Tips for LGBT Travelers
Planning a trip can be a daunting task, but for a gay traveler, it can be even more difficult. There are limited resources for the LGBT community, so Travel Channel has put together a quick list of gay travel guides, websites and other resources to help you plan your next gay vacation.
Gay and Lesbian Travel Guides
When planning a trip, some travelers enjoy the flexibility of having a travel guide on-hand to highlight important travel tips and must-see sights. Damron and Spartacus travel guides are our picks for top gay travel resources; both are chock-full of gay-owned or gay-friendly destinations, accommodations, restaurants, bars and more.
Damron, a popular travel source since 1964, publishes the Men's Travel Guide and Women's Traveller each year. Damron lists thousands of gay-friendly businesses in the US, Canada, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, South America, Europe and Asia. Accommodations, bars, bookstores, gyms and a calendar of events are just some of the info you’ll find inside these guides. Damron also has a travel app. Gay Scout by Damron is available for travelers who enjoy sightseeing and exploring without carrying extra weight.
The Spartacus International Gay Guide is another annual travel guide for planning your gay getaway. Spartacus, much like Damron, also has other guides that travelers can purchase, including the International Hotel & Restaurant Guide. This comprehensive international travel guide is sometimes difficult to find at US bookstores because it’s published by a German company.
Even though we suggest LGBT travelers check Damron and Spartacus travel guides and their websites, we also suggest looking at more familiar brands, such as Frommer's, Shermans Travel and Lonely Planet. These travel guides offer great general information, but in most cases, also provide insightful travel tips for “friends of Dorothy.” So you really can’t go wrong with picking up a mainstream travel guide.
LGBT Online Travel Sites
In addition to travel guides in print, online travel websites can reduce the stress of planning a trip. Out Traveler covers the pulse of LGBT travel, including hot trends, topics and destinations. The website provides travelers with city guides and vacation packages.
IGLTA, the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, is another great resource to find LGBT businesses and destinations. This site provides the best locations and packages for individual, group, corporate and student travel. It has dozens of links to hotels, cities, countries, travel agents and tour operators around the world. IGLTA publishes its annual member directory, a listing of businesses around the world. All businesses are listed in alphabetical order by country for ease of use.
Another useful travel aid is Passport Magazine, available in print and on the interwebs. This magazine covers all the regular gay travel faire with a keen focus on business travel, and international destinations and events. Yes, there is a Passport Magazine app, but it’s only useful if you’re looking for aspiration, or if you want to check out the magazine on your iPhone or iPad. Passport is a great travel resource with in-depth articles about exotic destinations, travel gear and much more.
In addition to Passport Magazine, GayCities is a popular website to check out for gay travel information. Plan your next getaway using more than 200 extensive city guides, a LGBT events calendar and other unique features. Register to become part of the GayCities community and connect with other travelers. Ask questions and get real answers from locals or travelers in the know. For the tech savvy, check out the nifty GayCities app.
Gay-ville may not have a mobile app yet, but it’s a great website to get tips from locals, pick up the local lingo and find low-cost accommodations in a few gay-friendly destinations around the world, including Rio de Janeiro, Mykonos, Berlin and Sydney. Don’t be startled, but this website appears to be more popular among gay travelers in Europe. However, we’re sure you’ll be able to glean some helpful information, especially if you’re into couch surfing and crashing in a host family’s spare bedroom.