The internet has completely changed how we experience travel – for the better, we think. We can use it to plan our trips, keep in touch with people back home – or many even a frisky hook up with locals or fellow tourists, we don’t judge!
There is a downside: the internet is increasingly censored, and data theft is rife. We don’t want to lose out on all the benefits the internet brings us on our adventures, and that’s where a premium VPN comes in, particularly for gay adventurers.
You might have heard people talk about VPNs before but it’s all gone over your head – but a gay VPN is just what you need to enjoy your traveling experience freely and safely.
VPN stands for ‘virtual private network,’ and it’s a way of encoding your internet traffic and search information to protect your online identity.
Usually, when you access a website or an app on the internet, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) gets the request and redirects you to your destination, viewing the information as it passes through. This is how your ISP can track your behavior, see everything you do online and collect browsing data.
What a VPN does is send your internet traffic through a VPN server which scrambles all the data that’s sent or received, whether this is browsing information, WhatsApp messages or the apps you use. This makes it impossible to read and means you can get around firewalls to access blocked sites. It can also trick your device into thinking it’s in a different country, usually yours.
This all sounds a bit technical, but they’re actually incredibly easy and simple to use. You just need to install the software or app, launch it, sign up and then get going. When we’re traveling, we like to set it to automatically launch so you don’t even need to think about it.
OK, we’ll be honest, there are free VPNs out there. You could use them, but you’ll find that they often fail, or maybe even get taken offline. Even if that doesn’t happen, a free service usually means unwanted third-party ads or toolbars and limits on free data. It’s not worth the hassle, really. A VPN for gay travelers needs to be something you can rely on, so paying a little extra for a premium one is a worthwhile investment.
Yes, we’re using ‘need’ here, not ‘want’ because a couple of years ago gay travel VPNs went from a little extra that it is sometimes nice to have, to an absolute travel essential. Here’s why:
It’s estimated that two-thirds of internet users in the world live under government censorship so those of us who love globe-trotting are likely to experience this at some point on our adventures. Sites such as Facebook are blocked in China while gay dating apps are frequently blocked.
If you want to have a fun holiday and get to know locals or other travelers, using a hook-up app is one of the best ways. It’s not just about the flirting (although that’s fun too), dating apps can be a great ‘in’ to the gay scene in the country you’re visiting, particularly if it’s a country where homosexuality is illegal. We’ve found some fabulous glitter underground parties via Grindr, for example, but often the only way to access these apps is with a secure VPN – vital for gay travelers who don’t want to miss out on all the fun.
This is particularly useful if you’re seeing the Pyramids in Egypt or exploring other countries in the Middle East; or if you’re in China, which is notorious for its internet censorship. We would never even consider visiting Indonesia or Dubai for example without one. It’s annoying to not get onto Facebook, sure, but for gay travelers, a VPN could make the difference between a lonely trip and a trip of a lifetime!
The reason you love to travel is that you believe the world shouldn’t have any borders, so why should the internet have them? A gay VPN gives you your freedom and adventure back.
We don’t like to think about it, but the fact of the matter is that your browsing can be monitored and your data collected. Even in countries where sites and queer apps aren’t blocked, you don’t know what the government is doing with your internet information. This is why a VPN for gay travelers isn’t something you should dismiss.
We know that when you’re lying by the pool in Bali cocktail in hand, browsing the internet for the best gay bars nearby, it might not feel like you’re in a particularly oppressive country. However, the last thing you want is your browsing history being used against you, particularly in a country where being gay is illegal, or that has questionable LGBTQ rights.
You know when you’re traveling, you’re constantly aware of where your cash and cards are, keeping an eye on them, perhaps even wearing a money belt. So why wouldn’t you protect your data in the same way? If you sign into the WiFi at a hostel, any number of people could have access to the same network; creepy as it might sound, someone could well be scanning your device and stealing your private information.
Not a pleasant thought, right? Well, a VPN gives you an added layer of security meaning this nightmare scenario is far less likely to ruin your trip.
Yes, we all love to party on holiday, but sometimes you just want to go back to your room early and watch some TV (don’t judge us, OK?). Most streaming sites have local restrictions, but a VPN can trick your computer into believing you’re in your home country – so you get the good Netflix, not the rubbish one!
So pack a premium VPN for your next holiday, protect your data and access queer apps while remaining anonymous online – besides, it’s not like it actually weighs anything!
With more than ten years of experience, it has to be NordVPN, one of the world’s leading VPN provider. NordVPN provides military-grade protection online, ensuring you can access all your favorite sites without restriction. They never log any of your activity when using their servers, which are operated under the jurisdiction of Panama – a country that has no mandatory data retention laws. So you can always trust your privacy to then.