Grace Lower | May 26, 2022
We couldn’t be more excited that travel opportunities are growing again following the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. What makes it even sweeter is the return of our favorite events worth traveling for, including LGBTQ Pride Month festivities.
Whether you’re planning a trip for yourself, you and your partner, or an LGBTQ travel group, there are a variety of online resources available to ensure you have the ultimate vacation this June or all year-round.
We’re apt to believe that traveling freely is an essential human right, but every visitor should be mindful of their destination’s laws and cultural nuances when planning a trip abroad.
While many destinations worldwide champion inclusivity, some regions aren’t safe for those who are gay, lesbian, or gender nonconforming. For travelers who want to visit gay-friendly travel destinations, there are many resources and reviews available online to find the right place for you.
Since 1983, the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) has supported LGBTQ travelers with finding accommodations, tour groups, destinations, events, transport, and travel service providers.
Not sure where to begin? No worries. The association’s “Plan Your Trip” tool allows users to search for LGBTQ-friendly options by destination, vacation type, or provider. With resources for more than 100 countries, IGLTA is a terrific
starting point for LGBTQ travelers.
Part blog, part planning tool, Queer in the World is a quirky resource for LGBTQ travel junkies.
Be sure to check out the site’s Gay City Guides for detailed overviews of must-see attractions in the world’s major cities. These guides include a mix of general travel recommendations for your trip abroad along with a deep dive into each city’s LGBTQ scene.
The U.S. Department of State is a critical resource for international travelers of any identity. In addition to its standard travel advice and alerts, the U.S. Department of State
compiles resources specifically for LGBTQ travelers and their families.
From passport information to safety tips to detailed breakdowns of different countries’ stances on same-sex marriage, the State Department’s guidance can help gay and lesbian individuals and travel groups stay safe.
Not to be confused with the IGLTA mentioned above, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA) supports and advocates
for LGBTQ rights worldwide.
What differentiates the ILGA’s website from other resources is its collection of charts, maps, and datasets. These infographics offer an at-a-glance overview of how different countries criminalize, recognize, or protect same-sex relationships.
For gay and lesbian travel groups, trip planning can be daunting. It’s difficult to find activities that offer the right mix of safety, convenience, and fun. There are a few different approaches that can help you decide how best to plan your trip.
From luxury getaways to outdoor adventures, LGBTQ-friendly tour operators take the hassle out of travel planning. Some organizations manage a trip from start to finish, while others allow guests to develop a customized travel itinerary.
Travelers can choose from docent-led or self-guided trips. No matter the preference, there are dozens of results for highly rated, LGBTQ-friendly tour operators that can help curate the perfect experience for individual, couple, and group travel.
Many cities have districts that cater specifically to the LGBTQ community. Often called gayborhoods, these gay-friendly hubs are chock-full of restaurants, theaters, and other organizations ready to make your vacation memorable.
Visit the official Gayborhood website that allows you to enter your destination and trip type to find the most gay-friendly travel accommodations.
LGBTQ cruises are another popular option for gay, lesbian, and
gender-nonconforming travelers. With endless options for leisure and recreation, gay and lesbian travelers can choose to what extent they mingle with other passengers, relax in the sun, or explore what lies ashore.
While many cruise lines champion diversity and inclusion, Cruise Critic has a helpful collection of the best cruise lines for gay and lesbian passengers.
Attending a festival or event can be a great way to meet new people and establish a connection with different destinations’ gay and lesbian communities. Destinations around the world host Pride parades, typically during the summer,
and visitors are often encouraged to join the festivities.
Outside of Pride season, LGBTQ events centered around music, performance, food, art, or sports are held in major cities worldwide. Check out resources like IGLTA, LGBTQ blogs and websites, and social media communities for lists of upcoming events and advice for attendees.
Even if a trip doesn’t center on a specific event, there are still opportunities to connect with a destination’s LGBTQ community. Many cities around the world are home to gay-friendly restaurants, shops, cafes, and nightclubs.
(Look for those gayborhoods we mentioned above.)
These spaces offer a scaled-down alternative to a festival or a parade, and they can create a welcoming environment for all. Virtual tours, social media pages, and reviews from Google and Trip Advisor can give prospective visitors an idea of what to expect.
After researching a destination and narrowing down activities, it might be tempting to kick back and celebrate a job well done. Still, take the trip planning process one step further by researching laws, cultural nuances, airport security,
and gay-friendly accommodations. Planning ahead is the best way to avoid uncomfortable — and sometimes dangerous — situations. Travelers should think carefully about their risk tolerance and develop strategies for worst-case
Purchasing travel insurance and enrolling in federal safety initiatives like the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) are two easy ways to prioritize health and safety abroad.
One of the many benefits of traveling the world is the way that it brings together people from different backgrounds and identities. Learn more about the best travel insurance for your next trip from Seven Corners’ licensed travel insurance agents.
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