Why You're Seeing so Many Travel Photos on Dating Apps

First impressions are important, so of course you want to post photos that represent who you are and what you are passionate about.

Should you post a selfie or a full body shot? Is it better to post something posed or candid? Solo or in a group? With sunglasses? Or without?

Dating app profiles are full of mirror selfies, candid shots and an incredibly high number of pictures of guys holding freshly caught fish. As enticing as someone’s fishing skills might be to some people, there’s another style of photo that’s even more popular: travel photos. 

What will posting travel photos do for your profile?

In 2017 study by Hinge found that travel photos fare better than other photos used in dating app profiles. Around 180,000 photos were analyzed with the goal of discovering whether or not travel photos receive more likes - and it turns out they do. 

Funny man and camel

Only 3.4 percent of photos showcased a user's travels but those who did boast about their trip to Rome or Paris received 30 percent more likes. 

“Since it’s summer and people are busy traveling, we were curious to know if our members connected more or less over travel photos,” said Jean-Marie McGrath, Hinge’s Director of Communications, in a press release. “We found that travel photos were extremely rare but highly effective — confirming that our members should share the awesome travel experiences they’re having with their connections.”

It makes sense why people post so many travel photos. You only have a few photos to tell the world who you are, and traveling says a lot. What seems more interesting?

Photos that show of the Palacio Nacional da Pena in Portugal are beautiful, but if the architecture is outshining you, people will be more likely to continue swiping.

A bathroom selfie? Or a selfie from the Eiffel tower? A group shot in someone’s basement? Or a group shot of you and your friend’s in Cuba?

Travel photos make you look adventurous and into expanding your worldview. It also works as a great conversation starter. There’s no need to read through a profile to find a topic when you can ask them about their recent trip to Morocco.  

Woman looking out at icebergs


The most popular destinations for photos

In fact, 33% of women were more likely to initiate a conversation over travel photos than their male counterparts.

The study found that women who posted photos in Maui and Santorini received 60% and 93% more likes than the average photo. Meanwhile, men’s photos from Portland and Munich got 56% and a whopping 210% more.

Man hanging off boat

In a 2018 article in Vox, dating coach, Kevin Murray described travel photos as, “low-hanging fruit to start a conversation with.” As someone with a lot of experience making professional profiles, he described his top priority as “creating avenues for conversation. 

Which Travel Photos Should you be Posting?

While travel photos may have proven to earn more likes and matches, that doesn’t mean every travel photo is worth posting. 

Photos that show of the Palacio Nacional da Pena in Portugal are beautiful, but if the architecture is outshining you, people will be more likely to continue swiping. Other users want to get an idea of your appearance and how you smile, not just that you spent a week in a foreign country. 

Woman laughing in the middle of a field

And keep your photos current. Users want to see a current representation of who you are - not the person you were three years ago.

Multiple dating apps suggest updating your photos and bio, and sure trips to South America don’t happen every year, but you always have the option to take a selfie with a freshly caught salmon. 

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