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Controversial Miss Travel dating website proves there’s no such thing as a free trip

Sofi Papamarko
Shine On
April 25, 2012

How would you like to get paid to travel the world, relax in fabulous hotels and dine at all the best restaurants? Sounds pretty dreamy, right?

Well, that's what Brandon Wade is betting on.

Wade, the American entrepreneur behind controversial online dating sites What's Your Price.com and Seeking Arrangement.com has launched a brand new online initiative, Miss Travel.com.

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"Miss Travel is another niche dating site with the idea that generosity goes a long way," Wade says. "The website is highly focused on the concept of traveling."

In fact, Miss Travel matches "generous travelers who hate to travel alone with attractive travelers who would love the opportunity to travel the world for free" reads the website.

Summation: Are you hot? Go on free trips with rich people! Are you rich? Pony up to go on trips with hot people!

Check out this promo video for Miss Travel:

It's all a little too Pretty Woman for the liking of some. After all, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Could a free trip to Tahiti be any different?

But it is Wade's belief that money can buy you love.

"If you look at a lot of reality TV shows like The Bachelor, they always send people overseas to various locations and create these amazingly romantic environments for people to fall in love," Wade says. "One of the things I realized is that when you travel to exotic places, it's a lot easier to fall in love. So why don't we just take travel and dating and falling in love and put them together?"

So far, it seems that attractive men and women are more than happy to rely upon the kindness of strangers. Over 70% of the 16,000 users that have signed up since the site's launch on April the 9th are "attractive" members looking for someone "generous" to take them on the trip of a lifetime.

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All talk of romance aside, when someone is shelling out thousands -- maybe even tens of thousands of dollars --  to take an attractive man or woman on a trip, won't they be expecting something in return, aside from witty after-dinner banter?

That's a big concern for online dating expert Julie Spira. The author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating says that those considering such an arrangement should be concerned about their safety.

"What happens if the man who paid for you suddenly isn't enjoying your company? What if he asks you to perform certain sexual acts that you aren't comfortable with?" Spira asks. "Sure, travel can be lonely and there's so much of the world to see, but unless [you have your] own room and an associated bodyguard, I say buyer beware."

"Going on a trip with a stranger is absolutely not a good idea," agrees Fran Greene, relationship coach and author of The Flirting Bible. "Nothing comes without a price. It is not a smart or safe way to have a date. Who is more desperate, the payer or the payee?"

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But Wade insists that he is not suggesting his members go on travel dates with total strangers.

"We certainly advocate getting to know a person first before doing any traveling," he says, pointing out that the website has a section featuring travel safety tips.

Wade says he's surprised by the backlash the site has received on blogs and Twitter.

"I think people have an issue with it because there's some risk associated with traveling with a stranger to a faraway place," he says. "A lot of members are very smart. They're not just going to pack their bags and fly out the next day to meet with someone they've never  seen or gotten to know."

Proceed with caution, would-be travel bunnies.

Watch the fun video below about the five biggest problems with long distance relationships.

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