(Photo: Getty Images)
If you’re among the millions of people who use the dating app Tinder, I don’t have to tell you that it’s incredibly addictive. Or that it can be the catalyst for everything from one-night stands to marriage proposals.
So it seems only logical to take that show on the road. I know a woman who opens the app as soon as her flight lands, before she checks her texts or emails. It’s not me, but I usually don’t wait too much longer. (My name isn’t really Siena, either. But while millions of us Tinder enthusiastically, we aren’t always so enthusiastic about discussing it.)
Tinder is a great way to sample the local dating pool in the city you’re visiting. (Photo: Thinkstock)
For me, it fills a number of functions. First, there’s curiosity: I know how the New York dating pool looks, but what if I lived in L.A.? Or Athens? Or Nicaragua or Brazzaville?
Then there’s insight into the local culture and a chance to be shown the places where guys in Sydney or Rio go to impress girls. Overseas Tinder dates have introduced me to insider finds I never would have found on my own. My standard opening line to a new Tinder friend is: “I’m here until [whenever]. Wanna play tour guide?”
Local Tinder users are often open to playing tour guide to fun-seeking travelers. (Screengrab: Siena)
And also, isn’t an evening of conversation more interesting than room service in your hotel room? Or wandering around the lousiest tourist trap in town, wondering whether you’re missing out on discovering something exciting?
Let’s face it: Meeting interesting strangers is far more fun than room service for one. (Photo: Getty Images)
I’m careful to manage expectations (and careful to meet in public places, of course), and have found a surprising number of guys who are genuinely proud of their hometowns and happy to show them off. Plenty of those evenings have ended with a cordial hug or a kiss on the cheek, though some have ended with more.
There’s a chance you and your new Tinder friend will REALLY hit it off. (Photo: Getty Images)
Ah yes, more. People have been hooking up while traveling since long before there was an Internet. Tinder simply makes it more efficient. Just because I go on vacation doesn’t mean my libido does, and a Tinder travel date is the ultimate in ziplessness (but still feels safer than sitting in a bar and waiting to be picked up by a stranger). You met on Tinder, for cryin’ out loud, and one of you lives far away. Though I have become Facebook friends with some of my travel-Tinders. Like the sweet guy in Bogota who took me for negronis and showed me a hidden side of the city — before we addressed the loneliness I’d accumulated in a week of traveling solo in Colombia.
(I’m also happy to know that I won’t have to run into the guy I connected with after too much champagne in Munich, who texted me “:) you also want Fun in the bed :))” and somehow still held my interest. It seemed like a good idea at the time. It was “Fun,” at any rate.)
The text message from Mr. “Fun in the bed :))”
“More” can also mean even more. “Madison Montgomery” (also not her real name) says, “Believe it or not, I’m looking for love.” She’s fed up with the shallow scene in Miami, where she works in PR, and more optimistic about the choices elsewhere. And she knows that if she were to find a connection, it would be a heck of a story, one that might land her a book deal.
Can you swipe your way to true love on a Tinder trip? (Photo: Thinkstock)
Portland, Oregon, seemed like fertile ground (fit, outdoorsy men who appreciate food and wine and hate plastic surgery), and when she traveled there to care for an ailing family member, she chose to treat herself to a Tinder date or two. She says: “Miami is an impossible dating city, so I took the opportunity to have a few (REALLY GREAT) dates in Portland and see what might happen. My family lives there, so it would be an impetus to move back? Lord knows I’ve given it a good shot in Miami. After 17 years, it’s time to consider other (greener) dating pastures.”
Good rule for Tinder traveling: Manage expectations so that feelings don’t get hurt. (Photo: Getty Images)
One was with another visitor, from the UK: “I ended up going back to his hotel.… Bad me, but I really fancied him with his Scottish accent and mutual love of travel. And after a ridiculously strong margarita, my inhibitions were nil. Left at 5 a.m. and had to get up at 10 a.m. to orchestrate a move. I was KNACKERED, but it was worth it. I really liked him and we talked about traveling together in September, meeting in Vietnam, exploring the country. I thought I found a needle in a haystack. Ah, hope springs eternal.”
Unfortunately, she later discovered that he was in a relationship at home in Britain. So much for Vietnam. They’re still Facebook friends. And she’s still Tinder traveling. She expects good things later this summer in Peru.