Apple acolyte or not, the iPhone and iPod Touch have become essential tools in the arsenal of tech-savvy road warriors, much like the Moleskin notepad was to dreamers, poets, and queer travel writers of an earlier era. When it comes to gay travel, it turns out there is indeed an app for that, too. Here's what we picked up on a recent spree through the App Store. All are free and work without a data connection (except for updates and GPS, naturally) unless otherwise noted.
What are your favorite travel apps? Comment below!
Buy4Equality — HRC makes it easy to flex political power with your pink dollar by putting its 2010 Buying For Equality Guide in the palm of your hand. Green means “go” in categories such as “Entertainment”, “Travel and Leisure”, “Oil & Gas”, and “Restaurants”.
Edge News Reader — the premier web-only LGBT newsmagazine supplements its breaking news and lifestyle columnists with event eye candy and business listings (nightlife, lodging, food & drink) in major gay markets from Vegas to P-Town.
Gay & Black Travel Online — porting GayBlackTravel.com's blog to your brick, check out party updates, cruise news, and photos and videos from African-American LGBT events across the country.
Gay Scout — the Damron Guide offers up its comprehensive paid listings for the United States free to the first 5,000 users.
GayCities — the crowdsourced gay guides of GayCities.com meet the social networking fun of FourSquare, giving you the ability to rank tourist spots and businesses and “Check In” to locations so friends known and new can find you there. (Data connection needed)
Out Guide — the editors of Out magazine curate a best-of selection of stylish gay and gay-friendly bars, restaurants, shops, and hotels in top urban destinations: Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Miami/South Florida, and in the next couple of weeks, Chicago and Boston. Best of all, flash your phone for money-saving discounts (“Perks”) at select businesses. (Data connection needed)
Wallpaper Guides — although not gay per se, Wallpaper's mini city guides are so well designed, photographed and targeted to the jet set, there's no other word for them but fabulous.
What's Next — released less than two weeks ago, Nile Guide leverages its awesome (free!) build-your-own itinerary tools against crowdsourcing by TripAdvisor and CitySearch and almost 30 other content providers, as well as its own “local experts”, to sync into spontaneity to show you where to go and what to do depending on current mood and GPS location. Search “gay” or “romantic” or “off the beaten path” for on-the-fly trip planning. ($2.99; data connection needed)
Grindr — a slick 'n' simple interface makes it easy to get the “local perspective” wherever you are by showing you who's gay and nearby—down to the foot. Limited profile info encourages private chats where Apple's PG image policies don't apply.
AGaySpot — although you'll need to look elsewhere for reviews or public cruising locations (sorry, George Michael), if it's a gay adult business you're seeking, check within for nearly 1,000 bathhouses, sex clubs, adult video stores, and bars with backrooms across the US and Canada, all with mappable addresses, hours, and contact info. Frequent updates keep accuracy high. ($1.99)
The Official Word
Amsterdam Mobile Guide — super easy to navigate with a prominent Gay & Lesbian section, it's like having Holland's tourism bureau in the palm of your hand. Get itinerary suggestions and nitty-gritty info to Amsterdam's most popular restaurants, bars, and attractions whether online or off.
Gay London — divided into “Day” and “Night” listings (plus an overall alphabetical directory), Visit London makes it easy to navigate the city's queerer side. A video section gives an insider look at speedos in the park and gay bingo in the clubs. (Data connection needed)
iVisitLauderdale — up-to-the-minute deal offers, events, and weather conditions, plus teaser photos/videos and fun promotion sections like “What Is Your Beach Personality?” compliment the comprehensive GLBT and mainstream listings of Greater Fort Lauderdale's official app. (Data connection needed)