How to Use Online Dating While Backpacking

Mihaela Schwartz | 03.07.16 | | Comments

What are you waiting for? Pack a bag, throw it on, go out into the world, and find the love of your life!

You might be thinking that this scenario is easier said than done – but what if I told you that it really can be that simple? If you aren’t having the best of luck finding someone special, plan a trip to literally anywhere in the world and try out a new approach. For most backpackers, finding love on the road is practically inevitable, whether it’s a fleeting love or meeting your lifelong partner. From finding potential love-interests, to building connections, to maintaining relationships – what you’re going to learn is that looking for love by using online dating sites is vital in this vagabond lifestyle. During every stage of romance there is a delicate balance you’ll need to learn between living offline in the moment, and checking in online dating to keep the passion flowing.

Finding Someone

Online: Zoosk is alive and well on the backpacking trail! You might meet a fellow drifter, a drummer on Rihanna’s worldwide tour, or a local person with secret date spots. Take advantage of dating apps as a travel tool! Backpacking is about taking risks; there has never been a better time to start swiping.

Offline: When selecting your accommodation, look for a social hostel that either has a bar, a pool or a community area where people naturally come together. There are many solo travelers from every walk of life who are just waiting to meet new people – so don’t be afraid to enter into a social situation. You will be welcomed with open arms by new friends or even potential partners.


Online: There is a community of people around the world who open their couches to travelers for free, in exchange for friendly conversation and sharing experiences. is not a dating website and shouldn’t be treated as such, however, your hosts will open the door to a whole world of opportunities for love. Hosts will introduce you to the city and their friends, show you the nightlife and connect you with a friendly community. Immerse yourself in opportunities and let love find you. In fact I know of a Parisian girl who traveled and by using this site found the love of her life and now they are married!

Offline: Most hostels have themed nights such as Trivia Night or a Pub Crawl. Sign up right away to get mingling with other travelers. You will be surrounded with like-minded people looking to make connections and have a good time. Alcohol plus nostalgia equals a surefire recipe for love.

Maintaining Connections

Online: Out here, Facebook is king.  The girl you met at a Thai cooking class and the guy you’ve chatted up on the bus – they both rely on Facebook to keep in contact and so will you. You may not know that person’s number and can’t WhatsApp them so your best bet to meet up again is to add that intriguing person on Facebook. It’s not too forward to do so out here, I promise.

Offline:  Backpacking is a nomadic way of life and unless you are supremely organized, and your love interest is too, making a plan to meet under the bridge at sunset next Tuesday is probably a plan that’s going to fall flat. Either you can spontaneously decide to travel to the next city together (which many people do) or you can cross your fingers that the universe will interlace your paths again.

Back home in the Western World, the internet has become an addiction, but for backpackers the internet is a vital tool to connect with other people. Don’t let an opportunity to find love pass you by because you are gung-ho on living off the grid – no backpacker really does that! You don’t want to live online while you’re on an adventure of a lifetime, but, taking advantage of online dating apps and online messaging systems are actually an integral part of developing relationships through your journey.

On the backpacking trail, everyone is welcome. Guards are down and minds are open, creating the perfect environment for you to find love.

Mihaela Schwartz

Mihaela is an experienced writer and researcher, and has been contributing to the Top 5 Dating blog for a number of years.

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