From Before Sunrise to Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, movies make vacation romances look like a daydream. Who knows, maybe you will end up on a beautiful Greek island with three dreamy suitors. If you’ve ever been single on vacation, you’ve probably entertained the fantasy that you’ll end up sitting next to a gorgeous stranger on the airplane or meet an attractive local who can show you all the sights. But in real life, no matter how much we choose to romanticize it, these types of flings rarely just fall into our laps. We have to take action — whether that means approaching that cute stranger at the bar or using a dating app while traveling.
Hopping on dating apps abroad can be a great way to find a date while you’re on vacation. “The dating apps can be a perfect way to meet new people all around the world, whether you're looking for an exploration buddy, a fling, or something else entirely,” says Erika Ettin, online dating coach and founder of A Little Nudge.
In fact, one of the biggest dating trends these days is “wanderlove,” according to Bumble. At the end of 2022, Bumble surveyed more than 14,000 global users and found that 1 in 3 members said that they were more open to travel and relationships with people who are not in their current city. In a more recent March 2023 survey, Bumble also found that more than half of Gen Z and Millennial respondents find it attractive when a potential partner is a world traveler. We might just be living in the golden age of travel dating and vacation flings.
Each dating app works differently, so make sure you’re set up to see matches who are nearby. Some are tied to your phone’s GPS, whereas others allow you to manually plug in any location. And some apps allow you to use travel features specifically designed with out-of-town scenarios in mind. You might also want to choose an app with a shorter bio section, so you’re not spending valuable vacay time filling out a lengthy Q&A. And if you’re already on a dating app, you can simply add a line or two about the length of your stay and what you’re looking for.
One thing to remember before you try dating on vacation is to prioritize your safety above all else. “Just like when dating where you live, you want to take the same safety precautions when dating on vacation,” Ettin says. She recommends always meeting in a public place for a first date, making sure your phone is charged up, avoiding telling someone the exact details of where you're staying, and generally using common sense and having your wits about you — so go easy on the sangria specials while meeting someone you don’t know.
With that in mind, get your swiping finger ready and have some fun by hitting download on our picks for the dating apps to use on vacation.