From Travel Agencies to Tour Guides, Here are the Best LGBTQ+ Travel Resources
Learning About the Best LGBTQ+ Travel Resources for Your Dream Trip
Traveling the world is a dream for millions of people, and for some, traveling is as easy as packing a bag, pointing at a map and booking flights. Vacation planning takes a bit longer for the LGBTQ+ community because of the special considerations that need to be taken, including the laws regarding LGBTQ+ people in countries around the world. Luckily, there are some of the best LGBTQ travel resources online, including airlines, hotel booking sites, travel agencies and tour companies that cater to LGBTQ+ needs; this can help you create the trip of a lifetime.
What to Know About Travel Safety Resources for the LGBTQ+ Community
Before traveling, you should review safety basics and travel news related to LGBTQ+ concerns. The State Department website provides lists of U.S. embassies around the world, travel documents checklists, information about travel insurance and safety tips that are all specifically related to LGBTQ+ people. To get a better grasp on which countries are safest for LGBTQ+ travelers, make sure to review Equaladex. This interactive site was launched in 2014 and is continuously updated with information on LGBTQ+ rights all over the world.
Transgender people have a consideration they need to make when traveling that other LGBTQ+ people do not, and that is how to deal with airport security screenings that can often be intrusive and embarrassing. There is also the issue of the gender listed on your identification matching how you identify and present yourself. The National Center for Transgender Equality is an excellent resource for transgender and nonbinary people and features the guide to airport security.
Accommodations and Travel Services
Outside of safety concerns, accommodations may be the next most significant consideration for LGBTQ+ travelers. You want to be comfortable and feel safe anywhere you stay on vacation, but some places are more welcoming to gay people than others. In fact, there are resorts for gay men only, queer cruises and plenty of hotels and resorts that boast to being inclusive and LGBTQ+ friendly. Sites like Expedia and Orbitz that are known for mainstream travel booking have recently begun offering LGBTQ+ travel resources as well. However, I recommend sticking with the sites that are run by and for the LGBTQ+ community.
The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association is an excellent site for travel planning that provides a massive list of hotels, transportation services, travel agencies, event promoters, tour guides and even tourism boards that are queer approved.
LGBTQ+ travelers looking for a bed and breakfast should check out Purple Roofs. This website has been around for a few decades now and showcases LGBTQ+ friendly or gay-owned B&Bs. There are also resources for hotels, lodges, vacation home rentals and a travel blog. World Rainbow Hotels is another great place to find the best LGBTQ+ hotels around the world. The hotels featured on World Rainbow tend to be stylish and modern and are located in countries that are more accepting of gay people.
Gay men specifically will get a lot of benefit from browsing Travel Gay and Travel Gay Asia. These sister websites are booking sites that cater to the gay male audience. GayCities is another male-focused travel blog that features more than 235 gay-friendly cities that are also trendy travel destinations.
Tour Guides and Agencies
One great way of making sure you are surrounded by people who will make your vacation fun and exciting is to use an LGBTQ+ travel operator or tour agency. Leaving the travel planning to the experts who know the best gay-friendly vacation spots can make your holiday the trip of a lifetime. Some of my favorite tour operators and agencies include Outstanding Travel, Toto Tours, Zoom Vacations, Detours Travel and Out Adventures.
R Family Vacations is an international LGBTQ+ family-friendly tour operator that also has a few adult-only options available on land or sea. Families can also have a lot of fun with The Venture Out Project, which organizes backpacking trips for teens and families across the U.S.
For LGBTQ+ travelers looking for cruise options, Vacaya features an all-inclusive LGBTQ+ vacations on chartered cruises and international resorts on land. Olivia Cruises is a lesbian travel brand that has been operating for almost 30 years, offering cruises and riverboat tours for female-identifying travelers and LGBTQ+ women.
Travel Apps and Travel Literature
While we cannot jet-set all the time, we can be plugged into the best hotspots around the world and always have our next vacation in mind when using travel apps or reading travel magazines and other literature.
Some of the best travel apps for gay jetsetters include Meetup, which helps to connect LGBTQ+ travelers with likeminded people on the road. SCRUFF Venture is a gay dating app that recently launched a travel edition to connect queer travelers before and while traveling. There is also an app for transgender and gender-nonconforming people that maps out safe-to-use restrooms in some of the most popular travel spots around the world.
The following magazine and blog pages are also great for keeping up with the latest travel tips for LGBTQ+ travelers. Some of my favorite travel magazines for LGBTQ+ people are Out Traveler, Passport Magazine and Connextions Magazine. I also cannot get enough of these blogs: Travels of Adam, Two Bad Tourists, Once Upon a Journey and Dopes on the Road.
Use these LGBTQ travel resources to plan your next vacation and ensure that your dreams come true, and the memories made will last a lifetime.