If deciding where to go on a date is tricky, or even impossible, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Airbnb has paired up with Bumble on a curated collection of Online Experiences to help star-crossed matches connect from afar. These, they say, are perfect for spicing up virtual dates and engaging with another person in fun, meaningful ways.

Two chefs holding pasta dishes
Luca and Lorenzo are offering pasta-making classes © Airbnb Online Experiences

100,000 Bumble users globally have updated their dating profiles to mention that they are quarantining. With this initiative, virtual daters can bond over a shared activity, taking Zoom dates to a whole new level. There are a number of options available, designed to cater to all interests. These include a wine class with an expert in Portugal, a cookery class on Mexican street tacos, hanging out at a secret Amsterdam jazz club, enjoying a live show with sangria and drag queens in Lisbon, or experiencing a tarot reading with Mak Jagger.

A man drinking wine standing by a fridge
Wine-tasting classes are on offer © Airbnb Online Experiences

Other virtual experiences that are suitable for couples on a date include learning sake secrets from Japan's oldest brewery and meeting the woolly sheep on a New Zealand farm. Daters can learn to make pasta in Florence, find out all about coffee with a pro taster in Bogota, and try out a session of laughing therapy and laughter yoga from Lisbon.

A man in a brown sweater laughing
Virtual daters can enjoy laughing therapy classes © Airbnb Online Experiences

While there is a charge for each experience, Bumble is sponsoring a contest where 100 Bumble users will be selected to go on unique virtual first dates for free through Online Experiences, and this is taking place through its app. The competition is open for Bumble Date users based in the US and runs from 14 May through 28 May.

For more information on Airbnb's Online Experiences here.

Keep up to date with Lonely Planet's latest travel-related COVID-19 news here.

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