Traveling solo isn’t everyone’s favorite pastime, but it can be a great opportunity to meet someone special. Whether it be an old fling you’ve reconnected with while on vacation, or a new platonic friend to explore the city with.
If you’re planning to swipe on dating apps while traveling, here are some tips to get you started:
1. Get a head start
Traveling can be a great way to meet people. But if you’re looking for love (or even just a hook-up) while on the road, getting a head start can be crucial.
Try using dating apps, such as Tinder or Bumble, while in a new place. Be sure to state that you’re only interested in platonic dates, and be honest about your intentions.
Also, consider participating in walking tours or other cheap group activities, where you’ll be more likely to meet someone who shares your interests. Be sure to leave a note in your hotel room listing your meeting spot, time and contact details, as well as money and knowledge of local transportation so you can get back to your lodging safely.
Or try an app such as TourBar, which connects travelers and locals ahead of time to plan activities and share meals together.
2. Meet locals
It is possible to meet locals when travelling, whether you want platonic friendships, a date, or even a cross-cultural romance. But the best approach depends on where you’re going, and what you’re looking for.
Tinder is a great way to connect with locals, particularly if you’ve optimized your profile to make it clear that you’re interested in a friend, not just a hookup. Similarly, group language classes are an easy place to meet locals, and many cities have Couchsurfing meet-ups that can provide insight into life in the city.
Some travelers pack things that make it easy for others to strike up a conversation, like a harmonica or two-player board game. Other options include wearing clothes that advertise your interests, such as a baseball hat or a “Game of Thrones” patch, and making small talk about common topics.
3. Go on a date with a friend
It can be easier to go on a date with someone you already know. But it can also feel awkward. You are used to hanging out on a platonic level, so suddenly flirting and even holding hands can be quite an adjustment.
Some people like to set their dating apps up as soon as they arrive in a new country to make it easy to meet someone. One of my clients has a routine where she swipes on Tinder as soon as she gets off the plane and then updates her location so that the app matches her with men that are in the same place as her.
Another safety tip is to let a friend or family member know where you are going and when you will be back. This can be a good way to keep them updated and also makes it easy for them to contact the authorities in case something goes wrong on your date.
4. Go on a blind date
Many couples meet through blind dates – often arranged by friends of theirs living in the city they?re visiting. It goes against our instincts to talk to strangers, but a friendly smile or a question about their day can help break the ice and lead to a friendship that may turn into love.
Meeting a potential date at a local theme park is a great way to build trust and get to know each other. Try going on all the rollercoasters together or putting your skills to the test in laser tag.
Avoid sharing personal information such as home address, phone number or work details until you know your match. When it comes to meeting a blind date, always meet in a public place first and text a friend where you will be and when.
5. Meet a stranger
Whether you want to hook up or simply find an exploration buddy, dating apps are great for connecting with fellow travellers. Just remember to optimize your profile, so matches know what you’re looking for and can approach you accordingly – a well-lit selfie of you doing a handstand at Machu Picchu is a much more effective way to break the ice than a moan about how your bus has been delayed for two hours.
You can also meet fellow travelers by staying in hostels, which are set up to encourage interaction and are perfect for meeting other solo travelers. Just remember to be cautious; some countries still criminalize homosexuality, so use common sense and be wary of people who seem overeager or pushy. You can always ask for last names, photos or links to social media profiles to stay safe.