Everyone agrees: one of the best things about going on holiday is all the new people you meet. Whether it’s the cute guy you had a holiday romance with or the gang of new friends you had an epic night out with, it’s what takes a trip from great to amazing.
What helps us with this is the wealth of gay hook-up apps that are available all over the world. But these apps are about more than just flings and friendship; they’re also completely necessary in some countries you’ll visit in order to find out more about the gay scene.
Sure, you might prefer to try out gay saunas while traveling, but in countries where homosexuality is seriously frowned upon or outright illegal and is pushed underground, there is no way of connecting with the gay community apart from gay hookup apps. Places like India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Turkey all have a vast gay network, but it’s almost impossible to find if you are just walking the streets.
Using apps like Scruff, Grindr, and Hornet is your way to tap into the gay scene of wherever you are and find secret gay bars, underground parties, and other events. As a word of warning, if you are traveling somewhere where LGBT rights are not great, make sure you get a secure VPN on your phone to protect your privacy (and, in some places, unblock these apps).
Even if it’s not your thing at home, you will definitely want to download one (or more!) of these apps when traveling to help you discover not just new people, but new things, on your adventure.
Oh, and sorry ladies – this one is for the boys only. You’ll be better served by these lesbian dating apps.
In this article we will cover...
Grindr is the most well-known and most-used gay app all over the world, which is why if you’re only going to get one, it should be this one! It’s a social networking app that picks up on your phone’s location to show you anyone who might be ‘of interest’ nearby (they have to be on the app too, of course!).
When you log in, your grid will show you pics of people nearby, in order of distance – so if you’re feeling lazy, you’ll know who to tap on first! Once you tap, you’ll see a profile and have the opportunity to chat and exchange more photos. It’s banned in some countries, like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, but where it’s available, there’s a good chance much of the gay community will be using it.
Elevating the game is Taimi, a newcomer designed for gay men seeking real connections. It’s the first app that essentially combines free gay dating opportunities with a gay social network to provide you with endless opportunities to effortlessly and swiftly form quality connections – so not just hook-ups, but something more substantial – or just friends and expanding your network. Because surely it’s not just us that occasionally pines to for new gay connections which don’t involve sex?
We also love that Taimi is focussed on the security and safety of its users with special verification and authentication systems to keep fake accounts out. There is nothing worse than a professional catfish, right? And there is also the possibility of creating groups where users can launch discussions, organize events, cooperate and collaborate with NGOs. This is the social network aspect, and we are obsessed with it.
There is also a collaboration with The Trevor Project, meaning users can contact Trevor immediately from their profiles and the possibility of making video calls, meaning Taimi is one of the best gay apps currently out there! So get downloading now to form quality connections, stay safe, and share without being judged!
As you might guess from the name, Scruff is the slightly rough-around-the-edges version of Grindr, developed for those guys who like a little, well, Scruff! It’s free and good if you want to filter down your options a little bit. The users tend to be that bit more masc and a little older than on Grindr, although, with its growing popularity, there are plenty to choose from.
Like its main rival, Scruff tends to be used more for hook-ups, although there is also a match option if you’re looking for a date. You can scroll for nearby and around the world, so you could always set up a meet-up in your destination in advance. It hasn’t got quite the same mass range as Grindr, but that does mean it flies a bit more below the radar in LGBT unfriendly countries, so it is less likely to be banned.
While there are a lot of similarities between Hornet and Grindr, the newer Hornet works much more smoothly, with less of the irritating ads that pop up on Grindr to get in between you and your new piece of eye candy. There are also more photos, so you can check that profile pic isn’t just an anomaly!
What makes Hornet so great for gay travelers is the community features that help users network beyond dating. You can follow people for updates, see events and stories, and search for things happening near you; it’s a good insight into the local gay scene. It’s getting bigger and bigger all over the world, particularly in Latin America, so in many countries, you might have better luck here than Grindr.
Planet Romeo (previously GayRomeo)
It started in Gay Berlin and has now spread around the world and, while heavy on the hook-ups, also enables users to find friends, dates, or learn more about LGBT issues. It aims to be a safe and friendly environment where you can live your queer life to the fullest.
The app is free, and it just takes creating a quick profile to get you in touch with tonnes of guys all over the world. You can filter down a lot, so your feed won’t get full up of people who don’t get your heart racing and save your favorites. It’s popular in Europe so next time you travel there, download this first!
Its founder is a former policeman and committed to LGBT rights, and we love that the network is now in partnership with Hornet. Like its partner, it’s all about creating a safe community, with verified profile features, the ability to go live with followers, and group conversations. For this reason, it’s great to tap into the gay community where you’re traveling, particularly if you’re in Asia.
OK, we know that technically Tinder isn’t a gay hook-up app, but hear us out. Although it might have been set up as a Grindr for straight people, there are now lots of gays using it; just set your preferences and enjoy the wealth of choice there. It skews a bit more towards dating, but you’re not limited to that.
The clear advantage for gay travelers is that Tinder is less likely to be banned as it doesn’t have the association with homosexuality that triggers censors in oppressive regimes. You have to match with someone before you can message, but we’re sure you will – after all, you’re so cute!
Calling all bears, or fans of bears; this is the gay hookup app for you. The network stretches worldwide, so if you’re lucky, you can find local bears wherever you’re traveling, who might give you an insight into the bear scene there – especially if there isn’t a local gay Eagle bar.
There’s private messaging, and you can also send pics, of course, and voice messages. We’re not going to lie, it is a little bit clunky at times, but there are up-to-date bear run and bear bar listings, so it can be useful for planning a night out when in a new city. Businesses might even use their Growlr HOT! Spot feature to give app users Pro features.
This works in a similar way to Grindr and Scruff – you get matched with someone who catches your eye, and then the two of you take it from there. What makes it a bit different is its aim of avoiding bigotry and negativity that can be found on other apps, and there is subsequently more diversity here.
You can search by ‘scenes,’ including bears, muscles, relationships, friends-only and more, then find people with similar interests. If you’re traveling, hopefully, your match will introduce you to that scene wherever you are!
Surge is another like-Tinder-but-not app that proves useful when traveling again because it dodges the censors due to its generally low profile. It’s open to all and very easy to use, so it’s a good choice for a gay app novice! And on Surge, you can both like people to match, or ‘power like’ that extra-special someone!
It’s most popular in the big cities in the States like New York, Los Angeles, and San Fran but is growing worldwide. The app actively encourages people to use it when traveling and wants to create a community worldwide, so why not be part of that?
Marketed as the gentleman’s choice among gay hook-up apps, Chappy looks sleek and boasts features that rule out crossed emotional wires. On a sliding scale, choose whether you’re after Mr. Right, Mr. Right Now or Mr. Who Knows – you’ll then get matched with someone looking for the same thing.
Well, if you’re traveling, it’s going to be more about the ‘now,’ right? It’s also got added security like an alert if someone screenshots your image and a compulsory picture of the user’s face, so it’s a great choice for people looking for a safe space to hook-up. The disadvantage when you’re traveling? It’s not got the widest range, although if you’re heading to the UK, it’s perfect!
Traveling is a time to get out of your comfort zone, right? So download a hook-up app and get exploring!
Recently redesigned, this is a mobile social networking app for gay/ bi/curious Daddies and those who admire them. Billing itself as a place for ‘real’ men with no attitude, there are over 3.8 million men on the Daddyhunt App.
The app seeks to help its audience connect both in and out of the bedroom, and provide a platform where you never have to lie about your age (or anything else) to meet other men. No more age filter or perpetually turning 39 – silver foxes can finally feel proud and valued as authentic, natural men rather than needed to put a ‘fake self’ out into the world.
We found a lot of the men on Daddyhunt are looking for more than a hook-up, but a real-world connection along with a hot steamy night isn’t exactly a bad thing. And to be clear: the sugar daddy/sugar baby transactional relationships (involving financial exchanges) are forbidden on Daddyhunt. This is a place to just be who you are, not have to pay for what you want.
Adam4Adam is one of the oldest online gay dating websites devised for men to meet other men “for friendship, romance, or a hot hookup”. And while they dragged their heels, they now finally have an app!
Primarily used in the USA, many of us will be familiar with their website and its popularity with closeted servicemen or politician types – and we did find the app continues this trend. It isn’t Adam4Adam’s fault, but worth noting as in this day and age, many of us simply don’t have time for institutional homophobia’.
Yet another option to find a date, chat, friends, casual fun, or more with unlimited profiles in five different grids based on your location. We did, however, like their Plan-a-Trip feature, which lets you show your travel plans in advance. Perfect if you are the organized type and want a hook-up ready when your flight lands. Who knows, they might even meet you at the airport.
BoyAhoy claims to be a global network for meeting gay men, but its popularity is definitely rather confined. If you are heading to spots like Seoul or Busan in South Korea, Egypt, Nigeria, or Istanbul in Turkey, you’ll want to try it out, however, as it is the ‘go-to’ local app there.
Instantly meet like-minded men near you and expand your social network with the tap of a button. Find a party, make new friends, or look for a hot and steamy hook-up anytime, anywhere. Most features are available on the free version, but in order to use the wink bomb, which allows you to send multiple winks all at once to various users, you’ll need to go premium. Likewise, the travel feature does not seem to work particularly well on the free version.
This app is also a sister app to meet me. We say Anchors Away!
9monsters is a very unusual gay social app arising in Japan with a limited central focus on the Asia-Pacific. Like many things from the land of the rising sun, 9monsters is just a little weird and bizarre. Something like Grindr meets Pokemon.
Mainly, the app has three unique functionalities – a breeding system, auto-translate messaging, and spot-jumping. “Breeding” is a straightforward social system where you find a guy you are interested in, then select “Breeding” to find your type, which category/monster other users think you belong to, and who likes you.
You can then use the auto-translate feature to chat, or the spot-jumping to appear anywhere in the world without GPS being required. This means that before heading to places like Osaka or Tokyo, you can connect with other monsters there beforehand. Download it now and give it a go. What have you got to lose?
The most primitive of gay hookup apps, and honestly – that often all you need. Open HOLE, and you are literally one tap away from an insanely hot experience. Just publish precisely what turns you on, and the Hole will help nearby people match with you who have the same desires and kinks.
It’s gay cruising for the modern era, and easy to set up meetings anywhere, anytime. Once someone is interested, the app gives you one hour to get to know each other (or each other’s needs) and determine where to meet. No back and forward. Quick, simple, effective.
A gay dating app designed for twinks, twunks, jocks, and pups. VGL has over 1 million gay men in their 20’s and 30’s, and is very much aimed at the millennial market. Imagine Instagram and Grindr all in one. You can browse and message as many guys as you want – for free, and then follow guys you like to get a better sense of them before you meet.
As you can imagine, a lot of guys on here are only interested in growing their own following, but you can always try your luck. Their hottest profiles page is particular … mouth-watering. And there are no ads. EVER.
The world’s most popular gay hook up app specifically focussed on fetish. Recon was originally just an online website and has now added this app that is entirely free to use. It’s one of the best ways to approach like-minded men wishing to indulge in fetish – something which can be difficult on other gay apps.
There is also news and articles related to fetish play, fetish events in popular cities, and a cruise function to let a guy know you’re into him.
Not a gay app, but worth a mention for couples who are looking for a third. Or vice versa. Previously named 3ndr, Feeld is a location-based app that offers a space for the ‘open-minded couple and singles’ interaction’.
We did love how inclusive the app was to all sexual & gender identities and were surprised to find it had over 2 million members worldwide. If you are looking to dabble in this kind of hook up, Feeld makes it easy.
Primarily a hook-up website, Squirt was ground-breaking in its day and provided an uncensored online hub for cruising globally from its base in liberal Toronto. As a sign of the times, they now have released a mobile site – but technically no app as it is completely uncensored and not permissible in the app stores. This should tell you what to expect.
No judgment from us, but be careful if using when traveling as information can be out-of-date and public hook-ups/cruising is illegal in most countries.