The Tell-All Guide to Love and Sex on the Road

It’s Valentine’s Day!! (Traveler’s Edition). So let’s talk about love!

And sex!

But first a word of caution:

To any travelers who want to avoid future heartbreak, it is important to keep in mind that love and sex on the road are usually not interchangeable. Especially in hostels of 18-25 year olds drinking, partying, eating and showering under one roof, hook-ups become inevitable. It is similar to university dorms, but without the commitment. In university, frequent hook-ups can be awkward since you’re living with the same people for an entire year. In hostels, it’s almost a free pass. Travelers come and go, and the person you hook up with one night, probably won’t be around the next.

Okay, let’s go first with sex.

Where does it begin?
If you’re at least decent looking, it is fairly easy to hook up with someone, especially after a few drinks. Travelers are more willing to make a first move, especially toward girls/guys they may feel “out of their league,” because of the mentality that they’ll never see them again after that day. You’ve already given up the comforts of your home to venture to the other side of the world, so sending a few drinks to the person you find cute doesn’t seem like much of a gamble…

Making First Impressions
First impressions are key when traveling, because most travelers meet so many people a day, it’s hard to remember who is who. Whether people admit to it or not, there’s always an air of superficiality when it comes to travelers. There’s a saying that goes, “women decide within the first 30 seconds of meeting a guy if she will sleep with him,” which certainly has some truth to it. Travelers want bragging rights, and they want to show their friends pictures of the hot foreigner they’ve hooked up with, so being well-groomed goes a long way.

Where does it take place?
Depending on how you look at it, there can either be a lot of places or very limited places to hook up while traveling. The most common is in hostels, where the majority of travelers reside. One thing I have to say though, is that having sex in a hostel dorm full of people is not cool, especially to those who are really loud doing it. We are here to travel, not to involuntarily be in a porno. If you’re looking for some alternative places to hook up in a hostel, this guy has some interesting ideas (clearly this was written before The Hangover came out).

Is it true love…or a fling?
Let’s take some time to drink a nice cup of tea, eat some biscuits, and take a look at this diagram before we proceed:
Alright, back to business. Most young travelers travel for adventure, and the freedom to escape the more pressing issues of “real life.” Most travelers are also single, because it is difficult to commit to a nomadic life when you’re in a relationship. I hate to generalize, and it’s not always true, but a lot of female travelers are out seeking their own version of “Eat Pray Love,” while the guys just want to hook up with as many girls as possible. Of course, there are also tons of people who have met while traveling and are happily in a long-term relationship, or are married.


Not Love:
Guy/Girl: I know we just met, but you look hot in that/those dress/shirt. I think I love you.
(The next day, you never hear from them again)
Verdict: This is a horny adolescent who want to get in your pants.


Possibly Love:
Guy/Girl: Let’s trade e-mails and keep in touch. I want to do an exchange to your country next year, and I’d love to see you again.
Verdict: Keeping in touch is a good sign of love.
The lesson learned from all this is that I give really cheesy examples, is that the only way to know if it’s more than a drunk hook-up is if he/she does not avoid you like the plague afterwards. A simple way would be to give them your e-mail or phone number. If they like you, they will text you/add you on Facebook, etc. If they don’t, well excuses such as “he/she probably lost it,”are not very useful. In that case, it is better to accept it (it was fun while it lasted) and move on (because if they like you as much as you do them, they would surely duel a pirate before parting with that paper with your number).


I guess it was just a fling…but now I’m heartbroken
It seems lame to feel heartbroken by someone you barely know, so don’t be. If love doesn’t happen, find another adventure. It can be tough, but we are travelers. We are intrepid, after all. Remember, if you don’t seek it, it will come to you. “Ask yourself this question: Will this matter a year from now?” – Richard Carlson

So It’s Love! Now what?

While that one steamy night might have turned into actual love, there’s a lot of bumps before you can sail into the sunset. One thing you could do is to make sure that you stay on top of things and keep yourself healthy by getting tested using a site like Another problem is geographic as location is usually a big issue when it comes to beginning relationships with other travelers. Most likely, you live in different countries, if not continents, and there’s always that inevitable doom of the end of a trip. Where does it go from here? If you’ve already made it that far, well, congrats! All relationships can be difficult, and love on the road certainly isn’t impossible. For those travelers who make long-term relationships work, all the hard work obviously pays off well.

And on that note, Happy Valentine’s Day! If I was rich or had a sugar daddy, I’d buy sailboats for everyone to sail into the sunset in.



  1. February 13, 2012 / 7:44 am

    Haha, this is a great post – and really informative too! I'm one of the fortunate few who made real love work with a foreigner – but it was not easy and required me eventually moving half way across the world!

    Hope you're have a great week!


  2. February 16, 2012 / 7:57 pm

    I had that kind of love experience and it didn't work well (I'm still getting over it). But like you said better days will come and more travelers with it…ahahah

  3. February 17, 2012 / 1:43 am

    Jenna – sometimes, I'm just so jealous of your life, Jenna! Hope you enjoyed V day with your boy in sunny South Africa 🙂

    Rita – at least practice makes perfect! 🙂

  4. February 18, 2012 / 6:34 am

    Just come across your blog – and love it!!!!! Your posts on hostel 'relationships' were spot on. I met a few girls (which was clear to see after five minutes of conversation) thought travelling would lead to meeting the one. Unfortunately from what I saw and experienced in hostels, that's very unlikely.

  5. February 18, 2012 / 10:23 am

    I love this blog too!! The aspect of love on the road is an interesting topic. I’ve never brought a guy back to a dorm room, don’t thing I could do that but have been in a shared dorm when someone else has. Worst time was in an 8 bed female dorm in Airlie beach, 2 people came in at god knows what time and start kissing on the bunk bed below me then I hear her say “not without a condom”. I didn’t know if I should leave the room, but stayed hoping it was going to be quick. After 10 mins of hellish shaking I’d had enough and went to the lounge. I came back a while later to find it all kicking off because another girl there was pissed off and threw a shoe at the pair of lovers who eventually left.

  6. February 19, 2012 / 10:28 pm

    Dusty – thanks! 🙂 Yea, people "fall in love" too easily while traveling!

    Sophie – ugh, some people can be so disrespectful! I guess what happens in Airlie Beach stays in Airlie Beach, haha. I loved that place! Did you stay at Magnums?

  7. February 22, 2012 / 7:14 pm

    Yes I stayed at Magnums, turned out to be a big party hostel! Everyone’s got needs and I would not have cared too much if they did it quickly and quietly. After all, over a long period of travelling it happens. If its going to be long, loud and wild sex have some dignity and avoid the shared dorms please, how about all those empty beaches and parks at night

  8. Anonymous
    February 22, 2012 / 11:40 pm

    Well that was a fun read. =) Maiku

  9. February 28, 2012 / 11:21 pm

    Yea it was! I really loved that hostel except for the tiny kitchen. I remember my friends and I went to another hostel to use their kitchen because we were tired of cooking in such a crammed area.

    Yes, def not in the dorms (there are more practical places in the hostels)

  10. December 7, 2012 / 12:28 pm

    Funny! My favorite line is, “The lesson learned from all this is that I give really cheesy examples[.]” By the way, I couldn’t resist clicking on a title like this — The Tell-All Guide to Love and Sex on the Road.

  11. July 28, 2013 / 3:09 pm

    you look cool girl … if you travel to Egypt you can call me i would love to be with you 😉

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