kissing couple hostel backpacking

There's something about backpacking that sets us free. Could it be the endless flow of booze? The fact that we have little responsibilities to wake up to each morning? The distance from any social barriers that we may have had at home or the very fact that we meet new and interesting people from all over the world each and every day.

According to a study by Hostelbookers 41% of female and 52% of male backpackers engaged in a one night stand whilst on their travels. 9.6% of these frisky travellers slept with 5 or more people during their journey and 17% (the lucky devils) had a threesome whilst on the road. And to throw in another useful statistic, 17.4% of backpackers slept with a hostel staff member (...guilty)!

Although strikingly impressive, we aim to improve these luck rates. You have just checked into a new hostel and spotted someone in the Bar that tickles your fancy. Here's what you do...

1. Approach the Group

People are naturally attracted to others who are a part of a social circle. At times, people can also feel a little intimidated if approached by a stranger when on their own. Grab yourself a drink and approach the group with a friendly, open ended question such as "Hey, did you guys head to the beach today?" or "hi, have you guys been here long? What is the bar usually like on a (insert day of the week) night?" Backpackers are a friendly breed and should take you in as one of their own. Soon enough you will have learnt everybody's name, where they are from and sussed out any romantic connections that you should steer clear from.

2. Eye Contact

So now you know the name of your new found crush and her / his group of friends have accepted you into the circle. Eye Contact is one of the most powerful aspects of communication. As the group engages in conversation, ensure that you are holding steady eye contact with the person who is speaking. This will show that you are interested and as people like to be heard, you will be automatically included in the conversation. At times, glance at your crush while others are speaking to imply that you are interested in his / her reaction to the story. The key here is to move your glance slowly. This will make you appear interested and insightful.

3. Mirroring

This hook up technique has been proven over and over again. By mirroring a person's stance, that person automatically feels more comfortable and relaxed around you. Does your crush have their arms crossed? Cross your arms. Are they leaning on their left leg? Lean on your right leg. Holding a drink in their right hand? Hold a drink in your left hand. Obviously the primary rule here it to not be too obvious. If the person changes their stance, change yours subtly and with time.

4. Validate Them

People like to feel that what they have to say is worthwhile. As your new group of friends exchange stories, don't forget to throw in a few positive validations "that story was hilarious," "I can't believe you did that! You've got some balls," "you're hair still looks amazing."

5. Break free every so often

There's nothing more awkward than that one backpacker whom you have just met that never fails to leave your side. Now that your crush knows that you exist, show your independence and confidence by removing yourself from the group every so often. Whether it be to talk to some others for half an hour, to grab some food or duck out for a cheeky cigarette. The key? Enjoy your night, talk to others and eventually as the night prevails, you will spot an opportunity to approach your crush when he or she is alone.

6. Get them talking about themselves

Now that you have your crush all to yourself, get the conversation rolling by asking he or she questions about themselves. Where are they from? How long have they been here for? What is their favourite colour? What is their opinion on where you should go next? Show that you value their thoughts and suggestions. Naturally that person will begin to open up to you.

7. Have FUN!

Now that you've gotten your crush to open up to you, ditch the awkwardness and focus on having a good time. Ask your crush if he or she would like to see your Robot moves (before buying a Jagerbomb for the two of you of course), and the rest of the night should take care of itself...

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