Travelers are already using dating apps on the road, but the focus on hookups takes away from how great the services can be travel recommendations.
While yes, finding a match is ostensibly for the purpose of romance, the benefit of doing it in a new city is that the match is a local — one with expertise about restaurants and activities that get straight to what modern travelers want: an authentic experience.
Deborah, a single in New York City, discovered the travel potential of dating services by accident: "I landed in Istanbul last year, and I logged into OKCupid, and this guy messages me, and asks if I want to get drinks," she said.
Once the matches come in it's just a matter of being up front about expectations.A travel study conducted by Expedia and Tinder found that travelers preferred to use dating apps on the road when they were traveling in a group, but solo travelers like Erica can get as much if not more out of using them.And even though Tinder is synonymous in some circles with hookup culture, being clear about what you are and are not interested in can, for the most part, prevent problems."Look, you know I'm from out of town," said Deborah.If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.
If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.As the stigma of online dating (and now app dating) continues to fade, telling friends that we met our significant other — gasp — "online" is becoming not only okay but common.And that means more possibilities are opening up for how we use these new social networks."I'm going to Ireland soon, so I was Tindering in Dublin to find people to tell me the good places to go," said Erica, a single who plans to do more solo travel.She doesn't have a ton of friends who can pack their bags and jump on a plane, but she wants to travel — and doesn't want to wait."If I'm going to start seeing the world, I might as well do it," she said, adding that traveling alone makes her a little nervous. For Erica, the most useful app so far has been Tinder.