When you’re on the road, it can be easy to stick to the same old topics of conversation. Where are you from? Where are you going? How long have you been traveling? But after a while, even the most dedicated traveler can start to feel like they’re running out of things to say. If you find yourself in need of some fresh conversation starters, here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. How many times have you gotten lost while traveling?
It’s safe to say that most travelers have gotten lost at some point while on the road. Whether you’re wandering around an unfamiliar city or taking a wrong turn on a hike, getting lost can sometimes be an inevitable part of travel. But getting lost can also be an opportunity for adventure. If you’ve ever gotten turned around while traveling, share your story with your conversation partner.
2. Are you good at reading maps?
It is widely assumed that men and women use different map-reading strategies.
What are your thoughts?
Most travelers would say that they are good at reading maps – or, at the very least, that they are competent in doing so. You might get some surprises as well.
However, there is some debate surrounding whether men and women use different map-reading strategies. This conversation topic can lead to some interesting insights into how your conversation partner views gender roles.
Do they think men and women are equally capable of reading maps? Or do they think that one gender is better at it than the other?
3. What is your opinion of hitch-hiking?
Have you done it?
Do you think it’s safe?
Hitch-hiking is a controversial topic, to say the least. Some people swear by it as a cheap and easy way to travel, while others view it as dangerous and foolhardy.
Where does your conversation partner stand on the issue? Have they ever hitch-hiked before? If so, what was their experience like? Both of you might be intrigued to hear each other’s versions.
4. What unusual method of transport would you most like to try out?
How do you feel about driverless cars?
There are all sorts of interesting and innovative methods of transport out there, from Toboggan run to driverless cars. What’s the most unusual method of transport that your conversation partner would like to try out?
How do they feel about driverless cars? Are they excited about the possibility of them becoming a reality? Or do they think that they’re a recipe for disaster?
5. Have you ever had a medical emergency while traveling?
How did you manage it?
No one likes to think about getting sick or injured while they’re on vacation, but unfortunately, it can happen. If you’ve ever had a medical emergency while traveling, share your story with your conversation partner.
How did you manage it? What steps did you take to ensure that you received the treatment you needed?
Here’s how I survived a medical emergency in Nigeria.
6. During your travels, have you ever been robbed or attempted to be robbed?
Robbery is, unfortunately, a risk that all travelers face. If you’ve ever been the victim of a robbery – or an attempted robbery – while traveling, share your story with your conversation partner or hear his story.
What happened? How did you react? What steps did you take to ensure your safety?
7. What are your favorite ways to spend time during long layovers?
If you’ve ever had a long layover, then you know that it can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you have some extra time to explore the city and on the other hand, you’re stuck in an airport.
If your conversation partner has ever had a long layover, ask him about his favorite ways to spend the time. Does he like to explore the airport and all of its amenities? Or does he prefer to find a quiet corner and catch up on some sleep?
This is what I did during a 10-hour layover in Hong Kong.
8. How do you cope with jet lag?
Jet lag is a common problem for travelers, especially those who cross time zones frequently. If you’ve ever suffered from jet lag, share your story with your conversation partner.
How do you cope with it? Do you have any tips or tricks that you would like to share?
9. Have you taken a trip for a digital detox?
In our increasingly digital world, more and more people are taking trips for the express purpose of disconnecting from technology. If you’ve ever taken a digital detox trip, share your experience with your conversation partner or ask for theirs.
What was it like? How did you feel during and after the trip? Would you recommend it to others?
This is what I experienced on a digital detox trip.
10. What are your thoughts on “voluntourism”?
Volunteering in developing countries – commonly known as voluntourism – is a controversial subject. Some people believe that it’s a great way to give back to communities in need, while others argue that it does more harm than good.
Where does your conversation partner stand on the issue? Have they ever been on a voluntourism trip before? If so, what was their experience like?
11. What is your experience traveling to third-world countries?
Have you ever traveled to a third-world country? If so, what was your experience like? Share your story with your conversation partner or ask for theirs.
What are some of the most challenging aspects of traveling to third-world countries? How do you think travelers can best prepare for these challenges?
Here are my DOs and DONTs when traveling to 3rd world countries.
12. Are you adventurous to try local street food while traveling?
It is an easy and favorite topic to start a conversation. Food is one of the best ways to experience a new culture. When you travel, do you like to try local street food? Or do you stick to familiar foods that you know you’ll like?
Share your experiences with your conversation partner. What are some of your favorite street foods that you’ve tried while traveling?
Here’s what I learned about traditional local cuisine.
13. Did you get traffic tickets while driving abroad?
If you’ve ever gotten a traffic ticket while driving in a foreign country, share your story with your conversation partner. This topic interests many travelers, and they want to hear from the horse’s mouth.
What happened? How did you react? What steps did you take?
14. Have you ever been a victim of credit card fraud when traveling?
Credit card fraud is a common problem for travelers. If you’ve ever been a victim of credit card fraud, share your story with your conversation partner.
What happened? How did you manage? What steps did you take to resolve the issue?
15. Do you search for a cheap flight deal where you get free access to a transit city?
When searching for flights, do you ever take advantage of daylong layovers in transit cities? If so, share your experiences with your conversation partner. What are some of the best transit cities you’ve visited?
What are some of the best things to do in transit cities? How do you make the most of your layover?
Find out how to visit The Great Wall of China for free.
16. Would you like to go on an adventure holiday in a far-flung location?
If you could go on any kind of adventure holiday, what would it be? Share your dream adventure with your conversation partner.
What are some of the most important things to consider when planning an adventure holiday? What are some of the best adventure destinations in the world?
My kayaking experience in one of the most remote mangrove forests.
17. Do you like to take pictures while traveling or do you prefer to live in the moment?
This is one more easy conversation starter topic.
Some people like to document their travels through photos and social media, while others prefer to live in the moment and savor their experiences without recording them.
Where does your conversation partner stand on this issue? Do they take a lot of pictures while traveling? If so, do they ever feel like they’re missing out on the experience by being too focused on capturing it?
18. What is the longest road trip you have taken in another country?
Have you ever taken a long road trip in another country? If so, share your story with your conversation partner. What are some of the best things about road trips? What are some of the challenges?
One of my longest road trips was 2,000 miles (3,200 km) in Alaska.
19. What language do you wish you could speak fluently?
This conversation topic can lead to some interesting places.
Is your conversation partner fluent in any languages other than their native tongue? If so, which ones? What are the benefits of being bilingual or multilingual?
Do they have any interest in learning additional languages? If so, which ones? What are some of the challenges of learning a new language?
20. Do you usually try to bring back interesting souvenirs from your holidays?
What are your favorites?
This is a great conversation topic for travelers. It’s always interesting to see what kinds of souvenirs people bring back from their travels.
Do your conversation partner’s souvenirs have any meaning or significance or are they just things that they thought were cool? What are some of the most unique or interesting souvenirs they’ve brought back from their travels?
Conversation topics for travelers can be both interesting and informative. By discussing a variety of topics, travelers can learn about the world around them while also getting to know their traveling companions better. This list of 20 conversation starters should help get your travel conversations going.
What are you most looking forward to on your trip? Have you ever been to a place that you found particularly interesting? Share some of your favorite travel memories.
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