By Rebekah Scanlan
A budget conscious traveller has managed to visit 22 countries in 12 months, thanks to the help of men who pay to meet her in glamorous locations through dating site.
Lucia Khabzi, 24, from Sydney, NSW, in Australia, has travelled to countless exotic holiday destinations, including Dubai, India and Morocco meeting men she’s been introduced to on a travel based dating site.
Since joining Miss Travel, a Tinder style dating app, during a year long backpacking trip, the singleton and has taken full advantage of the generosity of the men she meets and lived a luxury lifestyle of cocktails and fine dining.
The unemployed sales-assistant estimates each all expenses paid trip she’s been whisked away on costs her dates at least $10,000, and always include five-star accommodation, business class flights and adventurous activities.
Though she’s yet to find love, the young traveller is adamant it’s the best way to date, and says she’s never felt pressured by any of the men she’s travelled with.
Lucia said: “Before I started using Miss Travel, I was backpacking on a budget and was very conscious of money.
“But since joining the site, I’ve been flown to luxury locations, stayed in plush hotels and experienced the high life.
“The men that pay to jet me somewhere nice are all really good guys, mostly interested in friendship and looking for company.
“Because of them, my year-long backpacking experience has been far more indulgent than I could have ever afforded alone.”
As a result of her dates, Lucia has enjoyed days lounging by infinity pools, witnessed world-class views and on one trip, was even gifted her own chauffer for the duration of her stay.
She said: “It’s been pretty outrageous what some guys will pay out for. Flights, hotels, food and drinks… the list goes on.
“They literally wont let me buy a single drink which at at first, was actually really hard to accept.
“Then I realised, they just wanted someone to share their experience with them, so the guilt faded.”
Despite being gifted all-expenses paid trips, Lucia insists she’s not in it for financial gain.
“Mostly I use the site because I enjoy meeting new people. If those people want to pay for me to explore a new place with them, that’s a bonus.
“Miss Travel has been a great tool for connecting with new people. If they let me chat to girls, I would but the app doesn’t work that way.”
The forensics graduate embarked on a year-long backpacking holiday in April last year, with just $15,000 in her bank account, but thanks to the dating app, has managed to stay in hotels that cost $1,000 a night.
She said: “The first trip I went on, I was flown business class to Dubai and picked up from the airport in a Jaguar.
“I was then chauffeured to the Rixos hotel at The Palm, and my date didn’t even turn up because of work commitments.
“Instead, I got to spend a whole week exploring a place I would never have travelled to normally, in complete luxury.
“From then on, I knew Miss Travel was something I wanted to use more to explore the world and experience new things.”
She added: “I’ve always wanted to travel, so I had to save all through university to go on my trip once I graduated.
“Quite quickly, I realised just how expensive travelling was and was having to do things like hitch-hiking to get by. That’s why I decided to give Miss Travel a go.
“After all, I was single so why not? Plus, if I found love along the way it would be the perfect scenario.”
In the last 12 months, Lucia has managed to visit 22 countries, many of which have been aided by the men she’s been travel dating, but she insists it’s not prostitution.
She said: “For me, I was always going travelling, but meeting the guys I’ve met on the app has just meant I’ve been able to travel in a different style.
“The guys I’ve met have all been well respected business men and I’ve made it clear before we met up, that there was no guarantee anything would blossom between us.
“I think it’s important to establish a friendship. If anything else develops, it would be a bonus.
“Unfortunately, love hasn’t developed between any of the men I’ve met. I’ve not even kissed any of my dates. Regardless, they’ve all treated me well and we’ve had a great time.
“I’m still friends with most of them now and update them with photos of where I am in the world. It’s been a really nice experience.”
She added: “I’ve been really open with my friends and family about the way I’m dating whilst overseas.
“My parents were a bit concerned initially, but mostly no one was surprised. I’ve always loved meeting new people.
“This is just a new, fun way of doing it and I’m happy to keep dating strangers and letting them share their lives and travel experiences with me whilst I’m still single.”
THE COUNTRIES LUCIA HAS VISITED
June 16 – Iran – hitch hiked through country on budget Aug 16 – Was flown business class to Dubai, stayed in 5* hotel Sep – Dec- Backpacked through Europe, visiting 23 countries and dating men in local cities who paid for fancy dinners and tours. Countries included Italy, Greece, Spain, Iceland and the UK.
Jan 17 – Morocco, Turkey, Israel, Palestine – Dated Miss Travel users who whisked her away on sunset tours, camel rides and desert adventures Feb 17 India – Flown business to meet hotel owner. Stayed in 5* accommodation for free for a month Nepal – Visited with another Miss Travel date met in India Egypt – Paid for upcoming trip in March 17 by Miss Travel date, includes chauffer pick up from airport Dubai – Another planned trip to visit date who has covered all expenses to date, including flights