6 Handy Mobile Apps for the Savvy Gay Traveler
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If there’s one thing that’s as good as going on vacation, it’s planning a vacation.
Your departure day may be weeks or even months away, but the process of planning can help the time pass and kindle the flames of your joyful anticipation of what’s to come.
But for gay travelers, this process can also sometimes be a little daunting. There are far fewer resources out there to help LGBT jetsetters plan a trip that’s guaranteed to make them feel comfortable and welcomed everywhere they go.
The good news is that’s slowly changing and there are an increasing number of useful books, websites and publications that are created specifically to help gay travelers have the best possible experience on their journeys. Here we’ll explore some of the best mobile apps that can come in handy both before and during your travels.
With more than 175,000 users, the GayCities App is active in 225 cities in the world and combines social networking with local recommendations. The app allows users to check in where they are and to see which other users have checked in there or at other spots nearby.
This would be a great resource for the solo traveler looking to find LGBT-vetted businesses and meet other gay travelers and locals who are hanging out in the same area.
Called "The Little Black Book of Gay Travel,” Gay Scout is the travel app of one of the first known gay travel guides in existence. Damron still produces new guidebooks every year, but their app is a convenient way to access all of the most up-to-date listings and info on LGBT hotels, bars restaurants, entertainment and more in a whopping 2,700 different locations in North America (not just limited to big cities). You can use the app to plan ahead by searching for cool things places to visit in your vacation destination or pull it up when you’re out and about to instantly see what’s in your vicinity.
This is the perfect app for armchair travelers or those who want to take a vacation but just don’t know where to go yet. Passport Magazine is one of the only gay travel magazine in the U.S. and boasts stunning photography, engaging stories and fabulous inspiration for amazing destinations to add to your bucket list. When you download the free app, you get one issue gratis but have to pay for a subscription or individual back issues to see more.
Featuring 24,000 constantly updated listings in 2,600 cities around the world, this interactive gay travel guide allows users to search for gay-friendly businesses in a given area, save favorite locations for future use, rate the places you check out, and provide feedback to the editors in case you find that a recommended business is less than friendly.
The app even features location-specific information on the socio-political climate for gays in various international destinations.
Although this internationally popular app is more social networking than travel, it can be put to good use by travelers who are looking to network and meet people when they hit the road. Users can search for other users around them or go global and find new friends in their upcoming travel destinations. This could be a big help if you’re visiting somewhere new that might not be as obviously gay-friendly as The Castro, allowing you to get in touch with people who live there to get the local lowdown on what to do and where to go before you arrive.
Inspired by a not-so-friendly room rental experience in Barcelona, the Misterbnb founder decided to start a similar service for gay travelers looking for travel accommodation that’s guaranteed to be completely safe and welcoming. You can use the app and the site to list or rent privately owned rooms and apartments for short-term stays.
They also organize meet-up groups in several cities around the world and seek to build community among members in real life.
Next time you’re planning a trip or looking for a little inspiration for future travels, explore some of these helpful apps that cater specifically to gay travelers. In many cases, a little information can go a long way in assuring a safe and fun vacation, no matter where you go.
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