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9 mobile apps for the gay traveller

9 mobile apps for the gay traveller

After our 18 months trip in Asia, we put together our 9 favourite mobile apps for gay travellers.

They aren’t all gay, but simply the apps we grew to depend on every day whether it was for booking flights, hotels, planning, networking or socialising.

Our pink friendly apps for the gay traveller are all available in the iPhone app store and some for non-iPhones, but you can still use the mobile friendly version of their website.

Nomadic Boys 9 apps for gay travellers iphone and non iphone

Our 9 favourite apps for gay travellers


#1 SKYSCANNER  –  Download now

Skyscanner mobile apps for gay travellers

Skyscanner is our #1 resource for researching flights and finding the best deals online. They also have a very user friendly app.

We like Skyscanner because of all the flight search engines we’ve used, we’ve found it has the widest variety of flight operators, including budget ones like Air Asia and Easyjet, thereby maximising your options.

We also like the way the search results show you the cheapest prices for each month and then each day. This allows you to select the most cost effective flight around your schedule.

We were looking at booking a holiday for 2 weeks in the summer and found a flight for as little as £342 from London to Bangkok. Try the Skyscanner app now and see for yourself!

Skyscanner one of favourite 9 mobile apps for gay travellers

Using Skyscanner to determine which month is most cost effective to fly from London to Bangkok for a 2 weeks holiday

#2 XE CURRENCY  –  Download now

XE Currency mobile apps for gay travellers

This is a crucial app every gay traveller needs, especially if like Stefan you can’t do simple currency conversions in your head.

When researching flights, places to stay, transport options, tour costs etc, you’re going to be overwhelmed with a mix of your home currency, US dollars and a bunch of local currencies from the countries you will be visiting.

This app nicely unites everything on one screen. It was the most user-friendly currency converter app we found, which also works well offline.

XE Currency one of our favourite mobile apps for gay travellers

50 Thai bahts buys you a delicious freshly made pad Thai from the streets of Bangkok. This is what 50 bahts compares to in other currencies

#3 VESPA   Download now

Vespa one of best gay mobile apps for gay travellers

Vespa is an excellent app which is great for discovering the gay scene of a new city you arrive in.

It covers 300 cities in 70 countries and tells you which parties and events are happening and other useful information. It was a lot of help finding out when Balcony Bar in Bangkok had their happy hour amongst other themed (!) nights:

Vespa gay travel mobile app for gay travellers

What you learn about the gay scene with Vespa: didn’t know there was a Naked Day (!) in Bangkok or an Underwear Night…!

#4 MISTER BNB  –  Sign up now

Mister bnb apps for gay travellers

Mister bnb is the Airbnb equivalent for the LGBT community. Unlike Airbnb you know your host is gay (or at least gay friendly) and it’s a great way to connect and meet with a gay local who is likely to show you round.

It’s very easy to use and the website also offers useful destination gay guides.

Once you have signed up, you can download the app, or use the mobile friendly version of their website and choose a stay. It is available for iPhone and very soon for non-iPhones.

Mister bnb one of 9 fav gay apps for travellers

Searching for gay accommodation options in central Tokyo via Mister bnb


#5 EXPRESS VPN  –  iPhone download   Android download

ExpressVPN mobile app for gay travellers


A VPN is a way to connect to the internet via a foreign server. They are cheap, easy to set up and very important in countries where the government has banned certain websites.

For example in China, you need a VPN to access anything related to Google (like Gmail, Google Maps), Dropbox, Facebook, YouTube, Mobile Wikipedia, Twitter, Instagram, Pornhub (!), SoundCloud and many more.

After lots of researching, we went with ExpressVPN as the most cost effective VPN. We used it extensively, particularly in China.

A VPN is also useful in other countries where governments have tried to be like the Chinese. For example in Abu Dhabi, good old Grindr is blocked and requires a VPN to access it. In Thailand, the government has banned various websites it thinks are too controversial – not sure what the Daily Mail did to piss them off(!):

Express VPN one of our favourite mobile apps for gay travellers in Asia

Access a blocked website in Thailand and you will receive this message


#6 HORNET  –  Download free


Hornet gay app logo best gay travel apps

In countries where there is little or no gay scene, the gay dating apps literally become the scene and therefore the best way to find out where to go/what’s happening.

Hornet is one of the most well known. There’s so many of them (Grindr, Hornet, Scruff, Jack’D) but Hornet is our favourite since it has evolved into a type of Facebook for gays, becoming the premier gay social network. We also like that you can use it to search for guys by location, hashtags and find gay places and events near you or anywhere you’re traveling.

Thanks to Hornet we’ve made many friends throughout our travels in Asia and discovered underground events in countries where homosexuality is illegal, such as the gay scene in Delhi.

Nomadic Boys Hornet profile best gay travel apps

Be sure to connect up with us on our Nomadic Boys Hornet profile, we’d love to get in touch!


#7 ICOON  –  iPhone download   Android download

Icoon one of our favourite mobile apps for gay travellers

ICOON is a really useful app to help conquer language barriers by listing pictures of everyday objects you may need by category.

Ever got into a taxi in Xi’An and tried to explain you needed to go to the airport but driver doesn’t understand any English and your Mandarin isn’t any better?

Simple: show him a picture of the airplanes on ICOON and voila!

Icoon app one of 9 favourite gay travel apps in Asia

Using Icoon app to explain AIRPORT and overcome the language barrier with our taxi driver in Xi’An


#8 GOOGLE MAPS  –  iPhone download


Google Maps one of our favourite apps for gay travellers in Asia

Already installed by default on Andoid phones, we found Google Maps to be the most accurate and user friendly maps based app.

It allows you to pre download the maps for a particular place for offline use. All you need to do is zoom into the area you want the map of when you have internet. Then you will have your very own offline GPS.

Google Maps has been one huge life saver for us during our travels in Asia, especially when you need to, say, monitor a dodgy tuk tuk driver in India who’s deliberately taking you to the wrong destination so he can get his commission…

Google Maps 1 of our 9 gay apps for gay travellers

Dodgy tuk tuk driver in India? Simple – just hijack the tuk tuk and steer it there yourself with trusty Google Maps to hand!

#9 MANABOUTWORLD  –  Download now

Man About World best mobile apps for gay travellers


ManAboutWorld is the first gay travel magazine created specifically for iPads, iPhones and Android devices. It’s a 10-issue/per year magazine with high-resolution images, well researched and written text, slideshows of images, videos and live links. They also have excellent content available to download and read offline, such as a gay guide for business travellers, gay guides to New York, West Hollywood and other destinations.

You can claim a 1 year’s free subscription worth $39,99 by clicking this link and entering the password code thanks.

…And finally, get a ChatSIM Card!

We found this to be so useful while travelling. With ChatSIM you stay connected with family and friends anywhere in the world. For a fee of €10 (£8/$11) a year you can send unlimited messages on WE Chat, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

It’s especially handy when you arrive in a new place and want to message home to say you’re ok, or chat with your friends and not incur obscene roaming charges.

Chat SIM card for unlimited messaging


Our 9 favourite apps for gay travellers

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  1. Great post boys. I have most of them butI ICOON is one I didn’t know of. Handy!

    • Thanks Roma 🙂

  2. Guys, this is a great list! Some I would use next time traveling. I also had problems with Skype in Abu Dhabi (couldn’t call someone out of the country on a phone). And I think it’s great there are more gay apps coming out and it allows you to meet people who are gay in countries where it’s not accepted and illegal. That’s a great way to meet others and learn more about their daily struggles and it gives you a completely different perspective than for other travelers. Nice post!

    • Thanks Melanie 🙂

  3. I have tried Skyscanner, Currency and ExpressVPS (ofcourse Google Maps too) but im really curious about icoon!

    • It’s a very handy app. But it made us laugh that they call it “ICOON For Refugees” on the non iPhones!

      • hahaha! ICOON For Refugees!

  4. I love the sky scanner app too. Haven’t heard of Icoon but can see that it would be really handy. We’ve been struggling here in Brasil now that we’ve left the big cities and don’t know any Portuguese. Hardly anyone speaks English and Spanglish does not seem to equate to Portuguese 🙂

    • Yes! I had the exact same problem going from Brasilia to Lencois…!

  5. Great list guys! Skycanner and TripAdvisor are my faves, and who can complain about GoogleMaps?! Icoon I have never come across and looks great! I wish I had had it throughout my previous travels but will download now for my next adventure!

    • Thanks Vicki 🙂 Yeah Icoon’s super useful.

  6. Everytime I see a post from you guys or discover a Pin on Pinterest etc. I spend about 5 minutes giggling to myself – you honestly look like super fun people to hang around with! Your grimaces honestly crack me up! Awesome list of apps – i love the fact that there is an airbnb equivalent with gay-friendly accommodation – hopefully one day we won’t need it anymore and everyone in the world welcomes gay people with open arms!! Sorry for the cheesy sentence…haha. But you get the drift… 😉

    • Awww thanks Tess 🙂

  7. Some great tips. I definitely need a currency converter when I’m traveling abroad and love how you used Grindr to figure out where folks hung out. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Megan 🙂

  8. Sweet, those are some great apps. And dang, less than 400 pounds to BKK? That’s a sweet deal. Love it <3

    • Thank you ☺️?

  9. I use a lot of those apps too and can’t live without them. I’m terrible at doing currency conversion in my head on the fly, but that app does it for me quickly and no one has to know I’m bad at math! 😉

    • Me too!!!

  10. I’ve been using 4 of these apps and have been happy with them. Interesting to know about Vespa and misterbnb. I wouldn’t have expected the former to be what it is – as Vespa to me would always be the Italian scooter brand. 🙂

    • LOL!! Cool name though 🙂

  11. Thanks for the great tips! I really should get around to using Skyscanner more often. (I’ve gotten frustrated in the past by other flight comparison sites that don’t include budget airlines, and when you’re travelling Australia there’s a manageable number of airlines to individually search, so has encouraged me to be lazy.)

    • Awesome thanks Shandos 🙂

  12. Ooo the Icoon app looks handy, though it would take away from the fun game of charades I always like to play when trying to communicate in another language! It’s interesting to learn about a whole bunch of apps that I didn’t know existed – Misterbnb…smart!

    • Thanks 🙂

  13. Like you said, a lot of these aren’t just for gay travelers, but I can see how some of these would be essential. I’ve never heard of MrB&B, it’s a great idea, as I’m sure not all accommodations are gay-friendly

    • Thanks LeAnna

  14. Great list of apps! I see a few favourites on the list – XE Currency, Skyscanner, Google Maps, and TripAdvisor. ICOON is new to me and I will check it out – thanks 🙂

    • Pleasure 😉 Thanks for reading!

  15. Don’t feel badly, Stefan, I’ll be in a country for a month and still need to access XE 10 times a day. And like others here I’m excited to give ICOON a try!

    • Thanks Brianne 🙂 Glad it’s not just me – he he he

  16. You guys seem like champions, you can feel your energy in your posts. The currency converter would be most helpful when I’m traveling, I struggle with basic maths. Haha! Great list. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Anna 🙂

  17. Great tips, skyscanner is a life (and money) saver!

    • Agreed!!

  18. All apps looks good but not sure if they have India specific information. Nevertheless, would try some.

    • Thanks Himanshu. They all worked fine for us in India 🙂

  19. I swear by many of these. Its a great time to be alive when I don’t have to memorize exchange rates or do math on the fly.

    • Ha ha ha agreed!

  20. I use (rather than Google Maps) when I travel as all of the maps (and they are really good quality) are pre-downloaded, so you don’t need to have a connection. Handy.

    • Thanks Richy and very true.

      For us though we found G maps more user friendly especially since they allow you to pre download maps.

  21. Love your colourful blog **)

    Can i use chatsim for Grindr?


    • Thanks Bernard. Grindr not yet with ChatSim when we last tried it but if you find otherwise please do let us know 🙂

  22. What a great list!! I already downloaded several for my upcoming trip 🙂 thank you!!!

    • Amazing- thanks Boris 🙂


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