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Explore Our LGBTQ+ Travel Guide
Finding destinations around the world to travel to as a member of the LGBTQ+ community is easier than ever. We’ve compiled a list of cities to add to your travel bucket list as well as the top Pride celebrations around the world. We’ve also included a list of travel safety tips to keep in mind.
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LGBTQ+ Travel Guide: Friendly Travel Destinations, Events and Festivals, and Travel Safety Tips
Welcome to our LGBT travel guide! In this guide, we’ll delve into the world of travel and exploration from the perspective of LGBTQ+ travelers. Whether you're planning a romantic getaway or a fun-filled trip with friends, this guide will serve as a great resource for planning a trip.
We understand that different travelers have different interests, and that's why we have included an array of travel topics to appeal to all tastes. For example, if you're a lover of the ocean, our nautical tourism section is sure to entice you with its detailed information on popular LGBTQ+-friendly beach destinations across the world. Or, if you’re more of an urbanite, our urban tourism section will provide you with an in-depth guide to the most vibrant, diverse, and safe cities for LGBTQ+ travel.
Below is a breakdown of the topics we cover on this page, so you can jump ahead to the specific section you're interested in:
- LGBTQ+-Friendly Travel Destinations
- Beach Destinations for LGBTQ+ Travelers
- Urban Tourism for the LGBTQ+ Community
- LGBTQ+-Friendly Destinations for Outdoor Enthusiasts
- All-Inclusive LGBTQ+ Packages
- Queer Cultural Sites
- LGBTQ+ Pride Events and Festivals
- Safety Tips for LGBTQ+ Travelers
LGBT Tourism Examples: Where Should I Travel?
LGBTQ+ tourism is becoming increasingly available as travelers from around the world seek more welcoming and accepting environments. Many travel companies and organizations have recognized the power of the “pink” dollar (a.k.a., the purchasing power of the LGBTQ+ community) and have started to market their packages, destinations, and services as “pink tourism destinations” or “LGBTQ+-friendly packages” to respond to the growing LGBTQ+ market. Let’s explore some destinations to consider as well as some all-inclusive LGBTQ+ packages.
Gay-Friendly Beach Destinations
When it comes to sunshine and relaxation, the beach is always a popular choice. Many beaches around the world are now catering specifically to the LGBTQ+ community. Here are a few beach destinations to check out:
- Miami South Beach, Florida, U.S.
- Barcelona, Spain
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
- Los Angeles, California, U.S.
- Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Urban LGBTQ+-Friendly Destinations
Looking to spend your vacation in the city? These urban destinations are known for being the most welcoming destinations to the LGBTQ+ community:
- Toronto, Canada
- Berlin, Germany
- San Francisco, California, U.S.
- Melbourne, Australia
- Brighton, U.K.
- Madrid, Spain
LGBTQ+-Friendly Destinations for Outdoor Enthusiasts
Outdoor enthusiasts will love these travel destinations known for offering a plethora of outdoor activities and adventures:
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Sydney, Australia
- Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Are you interested in using a travel agency to help you plan your trip? Sashay Away Travel is an LGBT travel agency in the UK dedicated to planning the “perfect luxury getaway for LGBTQ+ customers.”
All-Inclusive LGBTQ+ Packages
All-inclusive is the way to travel for a zero-fuss travel experience. Check out these top-rated all-inclusive LGBT honeymoon packages and other travel packages:
- Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico) – The Hyatt brand is a Gold Global Partner of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA). This Hyatt all-inclusive resort offers swim-up suites, live entertainment, fitness and sports programs, and dining with oceanfront views. Puerto Vallarta is a hot-spot for LGBTQ+ travelers who love the nightlife and are looking to attend the mid-May Vallarta Pride.
- Grand Palladium White Island Resort and Spa (Ibiza, Spain) – This Mediterranean island is the place to be for a luxury resort stay. Check out this resort’s spa, kids club, pools, and more. Ibiza is also a great destination for a night on the town.
- Kahala Hotel and Resort (Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.) – Visit the beautiful island of Hawaii for a stay at this hotel and resort located on the east side of the island. You can check out Honolulu Pride in October or take a free shuttle to Waikiki’s LGBTQ+ scene.
Queer Culture Around the World – Visit These Cultural Sites!
Queer culture around the world is a vibrant and thriving scene that spans all kinds of art, fashion, and history. If you’re someone who loves exploring and discovering new elements of queer history and culture across the globe, there are plenty of options available to you.
For starters, did you know that the U.S. National Parks Service has identified a variety of LGBTQ+ heritage sites? Here are some of the big ones:
- Gateway National Recreation Area (Highlands, NJ) – This is the home of one of the most prolific female photographers, Alice Austen, which she shared with her partner Gertrude Tate.
- Vicksburg National Military Park (Warren County, MS) – The Siege of Vicksburg was the site of a battle where Albert Cashier, a transgender man, fought in the Civil War.
- Stonewall National Monument (New York, NY) – This monument commemorates the Stonewall Uprising, a major milestone in the fight for LGBTQ+ civil rights.
- Governors Island National Monument (New York, NY) – This monument commemorates Henry Gerber, a U.S. Army military soldier who co-founded the Society for Human Rights to combat gay and lesbian oppression.
And for your international destinations, check out these historic landmarks:
- Homomonument (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) – This is touted as one of the most iconic LGBTQ+ Holocaust monuments. It is a large granite triangle made up of three smaller pink triangles in the center of the city. It commemorates all individuals who have been persecuted because of their sexual orientation.
- Oscar Wilde Statue (Dublin, Ireland) – On your next visit to Merrion Square in Dublin, visit “The Queer with the Leer.” It’s a multicolored stone statue of Wilde sitting on a large granite boulder.
- Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism (Berlin, Germany) – This newer monument that sits next to the city’s main Holocaust memorial consists of a gray concrete slab with a window that shows a video of two men kissing.
In many cities around the world, you can find galleries, museums, and exhibits that showcase the LGBTQ+ community's contributions to the art world, both historical and contemporary. For example, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, located in New York City, is a well-known spot dedicated to the work of LGBTQ+ artists.
Theater is another key element within queer culture. Many LGBTQ+ themed plays and musicals have been successful all around the world. A great example is the Tony-Award-winning musical, Fun Home, which explores themes of sexuality, family, and self-discovery. You’ll find theaters around the world that have put on these plays and musicals, making them fun activities for your travel to-do list.
All in all, queer culture around the world is vast, diverse, and full of interesting avenues to explore. Checking out all corners of queer culture from theater to queer museums will allow you to experience different facets of the LGBTQ+ community and learn more about its vibrant culture and history.
Pride Month Around the Globe
Pride season is a time of year when members of the LGBTQ+ community can come together in solidarity and celebration. Exploring different Pride month celebrations around the world can be an unforgettable experience.
June is known as Pride Month in the United States and is observed in many other parts of the world, making it an ideal time to travel and discover unique ways the LGBTQ+ culture celebrates in different countries. Here are a few of the top Pride events in the United States and around the world.
New York City Pride
Taking place in late June, New York City Pride is one of the oldest and largest Pride events in the world. The week-long celebration includes a massive parade, street fairs, concerts, and a ton of other festive activities.
San Francisco Pride
San Francisco's Pride celebration is one of the largest in the country, with over a million attendees each year. It includes a massive parade, a two-day festival, and various events throughout the week leading up to Pride weekend.
The Chicago Pride event during Pride Month is a fantastic celebration of love and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community. The city comes alive with rainbow flags and vibrant energy as people from all over come together to show their support and pride. The parade is a highlight of the event, with colorful floats and lively music filling the streets. Chicago Pride is a celebration of love and diversity, featuring a variety of activities including a two-day festival, a massive parade, and events throughout the city.
LGBTQ+ fashion is a prominent way community members celebrate during Pride parades, and these festivals often serve to support small clothing and accessory businesses. Support LGBTQ+-owned businesses by purchasing inclusive queer fashion, queer femme fashion, queer pins, and a variety of other items from queer clothing brands.
Puerto Rico Pride
Held annually in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico Pride draws thousands of visitors from all over the world. The parade is the highlight of the event, with colorful floats and lively music filling the streets. But it's not just about the parade – there are also events and activities held throughout the month that celebrate the diversity and inclusivity of the LGBTQ+ community in Puerto Rico. The week-long celebration includes concerts, parties, and a massive parade.
Sydney Mardi Gras
Sydney's Mardi Gras is an iconic event and one of the biggest Pride celebrations in the world. Held annually in February or March, it includes a massive parade featuring over 100 floats and thousands of participants, as well as a two-week festival with concerts, parties, and other events.
No matter where you go, there is sure to be a Pride celebration waiting for you. Remember, it's never too early to start planning. There are so many great Pride Week 2023 events already announced.
LGBTQ+ Friendly Travel Safety
Safety is paramount when traveling as an LGBTQ+ individual. Unfortunately, it’s not always safe to be a member of the community when traveling around the world. It's important to approach travel in a cautious and informed manner.
However, finding LGBTQ friendly travel destinations is much easier today than it was in the past. There are many resources available to help you plan a safe trip.
The U.S. Department of State has an LGBTQI+ Travelers page dedicating to helping community members travel safely. If you are traveling internationally, check out your destination’s country information page for information specific to LGBTQ+ travelers. You can find legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations and events and reports of violence targeting LGBTQI+ individuals under the “Local Laws & Special Circumstances” section.
The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) is another excellent resource, offering an extensive database of LGBTQ+ friendly travel companies, hotels, and destinations.
Also, making use of social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter and using hashtags such as #gaytravel or #LGBTQtravel can connect you with local LGBTQIA stores, events, and communities around the world.
In summary, safety considerations when traveling as an LGBTQ+ individual are vital. Here are six tips to keep in mind:
- Research and rely on resources like the IGLTA to help you find gay-friendly destinations all over the world.
- Visit community centers and attend LGBTQ+ events to help you connect with local LGBTQ+ communities.
- Ensure your passport is up to date, including any name or gender changes. As of April 11th, 2022, U.S. citizens can select an “X” as their gender marker on their U.S. passport application.
- The U.S. Department of State advises travelers to consider buying travel insurance or travel health insurance to help cover costs in case of emergencies abroad.
- Keep in mind, you are subject to the laws of the country where you are traveling. In many countries around the world, “Consensual same-sex sexual activity, public gathering, or dissemination of pro-LGBTQI+ material… may be illegal” according to the U.S. Department of State.
- If you need help, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. According to the U.S. Department of State website, “Consular officers will protect your privacy and will not make generalizations, assumptions, or pass judgement.”
By combining these strategies, you can enjoy a safer travel experience wherever you choose to go.
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