Once regarded as a niche interest, indulged in by people who had failed to meet a partner through traditional outlets, dating sites are all the rage these days. Sites such as www.flirt.com can put you in touch with such a diverse range of profiles, anyone new to the resource typically finds themselves spoilt for choice. But there is so much more to these online ventures than simply arranging dates. They offer chat rooms where you can meet a variety of interesting people, from a range of cultural backgrounds. When it comes to planning a holiday, these charming individuals can be a terrific help.

Joining a site

One of the best aspects of these relationship outlets is the fact they make it so convenient to join. Signing up is always a straightforward process involving completing an online application form. You don’t have to share any sort of personal information; simply choose a username, then you are good to go when it comes to introducing yourself to the other site visitors. Doing so does not commit you to getting romantically acquainted with anyone, but what it does do is give you access to many different people to increase your existing friendship circle.

Cross-fertilization of ideas

While many newcomers to these websites are purely interested in sifting through the profiles in the hope of coming across someone whose profile image makes them doubletake, if you are looking for ideas for your holiday all you have to do is enter the chat rooms. Here you can introduce yourself and immediately get involved in hot conversation topics about anything you wish.

The existing site users will always be amenable to newcomers. You can always instigate chat subjects yourself by suggesting a topic relevant to your own particular area of interest. Why not pose the question, “any ideas for unusual and memorable holiday destinations?” Immediately you might find yourself bombarded with all sorts of suggestions. The beauty of receiving information in this way is you will be getting information from the horse’s mouth. There will be no holiday brochure-style cliched descriptions of holiday locations. You will be getting live data from individuals who might live in this particular country.

Cultural norms

Traveling to any justification, there can be many hurdles to cross, such as language barriers, difficulties with currency, not knowing the best accommodation, and many others. But another thing that can spoil our holiday is when you come across cultural aspects you are not aware of. Because you live in such a diverse world, you could be coming across people from a variety of ethnic or religious backgrounds, so it would be impossible to second-guess every last cultural nuance.

But if you can get to know people come from that actual country online, you can take their advice on-board. Are there particular gestures which are regarded as offensive? What about religious occasions when people have to behave in a certain way? Say you come across an interesting-looking building which is also an ancient temple, what would be the etiquette about popping in for a visit? Perhaps the locals regard this location as a religious shrine and do not take kindly to intrusions from tourists brandishing cameras and mobile phones.

Tour guides

Perhaps one of the best aspects of making new friends in this way is you could arrange to have your very own guide waiting for you when you alight at your holiday destination. From being someone you have only ever met virtually, this special acquaintance could meet you at the airport and then take you under their wing as they invite you to enjoy the delights of their homeland. They might even welcome you to take a spare room at their place, saving you the expense of booking into a hotel. When it comes to deciding which of the countless local landmarks to visit, they’ll offer the best advice.