Move over, Tinder! Young, independent, and carefree millennials don’t need you anymore. Okay, who are we kidding? No one’s giving up their swiping abilities just yet.
But, there is a new kind of dating that makes Tinder look boring, outdated, and archaic. So, what is it? It’s travel dating and it’s actually been around for a while.
If you often get bit by the travel bug but you get a little lonely sometimes, travel dating may be perfect for you. In this guide, we’ll go over what it is, why it could work for you, and tips for doing it right.
What Is Travel Dating?
You may not believe this, but travel dating isn’t what you think it is. You may think to your favorite Instagram travel bloggers. Travel dating isn’t even close to those couples.
Think of it more of a travel hookup. Kind of like Tinder, but instead of swiping and matching with someone near you, you scroll through profiles and match with people via their trips.
Are you confused? Don’t be.
If you sign up for a travel dating app, you can sort through available singles’ upcoming trips. Or, one of the longest-running travel dating sites, Miss Travel, allows you to browse profiles and invite someone along with you.
Now you want to know: Why would anyone do this?
It’s a nice break from traditional dating. It’s also great for people who travel often for business or pleasure.
And let’s face it, sometimes we just want to get away and can’t find anyone to go with us. Or, we don’t want anyone from our life tagging along.
Tips for Travel Dating
Now that you know what it is and why singles all over the globe are doing it, let’s talk about doing it the right way. Part of that involves safety. After all, you will go on your first date with a total stranger in a land that may be unfamiliar.
1. Using Travel Dating Apps
There are two schools of thoughts when it comes to travel dating apps.
The first is that you can use a traditional dating app after you arrive at your destination. This allows you to settle in and see the sights you want to see uninterrupted.
2. Make Sure You Vet Your Potential Date
You definitely want to make sure the person you’re going out with is who they say they are. Many dating apps and sites are vetting their users a little better these days, so they’ll do some of this for you.
Go ahead and do your traditional googling. Search for your match on social media, too to learn a little more about them. They may post things that don’t fall in line with your beliefs or that you’re not interested in.
If you decide to move forward, you should also talk to them via FaceTime or text. This will help you know their profile pic is real and make it less awkward when you go on your first date.
Another safety tip is letting someone you know and trust back home in on your overseas dating plan. If you’re embarrassed, you’ll need to get over it.
If you’re the local sharing a date with a traveler, consider bringing along a practical, yet thoughtful gift. Your date is the one that’s in a new place and may feel a little awkward as is.
Bringing along a suitable gift will help ease the tension. Read more about some gift ideas for the frequent traveler you’re meeting up with.
3. Meet Face-to-Face in Daylight
This advice is universal. If you’ve never met the person you’re going out with, you should plan a daytime date. Another tip is to meet somewhere in public.
While there aren’t many reports of travel dating going wrong, it can happen. Starting your adventure in daylight will make you feel more comfortable. But, you’ll also get to see more too!
If it works out and you decide the two of you would like to continue your date a little longer, go for it! If they’re a local, they may know of some great dinner spots you didn’t know existed.
4. Bring Along Something to Share
Keep in mind that you don’t know much about the person you’re meeting. You may only meet with them to kill time or for a vacation hookup only.
You might not want to get too deep into their life’s history or their future plans. It’s understandable. So, instead of painfully wading through the pre-hookup waters, bring along a deck of cards.
You can play a fun drinking game or teach the person a card game they didn’t know. They may even teach you something.
5. Don’t Drink Too Much
On that note, don’t drink too much. Know your limit, then cut it in half.
This ensures you’re always in the right state of mind while you’re on your date. You’re less likely to lower your inhibitions, which can lead you into trouble. Keep your wits about you and use your head at all times.
6. Have a Backup Plan
If at any time you feel something isn’t right or that you’re not enjoying yourself, have a backup plan to get out of the situation. This is easier said and done when you’re in a strange city where you might not speak the language.
Talk to your hotel concierge before you leave. Google where your country’s consulate before your date. Map out an emergency plan and include info for the local police and hospitals.
Again, if you tell someone back home ahead of time, they’ll be able to help make some phone calls on your behalf. Make sure you turn on your phone’s GPS so you’re easy to find.
7. Think About Your Next Plan
Say the opposite happens and you’re enjoying yourself a little too much. Hey, that’s okay, too!
Keep in mind that the person you’re on a date with may not live in your state, province, or even your country. Consider if you’re willing to enter a long-distance relationship with them.
If not, there are other options. You could be travel friends (with benefits) and make overseas dates regular occurrences.
This Is Your Trip, Enjoy It
Above all, whether you plan your date ahead of time or you find someone local, travel dating is about you enjoying yourself. If you’re safe about it and use your head, it can lead to amazing experiences.
But, if you ever feel like something isn’t right or the person you’re out with isn’t who they said they were, get away from them at all costs. No matter how much you love adventure, don’t put yourself in harm’s way to have one.
For more tips on daily life, check out more articles on our blog.