Expanding your people network is important especially if you have your own business. It may open doors for you to find good customers, fresh suppliers, or more distributors. Those who are employees can still reap the benefits of a good network. It allows them to have out-of-the-box perspectives from their career path.
Yes, vacations are recreational time. However, if a good networking event occurs, it would be a waste to let it pass. Sometimes, a spontaneous connection can bring wonders.
- Organize yourself including your address book
It all starts with you. Ensure that you don’t look chaotic as you hand out your passport, payments, and other papers. First impressions may truly last.
It would be beneficial as well if you have a contact manager like Shared Contacts for Gmail wherein you can sort your contact list according to categories that suit you. This app lets you create folders or labels so you can sort your contacts accordingly. Plus, it lets you have notes written about the contact.
This feature will give you an easier recall as to whom the contact number belongs to. It is helpful this way especially if you have met many people.
- Take the road not taken
Explore beyond the popular tourist spots. When visiting a famous building in the city, try walking a few blocks from it. You may also see the next town on that sought-after beach and discover why it’s not crowded.
Delving into the unknown can result in boredom or delight. Nevertheless, it gives you a sense of exploration and satisfying curiosity. This brings about novel ideas or new angles on things. Plus, people outside tourist areas are often more ‘real’ as they are not trained in customer service. Genuine connections are more probable to emerge in these areas.
- Spread the word to your social media
Meet your online friends who live in the area. Physical interactions pave the way for developing deeper relationships. It also fosters nice memories together.
Also, maybe some of your virtual friends are traveling in the area at the same time. It will be an effortless meetup should your itinerary permit.
- Dress accordingly
You may try to blend in with the locals. This will avoid you getting the tourist price on things. Moreover, you appear more approachable this way rather than dressing like someone filming their music video.
Also, don your best travel clothes. Aside from the comfort, it leaves a good impression.
Travel clothes usually have fabrics that are lightweight and easy to pack. A well-traveled person can also spot another well-traveled person through clothing. Connections are easily made from these instances.
- Say basic phrases in the local language
Often, locals appreciate it when they hear you speak their language. Your accent may be funny but at least you made someone smile. You are more likely to be remembered this way rather than the next tourist.
Speaking common phrases like hello, how much, and thank you in their native tongue sends a friendly atmosphere, says Ef.com. This may pave the way to better deals (an extra mango) or good discounts. Sometimes, it may also pave the way to a hearty story.
- Listen more and talk less
Speaking of a hearty story, it can be better if you get to hear them more than you share them. You already know your story. Hearing more about the local tales enriches your mind, according to ResearchGate. Not many locals will blog about their amazing experiences.
They might just point you to a hidden gem in their town. The locals may also share the best restaurant in town that does not pay social media influencers for advertising. You may just be up for a good treat.
- Read local posters
Savor the locality. Try to read the posted bills on walls and even lamp posts. Most may be in the local language you can’t understand. But if the picture or the layout interests you, an online translator has your back.
You might discover a friendly party or social networking event in the area. It can also be a new bar opening which would offer good discounts. A little deviation from your itinerary can add some thrill to your travels.
- Have a business card handy
Calling cards are classic. It’s convenient to simply hand it out to a new contact rather than grab a pen and paper. Not everyone has their phone with them all the time anyways. Moreover, it gives the other party a physical reminder of your person.
On the other hand, there are mobile phone apps that let you store business cards easily. It needs you to only scan the card and it will automatically save the contact information on your phone. This type of app saves you time manually inputting digits into your smartphone.
- Don’t haggle but don’t be too benevolent
You don’t grow your network by being cheap. Asking for ridiculous discounts gives you a bad image. It would be nice to scout the prices locally to have a general idea of the cost. Some tourists compare prices from different cities or worse, countries. This will not foster any friendship. Besides, if you are polite and friendly, those discounts may be given willingly.
Consequently, know when you are being milked. Some vendors offer their prices steeper to tourists compared to locals. Hence, it is indeed advisable to walk around checking the prices. Rip-offs are not fun. You don’t need to be friendly to those doing that to you either.
- Don’t plan to network
You went for a vacation and that’s what you should get. Unless you intend to go to those fancy hotels to meet potential business partners. No need to be on a constant watch out for connections.
Nonetheless, when the opportunity knocks, better be ready to let him in. Meeting an interesting person doesn’t happen every day. You should not be on the lookout but rather on quick response to a favorable situation of expanding your network.