Many people love the thrill of holidaying in distant destinations and experiencing different cultures. The availability of cheap deals on air, sea and rail journeys, as well as accommodation, has made many corners of the world so much more accessible than they once were. Coupled with the film, television and the Internet offering glimpses of far-flung locations to whet curious appetites, the thirst for travel is widespread.

For many people, visiting somewhere exotic can be hampered by lack of local knowledge and ever-present language barriers. They make all the effort to traverse half the globe, then when they arrive the next few days are a disappointment of struggling to make sense of maps, tour guides, unknown road signs, hectic traffic, unfamiliar local customs and unidentifiable cuisine. How much easier would it be if you had your own guide? Here’s how you can arrange this service, and at practically zero cost.

Check out a dating site

The gap between discussing tour guides to online dating might seem a considerable leap, but only if you don’t really know that much about relationship websites. They are certainly geared towards romance and bringing compatible singles together, but not exclusively so. Many people sign-up to use these sites for their social side. Rather than seeking a partner or love interest what they are quite content with is being introduced to new friends.

This can be done in various ways. The profiles of site users can be consulted, and whenever the newcomer finds someone who has similar tastes or leisure pursuits, then can send them a private message. There are also chat rooms where anyone can drop by and instigate a conversation. This can lead to group chats about different subjects.

Friends across borders

It’s free to sign-up to a site such as QuickFlirt or any of many similar platforms. Once you’ve joined you can start to consider the options for reaching out to other members. And because this is an online venture you don’t have to concern yourself with wherever the different candidates call home.

Say you have always been intrigued to visit the Far East and like what you’ve read about Japan as a destination. With a bit of detective work, you can quickly narrow down Japanese site users. Now you can begin the process of getting to know a bit about them by sending a message or two.


At this stage, you would want to take things at a steady pace. If you were to suddenly blurt out you’re looking for someone to show them the local sights on your imminent jaunt to Tokyo they might take this politely, or they might wonder if there’s an element of being stalked by a stranger! So you would engage in friendly conversation, over a period of time. Because these dating sites are utilized as a way of making social connections, a friendly approach will persuade your subject you are simply out to cultivate a friendship. They might be wary at first, but there is every likelihood they’ll welcome your approach, intrigued by being contacted by someone from a different country.

Once you have reached the stage where a good rapport has been established, you can make the offer of an ‘exchange.’ Explain you’re traveling to Tokyo next month and would value meeting up with someone who could impart local knowledge. You’re not looking to put them out of their way, or seeking accommodation, merely someone to briefly touch base with to discuss your itinerary. They might well offer to show you around in person.

Offering to reciprocate if they ever wish to visit your own hometown may well seal the deal!