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The Dating App You Can Use to Travel the World for Free and Get Laid

Traveling on a first date could be a disaster, but at least you’ll have a cool Instagram story.

by Ebony-Renee Baker
Jun 8 2018, 4:30pm

This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.

Imagine this:

It’s six months from now—you’re in Mykonos with a guy who paid for your flight, plus the five-star hotel. A month ago, you were snorkeling in Cancun with another dude, off the boat he rented for you both. It’s all for free. Life’s good.

This is apparently what tons of people are getting out of Miss Travel, a dating site promoted as a way to meet singles who like to travel, but is more often used as a way to get free trips and sex.

Not unlike sugar dating websites, Miss Travel is filled with wealthy older men seeking attractive women to pamper. But instead of allowances, they offer trips to places like Bali, London, Dubai, and Vegas for their first dates. And with its founder being the same guy that created Seeking Arrangement, it’s not at all surprising that such lofty costs are involved with these travel dates.

Richard*, a 43-year-old Croatian business owner, says expectations from women on the site can vary from sex, to gifts, to simply a good time and a free vacation. While he has homes in Toronto and Croatia, he’s never in one city for more than a few weeks at a time. So over three years on and off of the site, he’s had blind dates in countries including Mexico, Australia, the US, Italy, Canada, and the Bahamas.

“My expectation is only one; it’s called respect,” Richard told VICE. “Everything else can be built. Chemistry can be built, friendship can be built, trust can be built.” While he mainly seeks adventure (he noted that if sex happens, it happens), the ultimate goal for his travel dates, which he will cap at about $3,000, is a long-term relationship.

“My ideal [partner] will be someone who can travel like me,” he said. “A good point is that... I can really go for girls from anywhere. The whole world is my space.”

At the time of the interview, Richard was talking to around ten potential travel partners on the site—which he’d have to narrow down to women he could trust.

After all, when it’s easy enough to get catfished on Bumble, a catfish on Miss Travel could land you in a really, really shitty hole.

According to Paige Berger, the site’s public relations manager, the website doesn’t have any explicit rules for travel dating but has a number of safety guidelines. For example, they encourage users to have all contact info of the matches they intend to travel with. “Tell someone where you’re going and who you’re going with,” Berger said. “We always suggest that you have your own room. And make sure you have money in your bank account to get home in case things go wrong.”

In one case where a Miss Travel date did end up in a long-term relationship, both parties said they weren’t at all worried about meeting a stranger who lived 4,000 kilometers [2485 miles] away.

Jody Whalen, 51, met Daniel Bult, 48, in 2016 when she was living in Indiana and he was in Grenada. Two divorcees who already traveled constantly, the pair talked online for three months before she took a three-week trip out to meet him. Neither of them had even heard the other’s voice.

“I don't ever really remember being scared,” Whalen told me. “Maybe I should have been… but I had Googled him, I had background checked him, I knew a lot about him before I came down.” The two hit it off, so Whalen quit her job as a nurse, sold all her belongings, and followed suit on Bult’s nomadic lifestyle, all within a year.

“I was interested because I enjoy being in another woman's presence and I love to travel,” Bult told VICE. “So why not do two things that you love at the same time?” The couple now lives on the US Virgin Islands off of their savings and plan to go on a cross-America motorcycle trip next.

Of course, not everyone travels so well together—just take a look at all the couples who break up after their first vacation. They say you learn a lot about a person when you’re on the road, and that might mean you’ll end up learning way too much about your date’s debilitating trust issues.

But whether you end up falling in love on a sailboat or drowning yourself in tequila shots on a Greek island, you’ll probably end up with a better story than the ones you get from regular online dating. Because nobody wants to hear about how yet another moderately hot dude who happens to live on your street ghosted you.

*Name has been changed to protect anonymity.

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Tagged:
Travel
relationships
online dating
Vacation
free stuff
Miss Travel
sugar dating