Thank you for your post and raising what I think is an important issue. Can I add another suggestion that I have tried and found works well? If you’re stuck somewhere away over a weekend, search out the local English church. Whether one is a Christian or not, there’ll always be a warm welcome, some resident expats to meet, and usually a nice cup of tea and some cake afterwards.
My travels now are mainly around Europe, but I’ve had great fun and made good friends all over. Hope your forthcoming trips go well.