By Vicky Anscombe on 23 November 2015

 Maybe the title is why you’re reading this; the thought of using Tinder while abroad is just too horrifying to consider. “I’ll meet weirdos,” you think. “I’ll meet people who are after dodgy situations, or I’ll never have the time to meet them, or they’ll have unrealistic expectations.” Relax. Yes, you can and you should use Tinder abroad (if you’re single, that is); and it’s not all about romance.

If you’re lucky enough to be heading off on your travels soon, change your location on Tinder as soon as you land - you’ll be surprised how it’ll open up your destination.

You can use Tinder as a way of meeting new people without complications

Change your bio and make it clear to people you’re here to meet friendly, fun people to hang around with - this isn’t the time to organise boozy nights out, we’re talking coffee dates instead. Always make sure people know your intentions, so let them know if you’re visiting for days, rather than weeks, and don’t just launch into the conversation with ‘Please be my guide.’ You’ll find that lots of people will love the thought of showing off their city or town, and if there’s the potential for a bit of romance, that’s always a bonus.

You can learn a new language

You’ll probably not be fluent by the time you leave, but meeting locals who speak the language is a great opportunity to learn a few phrases - it also shows willing, and that you’re keen to fit in. This can work both ways; if locals would like to practice their English, you can return the favour.

You won’t get lost

Hanging out with local people isn’t a guaranteed way of always knowing your way around (they might be new too), but we can pretty much guarantee that if your new Tinder friend has been in the area longer than a few months, you can explore at your leisure, as you’ll never get lost.

Coffee

You’ll get to experience ‘real life’

If you’re lucky enough to meet their friends, your Tinder date may well invite you to some house parties and bars that you wouldn’t have known about otherwise. You’ll also probably find some terrific places to eat and drink, away from all the tourist traps. A word to the wise; you may have certain ideas about places you’d like to see and go. That’s fine, but don’t make unreasonable, inflexible demands. Let your new friend show you what they enjoy, and steer clear of creating itineraries.

You’ll (possibly) get to travel in style

Obviously, use your common sense if someone offers to pick you up in their car - maybe say yes after you’ve met a few times, and you can leave their details with a friend - but if they have their own transport, you can say goodbye to smelly journeys on the underground and the like.

You can beat loneliness if you’re travelling solo

It goes without saying that Tinder is the ultimate cure for loneliness. You’ve got a huge array of people at your fingertips who are local to you - and they may even find you attractive. Solo travel need never be lonesome travel ever again. Plus, this is your opportunity to cross paths with people who you would never normally meet.

Man and woman on bike

Of course, as with all online dating platforms, there’s a little bit of common sense needed. Heed these safety tips if you’re planning on Tindering your way around the world.

  • Don’t meet anyone after dark in a place you’re unfamiliar with, and don’t give out your number if you’re uncertain of anyone. You can afford to be choosy.
  • When you do meet people, text their name and contact details, as well as a picture, to a friend or family member.
  • Don’t meet anyone if you’ve been drinking. (Yes, it’ll cure your nerves, but you probably won’t make the best impression.)
  • If you feel uncomfortable or stressed out, don’t be pressured into staying because you’ve got nothing else to do or you feel lonely. You can always meet other people – just make your excuses and leave.
  • Don’t change your trip or miss flights/meeting friends for the sake of a Tinder date. Your trip should come first; don’t jeopardise it for the sake of a fling.

And, of course, your Tinder account may need a few tweaks. May we suggest the following?

  • Be honest: mention your nationality and that you’re travelling; some people will find the fact that you’re on an adventure attractive, and who knows? They might have a week free and would like to use this time to get to know someone who is briefly visiting.
  • If you’re not interested in romance or a ‘hook up’, make this very clear in your bio. You want to make sure that you’re safe, and that you’re not leading anyone on.

The following are unacceptable when it comes to pictures on your bio: topless shots, pictures with a forlorn-looking animal, badly-lit selfies, pictures of you with a can in your hand, worthy volunteering pictures, pictures of you draped over an expensive car.

Image credit: Shutterstock


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