Holidays & Travel

Is it a good idea to date while solo travelling? The dos and don’ts to keep in mind

Every culture has its own customs, traditions, gender roles expectations and public behaviour rules.

Dating while solo travelling has never been easier with apps.
Full length portrait of fit solo traveller woman in hiking clothes with bag on summer Tuscany trekking looking into the distance. Dating while solo travelling has never been easier with apps. (Alamy Stock Photo)

Whenever you travel alone, there are a few things you need to consider, especially if you are planning to go on dates.

With more solo travellers using dating apps while exploring their holiday destination, safety needs to become even more of a priority, to avoid falling for those with ill intentions.

“Dating while solo travelling has never been easier with apps like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge used by millions of users around the world,” said Hollie Youlden, marketing manager at youth travel agency KILROY.

“However, it does come with its pitfalls. The constant moving from place to place while travelling makes it difficult to establish long-term connections. And, especially for solo female travellers, there are always safety concerns when meeting new people in an unfamiliar place.

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“But there are ways to reduce those risks and enjoy dating while solo travelling.”

So is it a good idea to date on solo travels? What are the dos and don’ts everyone needs to keep in mind? Travel and relationship experts share their thoughts.

Do research on the local cultural norms

For Anastasiya Pochotna, a dating expert for dating app Flirtini, it’s important to do research.

“Every culture has its own customs, traditions, gender roles expectations, and public behaviour rules. For example, in certain cultures, holding hands or kissing in public is acceptable, yet in others, it is deemed inappropriate,” she said.

So to navigate social interactions respectfully and avoid any misunderstandings and unpleasant surprises, it is better to do research before going on a date in a new country.”

Do stay open and flexible

Dating while solo travelling can be super exciting and fulfilling, giving you the chance to meet new people and make unforgettable memories.

“Embrace spontaneity and go with the flow. This can lead to positive encounters that enhance your travel experience. Be ready to adjust your plans for these opportunities. Flexibility can create the most memorable moments,” said Tina Wilson, relationship expert and Wingman founder.

“Additionally, don’t forget to adjust your dating app settings to match your current location. This simple tweak can significantly enhance your chances of meeting new people and making meaningful connections during your travels.”

Do prioritise safety

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Youlden encourages solo travellers to always meet in public places, especially for the first few dates.

“If you’re going to use a dating app abroad, follow the same safety advice as you would in your own country – meet in a public place and let someone know where you’re going and who you’re meeting,” she said.

“As a solo traveller, this may mean leaving your details with hotel staff or a friend back home. Ensure to never leave your drink unattended, and ideally, pick a place you’ve already visited. Alternatively, you could consider arriving early to suss the place out, so you feel more confident going into the date.”

Wilson agreed and added that it’s also a great time to put your social media detective skills to good use.

“If you know their name, their social media handles, or have some mutual friends online, take a little time to do some digging. It helps confirm they’re who they say they are on different platforms and lowers the risk of them using a fake profile to pull a fast one on you,” she said.

Do join in lots of local activities

According to Youlden, if you prefer to meet potential dates the old-fashioned way, the best way to meet new people is to take part in local activities.

“Opt for hostels over hotels, where they run regular social events. This allows you to meet other solo travellers in a more natural setting. And it’s more likely you’ll meet someone with travel plans closer to yours, which makes it easier to continue exploring any connections you make beyond that one social event.

“Nowadays there are hostels to suit all budgets and styles, so staying in a hostel doesn’t mean having to slum it while solo travelling. You could also join group tours specially designed for solo travellers of a similar age range to yours.”

Don’t ignore red flags

(Alamy Stock Photo)

Dating means different things to different people, so trusting your instincts while solo travelling is a major key.

“If it’s just a fling you’re after, then make sure you’re prepared with contraception and avoid drinking alcohol to excess. It’s also a good idea to return to your accommodation for the night, rather than theirs, so you’re in a familiar place,” said Youlden.

And if something feels off, or you feel uncomfortable, Wilson advises you to not ignore the red flags, make an excuse to leave and find the quickest exit.

“Don’t be pressured into doing something you’re not comfortable with. Your safety and comfort comes first. Keep in close contact with a friend and text them if you need someone to call you to make an excuse to leave,” Wilson said.

Don’t get too attached

It’s easy to get too attached too quickly when meeting someone on a solo trip.

“Try to remember that holiday romances often have an expiration date, so try and enjoy the moment but manage your expectations to avoid any heartbreak. If you both feel a connection, then talk openly about your feelings,” said Wilson.

“Avoid making long-term commitments or drastic changes based on a short-term connection. If you want to see where things go, that can be positive, but don’t put pressure on yourselves.”

Don’t overindulge

According to Pochotna, 64% of people drink to calm their pre-date nerves.

“Yet, too much alcohol clouds thinking and lowers inhibitions. Avoid excessive alcohol – at least for the first few dates – so you can make level-headed decisions and clearly judge your date’s character,” she said.