There's a hot new travel site -- but it doesn't really arrange any travel.
The Internet blew up Wednesday over Misstravel.com, a site that launched April 9. According to its founder, Brandon Wade, the site connects rich people with good-looking people who want to gallivant around the world on the rich person's dime.
"We are a meeting space like a nightclub or a bar for people who are interested in talking," Wade said.
"This isn't an escort service."
Wade points out the "Escorts are not welcome" disclaimer linked from the home page. Visitors to Misstravel.com may miss that message initially when confronted immediately upon arrival by the image taking up most of the home page, a young woman sitting school-girlishly (short skirt, head tilted) on a pink suitcase.
A video play button appears over her. Click and hear a woman's voice speaking sexily as a female cartoon delivers the pitch.
"Are you attractive but you don't have the money to travel?" she asks. "What if you could travel around the world, stay in five-star resorts, dine at top-rated restaurants and do the fun things travelers do, all for free?"
On Misstravel, you can, the voice says. Male cartoons of doctors, lawyers, bankers, athletes and such pop into the frame, and the voice says, "Best of all, they have the money, and they are willing to spend it on you."
No one on the site has gone on any trips that Wade knows about -- mostly because the site is so new -- and Misstravel does not arrange travel, he said. Like a dating site, Misstravel only provides a platform for people to create profiles and communicate.
There are two categories on Misstravel: "attractive" and "generous." Judging from photos of the attractives, they evidently have so little money they can't afford many clothes.
The site offers no promises that a generous will not stick an attractive with any bills. It's up to the two of them to negotiate, Wade said.
The generouses include "YoungCEO4U" who claims to be 27, worth between $500,000 and $1 million and from Farmington, Michigan. He is interested in "no strings attached" and going to the Dominican Republic.
An attractive could also choose a 6 foot 2 inch generous named "Bigmoolah" from Florida or "Texan323," who lists himself as single but is open, he indicates, to "Mutually Beneficial Arrangements (Sugar Daddy / Sugar Baby)" and "Married Dating/Discreet Affair."
If you register as an attractive, you pay nothing. If you're generous, you pay a minimum of $50 to be able to communicate with 10 attractives, Wade said. For $250, you can communicate with up to 100 attractives.
Wade said the site allows people of all types; although it's called Misstravel, men and women, gay and straight are welcome to be either an attractive or a generous.
When these categories connect, Wade said, they should consult the safety guidelines Misstravel provides, such as, "Never travel out of the country or to a different city to meet someone you do not know well."
Something to keep in mind when dealing with "Manimal" a 30-year-old from the Chicago area who asks in his profile, "Are you woman enough?"
Wade said he was a "nerd growing up in Singapore" who didn't have a girlfriend or a kiss until he was 21. His site is intended, he said, to help people who are shy like him connect. He is trying to follow some wisdom his mother shared with him years ago.
"A little bit of generosity," he said, "goes a long way when it comes to dating."
What do you think? Would you search for travel companions this way? Share your thoughts in the comments below.