Breakup Tours is an app designed to help singletons get over their exes by inspiring them to travel and try new things. Finding romance is secondary. Emily Eastman reports
Hong Kong-based Breakup Tours app, which made its debut in November 2019 and is aimed at people that have just come out of a relationship, encourages them to get over heartbreak by going on a solo trip overseas or an excursion within their own city.
Stephen Chung, co-founder of Breakup Tours, told CNN Travel: “Breakup is hard as changes are hard. When you stick to your routine, you become very aware of the things missing in your routine. Travelling allows you to break away; it gives you new perspectives.”
The app is a spin-off of a marketing campaign from Chung’s company, Secret Tours Hong Kong, after they became aware of the demand.
“After talking to a lot of people, we realised that there are three steps to heal: emotional release; try something new; and learn something new. All our activities are centred around these three steps,” he said.
Featuring the tag line “Let’s move on”, the app is available in English and Chinese and currently features more than 100 trips and activities in ten cities in Taiwan, Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong.
After downloading the app, the user is prompted to select a favourite travel destination to chat with other “broken hearts/travellers”. They can then book and pay for excursions.
Experiences in Tokyo for example, include a half-day trip to the Ghibli Museum, a museum showcasing the work of the Japanese animation studio; tickets to TeamLab Borderless (a futuristic art theme park); and pottery repair workshops where participants learn about the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi to “embrace the flawed, imperfect, yet wonderful things in life”.
Other, experiences include the “Ending Ill-fated Love” guided tour in Tainan, Taiwan, which takes people to pray in temples to the Chinese Cupid; a traditional bathhouse experience – with beer – at Hot Spring Onion in Taipei; and a “Real Gun Shooting Workshop” in Chiang Mai. (Perfect for releasing anger.)
“Compared to other travel booking apps like Klook and KKday [two Asia-based apps], we’re more like a boutique select-shop in a hip neighborhood, offering curated and beautiful services for the heartbroken,” Chung told CNN Travel.
In addition to travel SIM cards, travellers are can also buy a “Break-Up First-Aid Kit” before their first trip, which will be tailored to each customer and includes items such as disposable cameras, Magic 8 balls, face masks and headphones.
The app says: “Breakup Tours personalises the ideal solo tour for you because we believe travelling is the best remedy. We recommend a wide variety of travel experiences around the globe according to your mood. There is always more to see, you can meet new friends in the Circles of Travellers”.
Globetrender predicts that break-up holidays will become a growing trend, especially given the rise of lifestyle apps such as Mend, Break-up Boss and Onward designed to help people get over their exes. Over in the Philippines, for example, The Farm San Benito in the Philippines runs a heartbreak healing programme, while Zagreb has the Museum of Broken Relationships.
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