So you’ve used Tinder to pick up girls, but have girls ever picked you up in their car and driven you halfway across a country just to help you complete your hitchhiking adventure? Welcome to the world of Tinder Travel
In May 2014 Daniel Beaumont embarked on a 6 month and 20,000km hitchhiking trip across the USA and Canada. He started out the old-fashioned way – thumbs up at the side of the road – but quickly lost motivation when car after car rejected him, storm after storm drenched him and can after can of cold beans for dinner annoyed him. He was about to give up until he came up with a brilliant plan: Why not use tinder to pick up rides from local pretty girls?
Picking up Rides, picking up girls
On one very cold early morning, 3 months in his trip and 8,000km of struggling hitchhiking Beaumont was messing around on his phone while waiting way too long for yet another lift in Western Canada. Beaumont stumbled upon Tinder, the app he’d installed a couple of months back but hadn’t really used. Beaumont noticed he was getting quite a few matches and – as the app is location dependent – all of them were from local girls. He realised he could use this to his advantage and started using the app to score rides to his next destinations.
The next 12,000km of his hitchhiking trip became a hitchhiking-dating-adventure and he made his way across Northern America through 32 dates.
Beaumont’s Tinder Profile
Bio: Nomadic traveller of 2 years from Britain. Currently hitchhiking 20,000km across North America. Trying to get by through the generosity of wonderful people. Need to reach New York City by early November. Can you help me get there?
Pictures used: All smiling, portraying fun and adventure.
Age Range: 18-50
Beaumont’s adjusted his tinder travel tactics to finding as many rides as possible by swiping right to everyone. Once he would get matched with someone he would start with an opening line mentioning something from the girl’s profile. However if he couldn’t come up with something good he would be straight to the point – “Can you drive me 60km south?”
And it worked!
3,766 Tinder Matches
After swiping right a lot of times Beaumont was getting a lot of response. A hell of a lot of responses actually.
I was astonished by the response I was getting on Tinder. I was matching with a lot of curious American girls who wanted to know more about my travels. They all seemed to dig the British thing too. Peculiarly, a lot of matches opened up with “OMG do you have an accent?” to which I replied, “Ever heard James Bond speak? I sound like him.”
In just 3-months in America, I matched with an incredible 3,766 people. Amusingly, I also recall a very low point in my adventure when I had to email Tinder Support (screenshot below) because my account crashed and deleted all my matches. Oh my, I can only imagine the look on the woman’s face dealing with my request and wondering how desperately deluded my life was.
Of all those 3,766 Matches Beaumont managed to get 32 dates that eventually turned into 32 rides which brought him all the way across the USA. In exchange for them offering him a ride he would cook for them, take them on an adventure or just make them laugh (with his British accent logically) or provide them with a sense of adventure.
From my Tinder travel experiment, I observed that since I’d set my profile up to ask for help, swiping right to everyone worked well as a natural filtering system for matching with people who were willing to help. I also observed that girls really dig adventure. I matched with curious, like minded, adventurous girls, some of whom had travelled extensively themselves, and others who wanted advice on how to start travelling. An overwhelming number of girls liked the idea of long-term travel but often gave me 101 reasons why they couldn’t, so I would try to convince them they should really just give it a try.
And he is right. After all every great journey starts with the first step!
Or with the first date in the case of Tinder traveling.
Adventures in a not so Lonely Planet
The traveling and dating combo is as old as people have been hitting the road. However new technology makes it easier and easier to hook up and find a date with someone abroad. Real adventures on a Not so Lonely Planet; this was the tagline used by the world’s most famous backpacking casanova, Neil Skywalker (his real name).
Skywalker wrote a book about his three year womanizing tour around the world (before the Tinder era) which he aptly named “Around the World in 80 Girls”.
A whole lot more than the 32 Beaumont scored using Tinder!
Most Memorable Tinder Travel Stories
A couple of tinder travel ‘pickups’ stood out most for Beaumont
My longest single Tinder hitchhike was around 500km down the beautiful Route 101 on the West Coast of USA. My most memorable story came when I matched with a girl from Phoenix, Arizona. It was late at night and I was just about to go to bed when she asked me to go for drinks with her and her mate. It turned out that her friend was a 40-year old guy who was a bit of a wheeler-dealer. He owned marijuana farms, oil companies and property. He was heading in the same direction as me to check out a new marijuana plot.
After a bit of persuasion and a few Jack Daniels and Cokes later, he agreed to take me. This hitchhike turned out to be one of my most memorable hitches. He was an extremely interesting character and had many fascinating stories about close encounters with the law – Tony Montana sprung to mind. Beneath all the debatable business endeavours, he was a very kind man with a good heart. We met for drinks a couple of times after the hitch and I’m still in touch with him today.
In addition to hitchhiking Beaumont also used Tinder to find company on the locations he visited. He managed to find girls who took him on a tour around Hollywood in Los Angeles, a trip to the Grand Canyon, a weekend adventure climbing in the Rocky Mountains, and a camping trip on the West Coast of USA.
The End Result of Tindering across America
After a hell of a lot of swiping right Beaumont managed to hitchhike 12,000km to New York City primarily using Tinder but also a bit of CouchSurfing and some travel forums and Craigslist.
For his first 8,000 hitchhiking kilometers across Canada Beaumont hitchhiked from the side of the road 100% of the time. In the USA, where he started using tinder to score rides, he covered 12,000km, hitchhiking from the side of the road just 15% of the time. The other 85% of his rides he found through the dating app!
Did he find romance?!
Beaumont replied with a smiling “Yes” to that question but refused to go into details……