By SHANNON KELLY
You used to have to chat a guy up in a bar, at least, to get him to take you to Paris. No more. Travel “dating” site MissTravel.com connects “generous” travellers (99 per cent of them men) with “attractive” travel lovers with no funds to travel.It works much like a dating site: Generous Traveler and Attractive Travelers (“attractive” being in the eye of the beholder, as the company so eloquently tweeted—see left) fill out profiles that include where they’d like to travel, personal statements and physical attributes like eye colour, build and height. Then members review other members’ profiles and contact those they’re interested in, either by sending a message with “come to me” (visit me where I live), “show me your town” (I’ll come to you) or “travel with me” (a trip proposal).
The site, which launched April 9, reported 25,000 users as of April 27.
Despite the “absolutely no escorts” policy, MissTravel.com is pretty open about the sugar-daddy element. In fact, when choosing what type of relationship you’re seeking, one option is “sugar daddy/sugar baby”. And MissTravel.com founder Brandon Wade is also the founder and CEO of SeekingArrangement.com, a self-proclaimed “elite sugar daddy dating site”.
What, exactly, differentiates an escort service from a Web site that legitimizes sugar daddies funding travel, meals and expenses for young, attractive women? Basically, the expectation of sex. And while sex and money transactions are not mentioned anywhere on the site, it’s hard to believe a guy who whisks a gal off to Buenos Aires won’t expect a little somethin’ somethin’ in return.
Media reaction surrounding MissTravel has ranged from eyebrow-raising (“slapping a fancy name on it doesn’t change what it really is” [MSNBC.com]) to outright ridicule (“the #1 prosti-travel website” [Gawker]).