Gary is currently in Mississauga, ON (Sep 15th, 2014)
 

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Miss Travel: Where Gold Diggers and Travelers Can Meet

Every week I get tons of emails from travel companies trying to promote themselves. I delete almost all of them without looking beyond the subject line of the email. This week, however, I was grabbed by an email that was interesting to say it least. It was for the launch of a new internet dating site called Miss Travel that aimed to bring together men and women interested in travel.

Well, that isn’t quite what the site was about. What it claimed to do was let men (which they call generous travelers) pay for women (called attractive travelers) to accompany them on trips.

The idea of an internet dating site where people who love traveling can meet is actually not a bad idea (note to whoever creates this: I want stock options). However, this is not that thing.

For the record, there is no way in hell I am going to try and meet women on a site where the very premise of your meeting is that I have to pay money to some chick just to hang out with me. Every since I sold my internet consulting firm back in 1999 I’ve avoided women like this. They sort of sicken me. I am also not that desperate.

I am, however, not above signing up for the service to write a blog post about.

…which is exactly what I did :)

I signed up for the service and created a profile using my Twitter handle as my username. Given my travel resume, I figured I should do quite well. You can view the profile here. The profile mostly consists of text from my about page and images I’ve had taken of myself from the past 5-years. I mentioned nothing about money and also went out of my way to discourage the idea of 5-star, luxury travel.

Other than viewing other profiles, I did absolutely nothing. The site lets you set other profiles as a “favorite”, wink at someone, suggest a trip, and send someone a comment. I did none of these.

After five days, here are the results:

  • 2 woman attempted to send me a message.
  • 2 women suggest trips for me to take them on. One woman from the Ukraine wanted to go to Rio and another wanted to go to Orlando. Neither had made any other contact with me prior to asking me to pay for them to take a trip.
  • 6 women favorited my profile. They come from Montana, Pennsylvania, Utah, Ukraine, London and Manchester.
  • 16 women “winked at me”, which means according to the system that they want to date me.
  • 72 women viewed my profile.
  • Women who interacted with me ranged from 18 to 61.
  • To contact anyone personally, you have to pay a minimum of $50 which has to be paid by the man. Fuck that.

A couple things to note:

  • During the act of writing this post, I had to update the numbers on this several times. The site is clearly growing.
  • The site just launched and a whole lot of women have signed up in the last few days. It has gotten press on CNN and other major news sites. I’m guessing in a few weeks the numbers will be radically different.
  • One thing I haven’t seen written anywhere is that the site was created by the owners of whatsyourprice.com, a site where men have to literally bid to go out on dates with women. (File that under “you are fucking kidding me”)
  • The percentage of women who bothered to engage with me in some way seems quite high given the number of women who looked at my profile. The photo I used was me on Easter Island. I figured that would filter out the women looking for photos of yachts and sports cars.
  • There are a fair share of women in bikinis, which you’d expect. Most of the women in the system seem like very normal women. There seemed to be an above average number of cosmetologists on the site and a very low number of cosmologists….if you get my drift.
  • There were a few woman who would probably be very interesting people to meet outside of this site. One was a professional cellist, which to be honest, is kind of hot.
  • I didn’t get to check out any male profiles. However, given the running commentary I’ve watched on Twitter, they are probably even more ridiculous as they are trying to show off and impress.

The big question I keep asking myself during all of this is: WHERE THE HELL HAVE ALL THESE WOMEN BEEN THE LAST FIVE YEARS???

If being well traveled is such a major turn-on, I should have the world’s most active social life. I ought to have a woman in every port so to speak. I should be the nomadic Hugh Hefner.

I’m not.

When you get right down to it, the travel aspect of this site is just a ruse. It is all about money.

Believe me when I say, I’d like nothing more than to meet a smart woman who loves to travel. This site isn’t going to be the way it happens.

Ladies, you want a well traveled self made Eagle Scout with 3 degrees, I’m your guy. If you want a sugar daddy, please move along.

I leave you with the song that is probably going through all your heads: Gold Digger by Kanye West:

  • 39 Comments... What's your take?

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Comments

  1. a minimum of $50 by the man, Fuck That. Hahaha love it! But good on the creator of this. There would be a lot of desperate men willing spend cash to meet promiscuous women (gold diggers) in delightful locations around the globe. And what women would not love a free holiday. Great post Gary

  2. Lester says:

    Hey Gary, you should pay to see whats in the message. Sometimes curiosity just kicks in. i paid and i used it and is pretty fun to make friends across the globe. i didn’t agree to pay any trip to them though. This is my profile link http://www.misstravel.com/~Lescrazy

  3. Gary, got a lot of respect for you for “trying before buying” so to speak. A lot of people just immediately shot this site down.

    I think it’s also important to point out too that women can also pay to take men on trips too! It’s not just guys cashing in on the action. Hell, because of that I’ve thought about prostituting myself to wealthy high flying women who fancy a bit of rough!

  4. Yvette says:

    I admit I sorta wanted to sign up for this site after reading this so there’d be at least one cosmologist woman on there. ;-)

  5. This really is amazing and ridiculous! Is this the new version of a mail order bride service… I love the investigative journalism that you did. Hilarious post Gary!

  6. Larissa says:

    Why couldn’t you check the male profiles? I’m browsing them right now and am a loss for words. Happy to see you aren’t one of the many who are interested in “Married Dating / Discreet Affair”. Incidentally I just found Charlie Sheen’s profile —> http://www.misstravel.com/~Jasonn

    Huge high five to Stephen for calling out the broad dying to visit Orlando. I’m guessing she either has kids or is also Ukrainian. Or both.

    • Gary says:

      Are you logged in with an account?

      The Ukrainian wanted to go to Rio. The woman who wanted to go to Orland I think was from Virginia.

      • Larissa says:

        No, I am not a member. Yet. I clicked on your profile link and off to the right were avatars to more profiles I could visit. Virginia?! This lady is just sounding better and better by the minute…

  7. Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot says:

    Hi Gary and Co,

    So funny, had to comment even though I’m on the iPad.

    So funny and sad I should say. Thanks for sharing it. All I can say is I’m a self-diagnosed travel addict so glad I don’t have to resort to this to fund my trips.

    Plus I am married of course.

    But are you single? Surely the offer. Have been rolling in from this blog anyway? Worked for Penelope Trunk who met her husband through her blog and moved from NYC to a farm to be with him:)

    Online dating has worked a treat for many of my friends but the idea of Miss Travel is eeeeew:)

  8. Christy says:

    I thought it was a dating site. Thanks for clearing that up. :)

  9. Haha Gary I saw this site a few days ago. Love the “I’d be the nomadic Hugh Hefner” line! had me in stitches.

  10. Zak says:

    Loved the cosmetologist/cosmologist line…great, subtle jab that paid off in spades :)

  11. DebbZ says:

    Oh I’m going to join CougarTraveler.com then. LOL, this is so funny. I can’t believe someone came up with this idea :p

  12. Michael says:

    Gary I’m hoping that you didn’t have to pay anything for signing up to the service.

  13. James Craven says:

    Gary:

    Does sort of give new meaning to the travel phrase: “Lonely Planet”…

    JSC

  14. Matthew says:

    Why use this site when local hookers are so much more cost effective?

  15. Theodora says:

    Gawker covered the founder’s background quite extensively a few days ago: http://gawker.com/miss-travel/

    And I think prostitution is probably more accurate than gold-digging, although it’s hard to tell without paying the $50 to chat to the ladies involved.

  16. Obviously, many of us are amused by this. But there are probably quite a few people who are signing up after reading about this service.

  17. John O'Nolan says:

    “To contact anyone personally, you have to pay a minimum of $50 which has to be paid by the man. Fuck that.”

    I lol’d – hard

  18. Andy Murdock says:

    To their (very minor) credit, I asked them if they allowed “attractive” men and “generous” women, or gay members of either sort, and they replied that the site was totally open to all of those options. Not that I could find any on the site itself, mind you. I did find someone wanting a travel threesome who liked to eat sushi off of people, so maybe that counts.

    • Gary says:

      I did several searches on the term “bisexual” and visited their profile to see if they’d contact me.

      …no dice.

    • MissTravel says:

      In order for you to search for a gay member, you have to sign up as a gay member. You can only search for members that you are “seeking”. So if you are registered as an male looking for a female, you won’t be able to see any gay male profiles.

  19. Natalie says:

    Hmmm….makes me wonder if there is an opposite site…you know…rich women looking for men to take on vacation. What do I want in a paid traveling companion? I think in this case, I’m looking for compliant, detail oriented, and somewhat protective. “Oh, Stevie…can you plan us a trip to Belize?? I want to snorkel the reef there, and go zip lining. About 7-10 days, so we can snooze on the beach some too. Lodging?? Remeber that hostel in Amsterdam where we had a private bedroom and bathroom? Aim for that or just a bit upscale.”

  20. Tom Bartel says:

    Wait, you’ve got three degrees? When the hell did you have time for that?

  21. Steph says:

    Is their an option for wealthy women to pick up hot men to travel with? Only seems fair.

    The company that made this site also made some famous sugardaddy dating site. I think the whole thing is pretty gross.

  22. Laurence says:

    Someone sent me a link to this site, and I actually thought it was a joke, or some kind of clever viral marketing scheme. Clearly not. It’s certainly not aimed at the kind of travellers I know ;)

  23. Jody says:

    My only complaint… That I didn’t think of this. Desperate men with loads of cash (or credit) and cheap women….

    Love that you signed up to get a look from the “inside”.

  24. Stephen says:

    I’d have to be pretty hard up to want to go out with a woman whose travel destination of choice was Orlando.

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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