New Hookup App Promises Terrifying Dates with Free Travel

By Annalee Newitz on at

I have never seen an ad for a product that so completely sums up all the reasons why you would never, ever want to use it. The MissTravel app helps “attractive females” score free vacations from “generous males” who just want a first date. And this insanely creepy video is supposed to sell you on it.

I’m not sure, but I think the message is that using MissTravel is like being trapped in a foreign country with a creepy guy who gives you really expensive shoes so that you’ll hug him. Or maybe the hug guy is rescuing you from the creepy guy? So complicated! Anyway, it doesn’t really matter because the MissTravel app — coming this summer! — is from the people who “pioneered the concept of travel dating.” They know that every dating experience should feel like the movie Hostel. According to company reps:

The MissTravel app breathes new life into the mobile dating industry with innovative features such as trip offers, allowing users to invite others on first dates to explore far-flung destinations in the hopes of finding romance. The mobile app is built with frequent travellers in mind, as well as daters who are interested in finding love outside of their city’s dating pool.

Do you remember that reality dating show Shipmates? Where two people would be set up on a blind date, sent on a 3-day cruise, and wind up throwing drinks at each other or having drunk sex or both? OK, maybe you didn’t watch a lot of late night television in the ‘00s. Don’t worry, because MissTravel can make Shipmates your new romantic hellscape. I love that this other video promoting the app basically uses all the tropes of reality dating shows to make the entire experience look icky.

Please explain to me why I want to use this app. Is it for the terror? The humiliation? The awkward experience of being paid to travel with a stranger — or paying a stranger to travel with me? I mean, I guess MissTravel does have the virtue of promoting truth in advertising. There’s no effort to dress this up in euphemisms and promises of fun. Yep, “travel dating” is scary and terrible. But hey — at least it’s available for mobile now!