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Planning Gay Travel
  Planning Gay and Lesbian Travel  

Planning gay travel may seem like a daunting task, but there are a variety of destinations and getaways for every budget. Consider these things before making your travel plans. The ideal gay travel vacation is just a few steps away!

Plan, plan, plan...

Are you an avid planner? Or, do you prefer a more spontaneous adventure? The great thing about planning gay travel is its kindness to schedules and budgets. Some getaways like weekend trips to nearby cities can take merely hours to plan and limited funds; while others need to be scheduled months in advance. Is 24 hours or 24 months of planning your thing? There is a gay travel destination for you!

Decide what best fits your pocket book and how long you'd like to get away. Then decide what type of vacation you'd like to take. Spontaneous trips at shorter distances can sometimes be cheaper with little up front planning. Gay cruises or international getaways can take some time to sort out (passports, travel seasons, etc.) and increase the need for quite a few more dollars.

Decide how you will travel.

The possibilities for a perfect vacation are limitless and fit a variety of preferences. Do you fantasize about playing in the sand at a nearby beach or on the deck of a cruise ship? Are you afraid to fly or do you hate driving? Consider your method of travel (car, plane, boat) before making a commitment.

Travel gay or non-gay?

Sometimes the people around you can make or break a vacation. Decide whether you are comfortable spending your vacation around primarily gay people or a more general crowd. Some gay men prefer all gay cruises or special weekends like, Gay Days at Disney. Many others enjoy visiting resorts open to the general population. It's your vacation and you should be as comfortable as possible.

Popular gay travel options.

The most popular gay travel options suit a variety of tastes:

    • Gay cruises
    • Gay spas
    • Gay resorts
    • Gay beaches
    • Gay-friendly cities
    • Gay family vacations

    Gay travel destinations.

    According to a Syracuse University, OpusComm Group, GSociety Study, here are the most popular gay travel destinations.
    You might want to take a tour of these hot spot.

    Hotels or Bed and Breakfast?

    Bed and breakfast establishments tend to be smaller and more intimate than larger hotels. This option should always be considered depending on how comfortable you are traveling with your gay partner or family. Keep in mind, however, that
    many major destinations also feature gay-friendly hotels.

Asking the right questions when planning a gay vacation can make or break your travel experience. Not only should you assess how gay-friendly your travel agency is, ask them to familiarize you with the gay climate of your destination, including hotels and rental companies.

Ask your travel agent if the proposed hotel front desk has a history of dealing with gay couples or gay families? See if the cruise line has a "reputation" for being non-gay friendly? The list of questions can be as long or as short as you want depending on what makes you comfortable. If you're not satisfied with your travel agent's answers, then call the companies yourself. The last thing you want to do is end up at a destination or on a cruise line that does not welcome alternative lifestyle travelers.

Get Testimonials

No sales script can replace testimonials from actual gay travelers. Ask your agent to show you customer survey results or testimonials about gay customer experiences. You may also want to ask your gay friends or co-workers about their vacation experiences.

Prepare for Looks

Even if you don't like strange stares and snickers you should be prepared to receive them- especially if you're traveling with your family. No matter how gay-friendly your destinations, there may be adults and children that aren't familiar or comfortable seeing two moms or two dads holding hands. Take it in stride and remember, enjoying your vacation takes priority.

Make Reservations in Both Names

Unless you and your travel buddy share the same last name, make hotel, airline and rental reservations in both your names. That way there is no confusion when you arrive at the front desk. Making multiple name reservations can also help avoid embarrassing situations should the service personnel be less discreet than you'd like.

>Anticipate Medical Needs

If you are living with HIV, AIDS or any other illness, be sure to discuss travel with your doctor. Also, pack more medication than you think you need. That way, should your flight be canceled, you'll have enough. Lastly, keep your meds in two locations- some in your carry on luggage and the rest in your check-in bags. That way, if your luggage is lost you'll still be covered.

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