Many of my friends are surprised to learn that Tinder isn’t only ubiquitous in America, but that its use is widespread far and wide. In Brazil, I saw multiple locals using Tinder in public, making me think it might be even more popular outside of its home country. Also what continues to surprise me is how open the men are on the app about sharing their pictures even in less hospitable LGBTQ destinations. Tinder, like Grindr, offers wonderful chances to connect with locals, gain insight into the local area, and discover gems that only the residents have knowledge of.
Grindr has a seedy reputation that’s mostly well deserved, but there are many great hidden benefits behind the app that may surprise you. Grindr has been invaluable for me in just about everywhere I’ve traveled. Similarly to Tinder but more “on demand”, I have been able to get countless local recommendations on things to do, restaurants, gay bars, and other events that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Simply put, Grindr is a surprising travel tool, and many locals are more than willing to share tips on their home turf. Additionally, it’s not unusual to find locals that will meet up with you, enjoy dinner or drinks, and show you around. This has made my solo travels in particular rich and rewarding. I had a local in Cabo not only show me around town but take me on a day trip to Todos Santos, discover a hidden beach, and avoid the tourist traps that dot this resort town. Just like Tinder, I recommend getting Grindr Xtra and connecting with locals before you reach your destination.
Scruff is a great resource in its ability to allow you to check out locals in another city for free via its “search” option. Navigate to the “location” section and search your travel destination there. The biggest advantage with Scruff is its ability to allow search functionality for free. I once connected with a local in Shanghai in which I was there for a 24 hour layover, and basically had a tour guide for the entire day. It was a memorable way to see the city! Never underestimate the helpfulness and kindness of those in our community.
Gay travel websites:
I am very hesitant to utilize gay specific travel websites for information and activities on gay events, bars, etc. in a city. In my experience, these are often outdated, inaccurate, or the top bars listed are anything but. I don’t blame the websites, our community has constantly evolving tastes and top spots can change on a whim. This seems to be even more prominent internationally. Even when I reference gay clubs, bars, or events on this website, I urge the reader to check to make sure this information still applies today.
Get on an app and and ask the locals, as they will always know what the best nightlife is for that evening or weekend you are in town. There is no better or more up to date resource than that available. If all else fails, then go to Google maps on your phone, google what you are looking for (IE, gay bars) and then look at “popular times” under each selected option. This helps you to find out when their busiest days and times are, and it is also useful in gathering real time information (like if a location is busier or slower than usual).