How to Use a Dating App to Meet People While Traveling Solo

Robin, a seasoned solo traveler, writer/photographer and cocktail server, can be reached at robintierney@gmail.com

See recent posts by Robin Tierney

Backpack, water bottle, phone, Bumble. Are you ready to add an online dating app to your travel essentials? Not for one-night stands, but for one-day adventures. Why? Because this type of hook-up can be good for mind, body and spirit.

Dating apps can help solo travelers find friends with benefits: local knowledge, camaraderie and a measure of protection. And who knows: the arrangement might lead to mutually desirable twists, turns and detours. 

For destination date-finding, focus more on roam-ance than romance. See where things lead, then you can go as far as you’d like…literally or figuratively. Wanderlust (or eventually a long-term relationship).

Using our tips, you can learn how to literally swipe right, chat with purpose and pinpoint prospects who can meet on short notice for urban and outdoor rambling.

Tips for Using a Dating App While Traveling:

  • Use recent photos in your dating profile, and avoid suggestive poses if you’re seeking a local guide rather than a hook-up.
  • Specify activities you want to engage in: hiking terrific trails, bicycling around town, viewing local art, sampling a cool cafe or bar.
  • Keep your location setting within 10 or 15 miles of your hotel. State in your profile the approximate date/time range you seek a companion and what for: “a local to show me favorite spots downtown…a hiking companion to explore the area’s most unique park.”
  • Safety first—in online dating, don’t give the benefit of the doubt if you get a bad vibe.
  • Once you connect with someone on the app, check out each other’s social media to get more intel before arranging a meet-up.
  • Meet in a public place, such as a well-attended lobby (or, instead of giving your date your lodging address, a cafe or town square).
  • Leave a note in your room listing your phone number, where you’re going and your date’s contact details. Share this info with the front desk staff and/or send it to a trusted friend as well.
  • Be in control of your transportation. Walk to the public meet-up spot. Have money and knowledge of local transportation so you can get yourself back to your lodging.
  • Exercise caution. Danger is not sexy in real life. Embrace your wanderlust in good company.

The Best Dating Apps to Use While Traveling:

Bumble: Launch the app in your destination and it will display local prospects. When both users swipe right on each other, the woman has 24 hours to start the conversation before the match expires.

OKCupid: Set your location and the app will display prospects.

Tinder: With paid accounts, you can change your location and browse the locals using the Passport feature.

Jetzy: This geolocation-based app lets travelers search for locals with overlapping interests.

Flip The Trip: This iOS app helps you connect with travelers and locals to seek tips, tripmates or dates.

Hinge: This relationship platform can help you find friends when on vacation.

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