Imagine you’ve decided to take your dream vacation to another country. Where would you stay? What are you going to do when you get there? If you’re like most people you probably begin planning immediately. You start by price checking your plane tickets and hotel room. You look up reviews on the best local places to eat. You plan out your itinerary, filling it with all the cool tourist attractions you’d like to visit. Great, now you know what you’re going to do, but who are you going to meet?
Making new friends can be difficult, especially in a foreign country, but Skout has you covered. Skout was originally a dating app which has been expanded to foster connections of all types. It uses your location to connect you to the people nearby. In 2014 they added a “Travel” feature which is quickly increasing in popularity. In January 2015 Skout announced that this feature had already been used 10 million times. According to Skout, the most popular international city to travel to was Hong Kong and women are twice as likely to travel virtually as men.
When traveling on the app you use points (the in-app currency system) to set your location to the desired city for a 24 hour period of time. The app will now display you as located in that city to other people. After your destination is set you can browse through and be found by anyone in that city.
Many users are now including Skout in their pre-vacation planning. Now you’ll know what you want to do when you get there and who you can hang with. Your new friends may even be able to give you tips about local hot spots that most tourists miss, great restaurants to dine in, and the clubs to stay away from. With so few risks and so many possible rewards there’s no reason not to virtually pre-travel before you travel.