Is it safe for women traveling solo to use dating apps?

Sep 28, 2022

I know what you’re thinking- why would someone (especially a woman traveling solo) use a dating app abroad?

Sure, dating apps are a way to meet people (or maybe get murdered), but they’re also a traveler’s dream for finding authentic experiences, the best food, and places to see that are off the beaten path! This is insight that you won’t find in any guide book- or on most travel blogs .

I’ve found that people are passionate about where they live and eager for you to experience their city beyond the tourist traps. It’s also just interesting to see what dating app culture looks like in other countries (and yes, I deleted the apps in bitterness when I got back to America. Europe set the bar so high).

Quick disclaimer: Yes, I am single as a pringle. If you’re not single in any sense of the word, travel is not an excuse for you to use a dating app. Use Meetup or any number of other apps or move to FBoy Island where you belong.  

Tips for women using dating apps while traveling

  1. Scour the apps for local advice on restaurants and things to see.

    Seriously, I have found some of the BEST food and experiences by chatting with locals on dating apps while I’m traveling.

    Be respectful and honest about your intentions- disclose on your profile that you’re traveling and looking for advice or to meet cool friends your age- nothing more. I’ve never had anyone come at me negatively about this- like I said, most people are passionate about their city and eager to share it with travelers beyond the must-sees that you’ve looked at online. You may even score a few offers from an Italian boy to take out out on his vespa so you can live your Lizzie McGuire dreams. *This is not a joke- multiple guys offered to pick me up at sunset on his vespa and dinner. Here I am, still alive!

  2. Meet friends the same gender as you using Bumble BFF.

    If you actually do want to meet up with soon to be friends, as a solo female traveler I recommend Bumble BFF! Bumble BFF is a seriously underrated feature on Bumble for meeting people your gender, which I’m generally more comfortable with when it comes to meeting strangers online in a foreign country alone. I’ve even used it at home in DC to make friends (moving to a new city as an adult and working from home during a global pandemic made this a thing- and it worked).

    Just change the setting on the app from “Date” to “BFF!”

    I know it can be scary to mingle with strangers, but while I have an incredible and fulfilling time traveling alone, I’ve had some of the most amazing experiences meeting locals. The most addictive part of travel for me is learning- learning about new perspectives, cultures, foods. Be curious, ask questions, and I promise you’ll find some refreshing, deep, and intentional conversations with people not like you, but who you like all the same. These connections can turn into long, amazing friendships!

  3. Take your safety seriously, but still have a ton of fun!

    • NEVER disclose the hotel you’re staying at (however harmless it may seem). If someone is being friendly and asks where you’re staying, just give the name of the neighborhood if you must. There’s other personal safety information that I also choose not to disclose- where I work, if I’m carrying cash, etc.

    • Don’t go live on social media or even live post stories on IG. Wait a few minutes until you’ve moved to a different location before you post. There are weirdos everywhere.

    • If you meet up with someone, be open and have a great time. But- like any other night out- be mindful of your drinking, don’t leave your drink unattended, let friends or family know where you are and who you’re with (I always take a screenshot of the profile and send it to a friend), and have an exit plan.

Story time: using dating apps in Italy put me in a really cringy situation

Trastevere, September 2022.

Trastevere is an art district on the outskirts of Rome known for cool trattorias, craft beer pubs, and street music. It’s also a less expensive neighborhood to stay in (while still being close to the heart of the city) and has awesome energy at night!

Think narrow cobblestone streets, graffiti, gelaterias, and shouts of laughter drifting out to the street from cafes lined with outdoor seating under string lights. 

After a drink or two here, a limoncello shot there, and a glass of wine the size of my head at the most adorably chic alleyway restaurant, my friends and I went for one last nighttime stroll to take in the ambiance at Trevi Fountain. I had been swiping away on Hinge that day, and I accidentally FACETIMED some guy while we were at the Trevi Fountain! It was not a pocket dial. It was an accidental, tipsy, phone-in-my-hand-talking-loudly-with-my-friends-with-the-Trevi-Fountain-in-the-background dial. And he answered. *Cue cringeeeeee

Happy traveling!

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