Using Tinder When Travelling + Helpful Tips When Using It On The Road
Thinking about using Tinder when travelling? Here are some tips for those who have not used it yet on the road!
What do you do when you spend a lengthy amount of time in a new place as a solo traveller and don’t know anyone but you are kind of over the whole solo vibe? I am a solo traveller at heart but I am also a very social person. As much as I love exploring alone and wandering through a museum without being rushed, I do love meeting people and making new friends.
Last fall I went to Spain to visit my brother and his wife who live in Madrid. We did a road trip to and around Morocco and when I came back my brother left for Asia and my sister in law works long hours at her job. This is how I used Tinder when travelling.
My Tinder profile :)
Here’s a little bit of back story to my Tinder experiences:
The first time I opened my Tinder account, I was in Chicago with my friend Mike. He encouraged me to open an account, which I did. After 20 minutes I deleted it because everyone was 20 years old and swiping for dates was too much for me. That was in 2013.
I opened my Tinder account for the second time in the fall of 2015 when I was home in Vancouver, Canada. There were too many familiar faces like high school friends and friends’ brothers. I turned it off.
Then I spent a few months in Portland and tried using it there to no avail. There were too many ironic hipster beards for my liking. I am not being harsh either. My Portland friend Steve asked if he could look at my Tinder, returned my phone and then apologized for the miserable offerings. I went back south to SoCal thinking I would have better luck. Nothing. So I turned it off. At this point, I had a Tinder account for over a year but had never swiped right (yes for all you who don’t Tinder) on anyone.
When I landed in Madrid last September, for shits and giggles, I turned on Tinder. I was curious to see what the men looked like on Tinder Spain. The first guy popped up. Not my type, swipe left. Next guy pops up. Cute. Beard. Wearing chef whites. Definitely my type! Swipe right. DING DING DING. Arnette, you have a match.
As a newbie swiper, I got spooked and closed down the app. Omg. What did I do? A few hours later, I got a notification that the cute chef sent a message. Eek. We start messaging. He tells me that he’s a chef blah blah. I do some recon as a naturally curious person does and find out he’s a Michelin chef.
Wait, what? If this is the calibre of guys on Madrid Tinder, I may never leave!
I was in Europe first and foremost to go to Morocco and then avoid the US presidential election. I didn’t really plan to stay in Madrid for so long and I sure as hell did not expect the election to turn out how it did. So extending my holiday was the obvious choice and it did not help that the men are so handsome in Madrid. Needless to say, I found the Tinder dating scene in Madrid to be amazing. While I was there I dated the Michelin chef, a lawyer, a news cameraman, a British guy who came in town for a weekend, a guy that worked for Zara, and messaged with a whole bunch of other guapos hombres.
On one date, I did a bar crawl through La Latina with Zara guy. There is no way that I would have found these bars on my own. We ended our date on an amazing rooftop drinking cañas and he even drove me home. Another date took me for a ride on his motorcycle and brought me to a cool weekend market and helped me improve my Spanish. Michelin chef made me some tapas. The handsome lawyer took me for a delicious multi-course meal and a bottle of wine and we are still friends. Without these dates and local guides, I would not have found a lot of the cool places I came across while in Madrid. Tinder plus travel was an amazing answer to wanting company when on the road but not committing to a permanent travel partner for the whole trip. It was awesome.
On my way to a Tinder date in Spain
Not everyone wants to date a traveller though. I did come across profiles who specifically said they were not interested in visitors or travellers. One guy who was also a traveller (let’s call him crazy Italian guy) actually told me to use travel apps when I said I was looking to meet locals to do fun local stuff. Let’s just say crazy Italian guy and I didn’t make it to an actual date. More on Crazy Italian Guy later because our exchange was kind of amazing.
If you are a solo traveller and looking for some company, I do encourage using Tinder. But of course, use the app with extreme caution. There are a lot of crazy people out there, fake profiles, weirdos, or you could essentially fall for a local (whoops, I did).
Here are some Tinder travel tips or findings I can share:
- Some people may not want to date a traveller so it may be helpful to state that you are just visiting in your profile. Or maybe not.
- Also, include in your profile when you are in the area. I wrote that I was looking to hang out and do fun local things.
- Lots of guys don’t actually read profiles and just swipe right/yes to everything and deal with the consequences later. I asked my dates as well as my guy friends so this is in fact, a fact.
- Not everyone fills out their profiles. In Spain, I would say 95% of the guys had no info on their profile. Maybe their height in cms at most and what school they went to or the company they work for. Very unlike North American profiles who sometimes include too much.
- I can only speak English so for some who cannot, this was a deal breaker. Some wanted to do a language exchange. I think my second line in after matching with a guy in Spain was “Hablas inglés?”. My matches would either be able to speak English, try their best to speak English, or the conversation would wane and we would stop talking.
- Once you match someone and start talking, I suggest using Google Reverse Image Search to check out your match’s profile photos. I’ve actually come across a handful of fake profiles who use gay model’s photos or Instagrammers. Silly guys tricks are for kids!
- If your match includes their social media account like Instagram or job information, do some recon. This sounds weird but this goes along with the whole fake profile thing. Most guys who include a bit more info tend to be legitimate real humans.
- If you do meet up with someone, meet in a very public place and tell your friends or someone where you are going. Make sure said friend who knows what you are doing is awake or in the same time zone. If your friend is asleep and someone is about to kill you, it’s of no help.
- If you do meet up with someone and you don’t know where you are going, do some research on Google Maps, etc. The dates I went on were in very public places so I knew if I was in some sort of trouble there would be thousands of people around.
- Trust your gut instincts. If something feels off, you’re probably right.
- Tinder overseas tends to move over to Whatsapp for texting. Data is pricey in other parts of the world so Whatsapp is usually where people tend to text. Also, non-iPhones are popular overseas so it’s better than text/iMessage.
- Of course, there are other dating apps which you can use like Bumble but I found that it was not that as popular in Europe.
- And two most important tips to share, be safe and have fun!
I’m not really one who goes on a lot of dates when I’m home in California but I thought my Tinder travel experiences were great. Most of my dates didn’t make it to a second but I met some really nice guys, a handful of not so nice guys, some guys who I still talk to, and yes my boyfriend, as well a lot of fond memories of my time in Spain.