tinder for travellers

Tinder for travellers

I’m not ashamed to admit I have a thing for Tinder. “We met on Tinder!” I’ll happily tell anyone, much to horror of my Tinder friend. I swipe like a mofo, and I’m entirely fascinated by the social psychology of how and why we swipe the way we do. This incredibly interesting article by Buzzfeed says that we’re all classist assholes, for example. (Although I’m an anomaly apparently because that first dude is totally appealing to me. I guess that’s why I’m single.)

I started using Tinder last year while travelling through Greece. I was lonely, and not making any friends because I literally was the only person travelling in the world. I was on Naxos island at the time, in March, and needless to say…I didn’t meet anybody. The language barrier was a little difficult too. I was chatting with dudes on other islands and arranging to potentially meet up with them. And then I realized how alone I was and I figured I didn’t wanna become another statistic, so I stopped.

And then a year later I picked it up again.




I figure if you still swipe right after this photo, we’re golden.


90% of the time I’m not even meeting the guys I’m matching with. It’s like I need self-validation to know that I WILL match with somebody, because let’s face it, my dating life is pathetic. It’s not just my fault, either. Almost nobody initiates the conversation first…at least not here in St. John’s. And honestly I’m bloody tired of doing all the legwork, and the most popular prospects that pop up on my phone are guys with tattoos on their faces or dudes with their main photo featuring them suggestively posed with a pretty lady. Pro tip: DON’T PUT YOUR GIRLFRIEND IN YOUR MAIN PHOTO. That’s St. John’s, though.


I went on two dates before Christmas with two different guys who were both incredibly awesome people whom I might have kept dating if I hadn’t decided to run home to Bay d’Espoir for five years and then Hawaii forever. And then there’s also the whole thing where I just booked a one-way ticket to Berlin for August and commitment is not something I need right now (YEAH I DID IT BTW! AUGUST 2ND BITCHES!).


And although we can all whine about how meeting people isn’t the same as it once was, some people are actually meeting their partners via Tinder. I know of at least two people (out of 500) that were successful, so hey, it works for some.

I also kinda feel like using Tinder in new destinations gives you a little insight into what the dating scene is like there. In St. John’s, for example, it’s mostly skeets and polyamorous lovers. You gotta weed through the photos of snowmobiles for hours to get to something half decent.

Or people like this, who is clearly a fake.



Or Gretchen.



But in Honolulu, it was a lot of dudes showing ripped muscles and telling me how tall they are, for some reason. Because apparently that’s important? I don’t know. I felt like it matched my impressions of many folks I met around Honolulu and Waikiki: looking good is a big deal. They’re not necessarily shallow, but they care a whole freaking lot about appearance. Okay so they’re shallow. Obviously I am too.

On Big Island, though, I met a super rad guy from Ottawa who’s a professional motorcycle racer and spends half his year working on his volcano home. He told me all this AFTER we met, and I’m like, “Dude, why didn’t you LEAD with that?” He showed me around, we went to a cool beach, had a beer, etc. I met his friend Gigi and some other travellers, and we all went out for Mexican grub on Valentine’s Day. It was hella unromantic and awesome.

So if you ARE using Tinder while travelling, here are some things to be aware of.

First of all, obviously, always meet in a busy place.

Secondly, don’t tell said person where you’re staying.

Thirdly, state CLEARLY in your profile that you’re just visiting and looking to make friends, not hook ups. (Unless you are. That’s totally cool.)

Don’t swipe right to everybody you encounter because I assure you they will annoy the SHIT OUT OF YOU.

Is Tinder shallow? Abso-freaking-lutely. But in reality, when I’m travelling and trying to meet people, I’ll approach certain people who look or behave a certain way in much the same manner. And I can guarantee you that I will NOT be swiping right if your profile is nothing but hot girls, liquor bottles, and bad grammar. The same goes for in real life. Am I a classist?

Have you used Tinder in your travels? Do you have success stories?



  • March 11 2015

    You’re really coming to Berlin!
    Tinder kind of scares me… But yay, Berlin!

  • March 11 2015
    Sky Fisher

    I never even thought about using Tinder to travel until Kate mentioned it in her post for traveling to party destinations. Unfortunately, I never got to put that advice to use when my phone killed itself. The idea still just makes me laugh. But hey, whatever works for meeting people!

    • March 12 2015

      Hahaha, it’s totally bizarre and I mean…you could end up meeting some weirdos, but I suppose that’s the gamble, right?

  • March 11 2015

    A few weeks ago I wrote the ultimate guide to meeting locals using Tinder (without hooking up but then again, everyone does that anyways haha). In my opinion, it is even better than couchsurfing (but then again, Instagram is the ultimate KING for meeting other travellers abroad, hashtag hashtag hashtag) :D

    • March 12 2015

      Hahaha I love it! I’m so glad I’m not alone

    • March 13 2015

      Can you share tips on how to use Instagram for meeting other travellers? Haven’t tried that yet!

  • March 11 2015

    I agree with you on basically every point. Tinder is horrible here, and no one will message first. I don’t understand why they even bother. (Well, for the validation, I guess.)

    And yeah, I’m totally a Tinder classist, too.

    I have been wondering how I could use it to make friends on the road though, so I’ll most likely put your tips to use next time I leave the island. :)

    EDIT: OH! And I don’t think I tweeted you when you on booked the ticket to Berlin. That’s so awesome!

    • March 12 2015

      Thank ya! I’m totally gonna use it in AB this week, haha.

  • March 12 2015
    Ed Rex

    But sometimes you have to wait until they like you too.

    Instagram? Now that’s an idea!

  • March 12 2015

    I’ve contemplated using tinder to meet people while travelling but the assumption that people on there are looking to date/hook up puts me off. I’m more tempted to try it after reading this though.

    • March 16 2015

      It’s really not! I mean, sure, some people are in it for that reason, but not all. I think you can mostly get a good idea of a person by chatting with them for awhile before meeting.

  • March 13 2015

    Unfortunately, I have lots of virtual dating experience. Ha! I will say this: I’ve used Match.com, okcupid.com and Tinder for dating. And frankly, I’ve had the best luck in meeting quality people via Tinder who were actually great dates and even potential partners. Even if it didn’t work out that way, still great people and fun times, not hook up motivated.

    I find using Tinder for travel is fun, too. I live in Seattle which is a popular travel/business destination in the states. If I’m in the mood, I’ll meet up with someone who’s not from here because I love meeting people from all over. And of course, I think, maybe I’ll end up with a connection in ________ country! ;) I met the sound guy for The Pixies when they were on tour in Seattle. We had a great time. If I could have, I would have taken him up on his invitation to be a groupie for the rest of the west coast tour. Alas, some of us have jobs.

    My long winded point is that there are often lots of great people on Tinder, it can be useful when traveling, and yes it is maybe kinda sort of a shallow way to search, but it also can kinda work if you let it. End rant!

    • March 16 2015

      That’s so awesome! I LOVE it! Haha. I agree, I find Tinder to be the most widely “accepted” online app for dating. I don’t know why. Nearly all my single friends use it. And agreed, I’ve had people come to St. John’s on biz trips who have hung out and had fun. As long as you’re clear about wanting to make friends and you’re only in town for a limited amount of time, it’s all good!

  • March 22 2015

    Kind of unrelated but I’ve just been lost in your blog for about 3 hours, really should have been doing something more productive with my life but I’ve filed it all under ‘personal growth / soul inspiration’. Great stuff! Your writing is hilarious, honest and actually quite refreshing for a travel blog.

    Add Australia to your list :)

    • March 22 2015

      Awww! I LOVE hearing that kind of thing! Hahaha. Thanks so much, Kate. Australia is definitely on the list. :)

  • March 25 2015

    That was a fun read, Candice! :) i think Tinder is really cool. i did my first Euro trip thanks to it, and i’ve been fairly ‘successful’ with it as much as i’ve been annoyed. to me it’s just another medium of meeting new people.

    • March 30 2015

      Hahaha, seriously. I should do a round-up of best/worst Tinder travel experiences.

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