Want To Find Love? Travel’s The New Tinder If You’re Looking Offline

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Life & Culture Editor
03.15.16 2 Comments
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In 2016, there’s no shame in telling people that you met your new significant other (or at least the person you’re kinda-sorta seeing) on Tinder, Match, OkCupid, or any of the other plethora of sites that are designed to create romance between two (or more) people. But what if you’re one of those people who’s hoping to make a love connection offline? It turns out that millennials looking for love are turning to travel to make the magic happen.

According to new research conducted by Topdeck Travel–which bills itself as the number one provider of group travel experiences for people between the ages of 18 and 30-something–“one in eight millennial men” hope that their next relationship will start while they’re on vacation. That sounds like it may be off–what if the person you fall for lives thousands of miles away?–but Topdeck’s survey (which was conducted by research group YouGov) found that one in eleven “postgraduate travelers” did actually become romantically involved with someone they met while on vacation. And these weren’t just flings; some of the 1,500 people who the site surveyed actually got married.

From Topdeck’s press release:

More inundated with technology and apps than ever before, Millennials are seeking alternative dating options that offer the authentic experience and in-person chemistry that technology cannot provide. The simplicity and popularity of “swiping right” has replaced chivalry, so much so that over one third of Millennials (37%) are willing to give up dating in order to save money for travel. Surprisingly, more Millennial women (41%)are willing to sacrifice their dating life compared to men (32%). However, while Millennials may sacrifice going on dates in order to travel, it may be because that’s actually where they’re looking for love.

  • In fact, 1 in 11 Millennials are hoping to find their significant other while on vacation.
  • This is especially true for men with almost triple the amount of men (1 in 8 men) hoping to find their significant other while traveling abroad compared to only 1 in 20 women.
  • More than any other region, this is even more valid for Millennials who live in the South, with 1 in 12 Millennials from this region meeting a significant other abroad.

So, everything old is new again? Dating online has gone from being a weird taboo (when I first started doing it, one of my exes was so embarrassed we met on the internet he made me tell people we met through a “mutual friend”), to becoming the norm, to becoming too easy and uninteresting. And that’s where travel comes in. What’s more romantic than meeting attractive strangers in beautiful locations that are nowhere near home?

Founded in 1973, TopDeck’s no stranger to seeing people quickly fall in love and propose while on a trip. In fact, according to their press release, Paris is (unsurprisingly) the most common city for people to propose to each other, and while there are no hard numbers on how many of these proposals end up in marriages, Sarah Clark, the company’s Global Brand Director, says that a marriage occurred just last month. Sure, not everyone can expect their vacation to one day end up in wedded bliss, but the odds of it happening aren’t exactly nil, either. And it’ll make a terrific story for the grandkids.

Of course, the old cliche about finding love when least expecting it may also hold true for those looking to fall in love on the road. Like hooking up while traveling (the rule is don’t expect to), sometimes love happens despite all other plans:

“I didn’t have a significant other at the time, so I decided to go on a Topdeck trip with a girlfriend because we liked the itinerary and the fact that it was completely planned out for us,” says Topdeck traveler Yvonne Gottschalk. “Unexpectedly, I met my husband, John, on a Topdeck trip to Russia & Scandinavia back in 1984. The thought of finding a life partner was not something I ever imagined would happen, but after traveling together it was clear we shared the same interests and sense for adventure that sparked our relationship. The trip was truly life changing,” said Gottschalk.

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Mark's work has appeared on Jezebel, Cosmopolitan, Vice, The Daily Dot, and SF Weekly. It has never appeared in his high school's literary journal, even though he submitted poems in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades.

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