re in and join one with a few more people.
If you’re in a hostel or hotel, there is normally an area such as a bar or lounge where you can meet people. Try sitting somewhere where there is space for someone to join you, or if you’re feeling brave, ask to join a group of people. This usually works better in hostels as you’ll probably find a lot of other solo travellers.
If I’ve checked in somewhere and can’t find anyone about, I usually head to the pool and get chatting to people that way. This is a great place to get social as you can swim around and meet people.
Use social media
With a phone, you can look up local meetups, join traveller Facebook groups or even look up areas around you that look cool on Instagram.
If you want to network and meet like-minded people, you just have to be proactive about it.
There are groups all over Facebook for digital nomads, solo travelers, bloggers or people who just want to try something new for the day and hire a car together.
You can have a quick scroll, find something happening nearby and join in. It’s going to sound odd, and even feel odd to start conversations with total strangers but the more you do it, the more you get used to it.
You never know who you might meet at these events and who knows, you might even find a travel buddy for future trips.
Fake it til you make it
Not everyone feels comfortable introducing themselves to a total stranger, but you shouldn’t let that hold you back from exploring and meeting new people.
What I feel works in a new social situation, is faking that you’re really happy and confident, until you actually feel like you are.
Put a smile on your face, walk with confidence and head over to a group of people and start chatting. You may not feel confident inside, but pretty soon you’ll start to relax and wonder what you were ever worried about.
Don’t let fear hold you back
Inevitably, you might not always find someone new to chat to who you get along with. It’s a part of life that you are challenged and I think it’s how you face those challenges that determine how you look at a situation.
If you go to a networking event and don’t talk to anyone, no-one talks to you, and you leave feeling defeated then, of course, the next event is going to be harder because you’ve already built up that fear of networking at such events.
Tell yourself that at the next event, you’re going to talk to at least three new people, then five at the next event and so on.
It doesn’t mean you’re going to leave each event feeling like you’ve met a whole new group of friends, but it does mean you can leave with a sense of achievement.
Find the other networking newbie
Chances are, you will not be the only person who is not feeling super confident about networking. Look around the room and you’ll notice someone else standing on their own, maybe scrolling through Facebook to distract themselves or looking around just like you.
If you find that person, you can share your mutual discomfort and instead, can chat with each other!
Take your cards
If you’re growing a business or interested in moving somewhere new and want to build a network, it can be helpful to give out your card and take other’s information too.
You never know who you might meet, and having someone’s card means that you have the option to contact them again.
If you’re a blogger, this is a big tip as I know so many events that say, don’t forget to bring your cards. You might meet new brands or people who you might want to work with in the future.
If you have cards, you have the option available to share your information.
Try our top tips for networking when traveling on your next solo trip or at the next event you attend and let us know how they work!
You can find our retreats here and network with women from all over the world.