Charming accents, romantic backdrops, lots of cheap wine — they’re just a few of the things I love about dating while traveling for the weekend. I’ve had friends who were whisked around Rome at four in the morning, taken on late-night strolls down the Thames, or even given Vespa tours of the City of Lights, à la Passport to Paris. And me? Well, I once knocked back apéritifs with an American in Paris and then kissed him as the Eiffel Tower sparkled at midnight.
Simply put, dating and traveling make a great freaking combo.
There are so many reasons to go on dates in foreign cities, particularly with people you know you’ll never see again. Not only can you write about them without ever having to explain (like so), you also don’t have to worry at all how crazy you let the conversation get. I mean, within 30 minutes of meeting that fellow in Paris, I’d told him the story of that one time I got a concussion at a frat party and said, “So, I have a bottle of wine in my purse and think we should go on an adventure.”
The question, of course, is how to make romantic connections while traveling. And how do you keep things going if you actually do want to see that person again?
Whether you’re looking for a quick, steamy fling or a long-lasting relationship, here are five tips for dating on a weekend trip, based on my own magical experiences and others’ expertise.
1. SWIPE RIGHT WITH ABANDON.
Some of the most phenomenal dates I’ve been on while traveling were with guys I never would have swiped right on in my hometown. But on dating apps abroad, I’m generally just looking for someone who speaks English and doesn’t look like an ax murderer. Really, that’s it.
Dating on a weekend trip isn’t necessarily about finding someone to bring home for the holidays, so swipe right on everyone! See who’s free and willing to explore a city with you! What do you have to lose?
2. REMEMBER THAT CONFIDENCE IS SEXY.
According to Thomas Edwards, Jr., founder of The Professional Wingman, this approach is a huge advantage to attracting both locals and fellow travelers.
“Typically, what I find is because singles tend to care less about the outcome when traveling (‘I’ll be gone in a few days — what does it matter?’), they tend to have a more carefree attitude, which unintentionally comes off as confident and attractive,” he explains.
3. BE UPFRONT AND HONEST.
Edwards also noted that the key to having a successful fling on a trip is going in with zero expectations and complete transparency.
“When you do meet someone, it’s important to let them know you’re not a local and there’s a time constraint, which will allow that person to decide how they’d like the interaction to go, whether it’s toward a temporary connection, a fling, or something more,” he says.
Maybe don’t answer questions like, “When will you be back again?” with, “Never!” (I learned the hard way that it kind of sounds like you’re dying?), but if you’re looking for something with no strings attached, make it clear that you’re on a time crunch and just want to have as much fun as possible in the next 48 hours.
4. SPEAK THEIR LANGUAGE.
If you’re in a country where English isn’t widely spoken, memorize a few key phrases in the native language. Locals will appreciate that you’re making an effort, and other English speakers are sure to be impressed.
Any time I went out with Americans in France, I spoke way more French than I needed to — with waiters, taxi drivers, random strangers; literally everyone — and always smiled sheepishly when my dates complimented my “perfect accent.” (I actually speak French like a drunk baby, but don’t tell them, OK?)
Download apps like Duolingo and Google Translate and play around with them on your flight. Oh, and don’t worry if your pronunciation is terrible. I’m a testament to the fact that people still think it’s pretty sexy when you speak another language.
5. MAKE THE EFFORT.
Now, let’s say you meet someone and really hit it off. Like, fireworks, birds chirping, want to break out in a musical number kind of hit it off. Is it even possible to keep a relationship going and growing with an ocean between you two?
Yes, yes it is! In fact, a friend of mine met an Englishman while studying abroad a few years ago, and they’re set to get married in New York next month. She explained that constant communication (and flying to visit one another, budgets and schedules permitting) helped her realize that it’s not so impossible to make a relationship work after all. Most adorably, they would mail letters back and forth, filled with quotes like, “You’ve made me realize the importance of love. Sir James Barrie said it best, ‘If you have it, you don’t need to have anything else. If you don’t have it, it doesn’t matter much what else you do have.'”
So, definitely go out on a few dates on your next weekend adventure. You could meet a gorgeous stranger and have a fabulous fling, or find the kind of person who will quote Sir James Barrie in hand-written letters. And if you need a little liquid confidence, I’m telling you, rosé works wonders.