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One year later: Success or hollow hype? Users tell their Misstravel experiences

It was an instant success in April, 2012. At least as far as media coverage is concerned. However, one year after the launch of the travel dating site Misstravel, the craze has subsided. One question remains, though: Does it actually work?

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TRAVEL DATING ONLINE MISSTRAVEL.COM REVIEWS
Rarely has a dating website been launched with as much fanfare as was the case with Misstravel.com in April of 2012. Instantly the dating service began attracting insane amounts of attention for its business model: Pairing handsome women with rich men who would presumably pay for travels for them both. Huffington post’s headline was pretty much a blueprint of the site’s own slogan; TV stations covered Misstravel blind dates; travel blogs ran posts, some critically condemning the service as “prostitution”, others soon telling of own experiences from using the site. Even the Traveling Reporter posted an analysis.

 

All the press coverage provided phenomenal advertising for Misstravel.com and its founder, Brandon Wade. Soon, in order the ramp up its brand even more, Misstravel began releasing a bunch of “surveys” about which U.S. cities are the most and least sexy.

 

One year later, though, the frenzy has settled considerably. Was this just a brief Internet star, rising fast and collapsing as quickly? How does it actually work? The Reporter went online to investigate what real proof, experiences and reviews of Misstravel.com users have submitted during the site’s first year of operation. [pullquote]How would you ever possibly sort through all these guys? – Misstravel female user[/pullquote]

No doubt are there many couples who have met through Misstravel.com’s services. There are probably a few women, too, who have had wonderful travel experiences (and perhaps other kinds of experiences as well) using the service. And, indeed, there are a few success stories out there, mostly from women.

However, curiously few couples seem to have shared their experiences. Instead, several of the accounts that the Reporter has found tell quite another story.

 

One clue about how well Misstravel.com actually works was posted on the Traveling Reporter itself. Earlier in 2013, Natalia shared what she claimed to be her experiences from trying to use the joint dating and travel service. Apparently, judging from her account, many of the gentlemen on Misstravel.com were not whom they claimed. Perhaps not surprising, many average guys went for the chance to simply try to lure a beautiful woman, if not travel partner, into a date. [pullquote]I am so happy. Vegas Vegas Vegas Vegas. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! – Another Misstravel female user[/pullquote]

Natalia reported (an excerpt):

You will meet students, then broke guys with mental problems who can not even get ANY girl in their city at all, married players, who is not determined of what they want till the end, they have wives and they want sex, but they are not willing pay a cent even for anything and if they decide to buy you a ticket for a week, then they expect whole 24/7 sex with you for FREE of course.

She even suggested a way to fix the problem:

How about excluding THOSE guys from the website????? I hope my comment will be read by Brandon and he will improve the website, untill it will go to the higher level and really include the people who are serious about the website and not those who use it just to play around.

 

Another account was found on the review site Sitejabber.com. There, Atry w reported a similar experience:

I joined it and posted photos. Several men contacted me, and they were “millionaires” who “travelled a lot”. When I wrote back to them, they appeared to be some unemployed guys, who scraped to pay for this site and write to women. All wanted to travel to Paris, if you travel a lot, why have not you been to Paris? Funny, right?

Also posting on Sitejabber, Jon T offered a somewhat different view:

Advantages: girl users are available for travelling, fun, adventure
Disadvantages: most of the users are the same from seekingarrangment.com (operated by the same mother company, Reporter’s note)

 

Another user who tried her luck was Angelina, who in May 2012 posted an interesting behind-the-scenes account. She didn’t go through with arranging an actual trip, it seems, but appeared not to be in lack of options, had she decided to go for it:

Considering that my main photo was not the slightest bit suggestive or “promiscuous”, I was shocked that I actually received dozens of messages from “generous” members and about 10 “trip proposals” within the first few days of being on the site. Men from around the globe asked me to travel with them to luxurious places such as Hong Kong, St. Kitts, Hawaii, and Rome – just to name a few.

 

Angelina as she appeared on Misstravel.com.

Angelina as she appeared on Misstravel.com.

Actually arranging a date, if not a trip, Angelina went on:

He told me that he also primarily joined out of curiosity because the site was receiving so much media attention during its immediate début. He was open-minded about the idea of meeting locals during his travels. He also said that being in a new global city every week for work is very lonely. He described himself as a self-proclaimed food expert who enjoys trying a different restaurant at every meal but does not like to dine alone. Traveling to him is learning, and there’s no better way to experience culture than to sit down and talk to the people who live in it.

I also asked him how many people he’s met since being on the site, and he said I was his 4th brunch date.

 

Even happier with the travel/dating service, it seemed, was one user who in October 2012 posted his opinion on Complaintsboard.com. “I am a male member of MissTravel.com”, stated Iamthetravelinman and went on:

I post my income correctly and state clearly that I will pay for all travel expenses. I have already had several successful trips with members from this site and expect to many more in the future. I provide a photocopy of my passport for every possible travel companion to verify my identification. I am sorry for your negative experience but there are bad people on every dating/travel site both male and female.

 

Replying on that, female user abouttimeitmadesense, too, could report of positive experiences. She stresses, though, that getting to know her potential date first was key to success:

I got to know him in person before making arrangements to travel together, which he was more than happy to cover all expenses and I’m more than happy to hang out with him again. I’m taking unpaid leave so that means I’m spending time as opposed to him spending money (which he obviously has more of than me) and this creates some kind of a balance. Again, different situation with a different take. I have also met someone who stopped over my town while on the way to another. I hosted him and that was kind of it. We exchanged contacts but there was no follow up to travel together and we’re just email buddies.

 

Ending up at a five star hotel in Montreal, another female user apparently had a good outcome, according to travel blog datelessndallas.com:

I met a guy on here… he is very spontaneous and invited me to Montreal for a few days… my first time in Montreal and he wanted me to see the beautiful city. He arranged first class flight and a 5 star hotel room for me in the middle of the city. during the day he had to work so I enjoyed the city and did some shopping alone (I loved that too). Then at the evening we met for dinner, show and movies. He is an amazing man and I had such a nice time….and I will meet him again for a new trip.

 

Happiness in Montreal.

Happiness in Montreal.

 

Another happy freeloader told the world on Tumblr she’ll be going to Vegas:

Ok, so like I said my spring break is coming up and I completely caved on Miss Travel. I made a simple profile and specifically stated that I wanted someone to treat me to Las Vegas for my spring break.

And guess what? Someone is! Actually, he was one of 7ish legitimate offers I got, but the only one able to be able to go at a week’s notice. He has seeking SB option checked, is a CEO that is fully googable, has booked us separate rooms for three nights at my favorite casino/hotel, and is treating me out to any shows/entertainment I want.

I am so happy. Vegas Vegas Vegas Vegas. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

 

Lastly, also on Tumblr, one woman got overwhelmed by all the response she received. However, considering the risks of meeting with unknown men, she decided to abolish the whole idea:

How would you ever possibly sort through all these guys? I can’t imagine having this profile up for weeks, how many responses you’d receive. How could you tell who was  serial killer/rapist and who just wanted a pretty girl to sit on the beach with him. Taking the risk of meeting these men on a date in your city, let alone a foreign country, is extremely ballsy in my opinion. (…)

Responses ranged from handsome execs (supposedly) in their 40s, to energetic entrepreneurs in their 20s, to middle income, middle aged married men looking for something on the side. I got invited to Miami Beach, Italy, to  fundraising event in NYC. I plan to delete my profiles in a day or so but it was definitely a fascinating experiment that has given me even more appreciation for these powerful ladies!

 

What analysis can be mace out of this collection of Misstravel experiences? There are all kinds of stories out there, pointing in every direction, so any attempt to draw a conclusion out of it without trying by oneself is bound to fail.

However, though it may seem simple, what distinguishes Misstravel from other dating services is not its features, but how much media coverage and attention it got, and still gets. This is truly unique for a dating service, and has thus given the site a jumpstart in relation to its competitors.

For when it comes down to it, any website that manages to pair people together does basically the same job as Misstravel does. Although perhaps in a more mundane manner.

 

 

The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.