25 Resources for LGBTQ Travelers: Tips for travel inspiration, planning and safety

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While also a source of adventure and enjoyment, planning for a trip and traveling can be tricky. While there’s plenty of activities to look forward to, there is a lot you need to plan for, both expected and unexpected. You need to pick a destination, make reservations, plan how you’re going to get around, book tickets, navigate an unfamiliar area, and figure out what to pack. Never mind if you stumble across any hiccups along the way like bad weather, medical issues, canceled bookings, or finding out that all your luggage is missing when you get to the airport.

If you’re a member of the LGBTQIA community, traveling to other parts of the world and even through your own country can present even more challenges. Individuals, partners, and groups face issues like finding safe and inclusive environments, discrimination, availability of gender-neutral bathrooms, presenting identification documents when you’re gender non-conforming, getting medical attention, and passing TSA screenings to name a few.

In this article:

Thinking about booking your next flight?
Check out our list below of the best influencers to follow for LGBTQ travel inspiration!
Images courtesy of: Once Upon A Journey, This Colorful World and Couple of Men.

Fortunately, there are plenty of trailblazers and online resources that can give you an idea of what to expect when you’re on the road, and even how to capitalize on your points and miles when you do. We’ve put together a guide on how to navigate the exciting but stressful ups and downs of exploring the world for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender travelers. Read on for resources and help with travel inspiration, planning your trip, and how to stay safe on the open road.

Travel Inspiration

LGBTQ Travel Influencers

From plus-sized lesbians to gay couples, there are LGBTQ travel influencers based all over the world. From LGBTQ friendly bars to which natural wonders of the world to visit, look no further than these LGBTQ travel influencers. Below are eight bloggers focused on the best spots for LGBTQ individuals and couples to explore. 

  1. Once Upon A Journey: Amsterdam-based couple Roxanne and Maartje are travel bloggers, social media influencers, and YouTubers who have been to more than 45 countries together. After quitting their jobs and spending their lives traveling, the couple recently settled down in the Netherlands. Despite being a lesbian couple, the two don’t shy away from visiting non-affirming LGBTQ countries. They write on everything from backpacking in Iceland to lesbian nightlife in Los Angeles and New York City.
  2. This Colorful World: After meeting in 2014, Lisa and Lauren have become inseparable. When the couple isn’t offering courses or running their business The Beatnik Group, they’re out traveling together and documenting it on their travel blog. Their Instagram account is a collage of their life together and their adventures when they leave home. On their blog, you can find some of their favorite spots in Stockholm, Finland, Trillevallen, and Paris.
  3. Couple of Men: From South Africa to Iceland, German-Dutch couple and founders of the gay travel blog Couple of Men Karl and Daan have seen it all. While they live in Amsterdam, Netherlands, their blog and social media accounts are dedicated to their adventures outside of their home. Together, they’ve visited more than 50 countries and five continents, all the while documenting gay nightlife, theme parks, and some of the best natural views in the world.
  4. Asian Maple Leaf: Barry has dedicated his entire career to traveling the world. Not only does he run the Asian Maple Leaf blog and social media accounts, but he is also the travel campaign manager for Gayborhood Agency, and an editor and writer for Swagger Magazine, ManAboutWorld, Out Traveler, Passport Magazine, and Out Magazine. Originally from Canada, Barry now resides in New York City where he chronicles his adventures there as well as his excursions all over the U.S. and world.  
  5. Authentic Food Quest: Queer couple Rosemary and Claire focus their travel storytelling on one of the most important aspects of sightseeing: food. The two go in-depth on international cuisines, traditional dishes, recipe origins, and local eateries. On the pair’s Instagram, Rosemary also delves into what it’s like traveling as a Black woman as well as addresses how people react when they find out they’re not traveling as friends but as a couple.
  6. Fly Brother: Travel blogger Ernest White II is the host of the docu-series “FLY BROTHER with Ernest White II” as well as the founder and CEO of Presidio Pictures, a media company dedicated to telling the stories of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and seniors/elders. On his social media pages, he posts travel tips, his favorite highlights from a city, and the top reasons to visit a particular area of the world.
  7. Bani Amor: Bani Amor is a queer, disabled, Ecuadorian travel writer whose work is featured on national publications like CNN Travel, Fodor’s, AFAR, Eater, and Bitch Media. Much of their work is centered around decolonialism, race, accessibility for disable folks, and power. For those who want to learn more, they host a four-part, four-week online workshop called “Dismantling Coloniality in Travel Writing” where they break down how to navigate toward decoloniality in your writing.
  8. Voyaging Vagabond: The plus-sized queer woman who runs Voyaging  Vagabond is on a mission to spread body positivity around the globe. Chantel updates her social media followers on places to find art, the best views, and the most colorful spots to take photos. She is also sure to keep her audience on her blog entertained with the many ridiculous situations she finds herself in like the time she got kicked out of a ball pit bar in London

LGBTQ Travel Blogs

Where are the best places to visit for Pride? Which bars have the best LGBTQ nightlife? These five LGBTQ travel blogs and magazines will guide you through how to enjoy your vacations to the fullest. 

  1. ManAboutWorld: This online publication is a platform written by and for gay men from all over the world. Founded in 1992, the magazine is meant to inspire gay adventurers who want to explore the world.  Their website provides free guides, travel LGBT safety tips, and a destination index of dozens of cities. On their social media accounts you can expect to find delicious looking food, gorgeous views, and ancient landmarks.
  2. Gaycation Magazine: This magazine keeps its fan updated on the latest LGBTQ travel shows, best drag shows, and most queer-friendly bars. Their social media pages are littered with inspirational travel photos and videos as well as with a few hidden gems you should plan to visit. Gaycation Magazine supplies its readers with resources on LGBTQ friendly hotels, guides, and places to go.
  3. Out Traveler: This travel magazine will keep you updated on all the latest trends when it comes to LGBT travel. From luxurious hotels in Monaco and roasted Dungeness Crab to the worst and safest countries to travel to as an LGBTQ person, Out Traveler has covered it. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Out Traveler still provided plenty of virtual travel stories, and a long list of LGBTQ-friendly resorts for when travel restrictions are finally lifted.
  4. Connextions Magazine: Connextions Magazine tells the stories of LGBTQ travelers and helps adventurers find some of the most interesting ways to spend their time while hitting the road. Among their content, you can find treehouses you can stay at, LGBTQ Pride parades, and girls-only camping trips. On their Instagram account, expect to see exotic animals, booze-filled drinks, and breathtaking pieces of art.
  5. Passport: Featuring travel experts, Pride shows, beautiful views, and the most important cities foodies need to visit, Passport will give you the insight you’re looking for when you’re planning your next vacation. One of the best things that Passport offers, however, is its in-depth look at cultural aspects and cuisine of different countries like rum in Puerto Rico, types of salt from around the world, and how to make agua fresca.

Travel Planning

LGBTQ Travel Experiences and Services

If you’re unsure about where to begin with your travel plans, you can hire a travel agency or find free travel guides online. While some services are location specific to one area, other services are more generalized and can help you plan trips anywhere you want to go. Below are several travel experiences and services you may find useful during your planning.

  1. Out Adventures: Don’t want to travel alone but not into large groups? Out Adventures provides you the opportunity to connect with a small group of people whether you want to go on a Galapagos cruise, go on a safari in Kenya, or hike through Norway. Out Adventures offers destinations all over the world that are customized to provide you the vacation you’re looking for.
  2. Pride Peru: As the name implies, this travel organizer specifically focuses on LGBTQ vacationers venturing through Peru. Travelers can explore the Peruvian Amazon Jungle, trek up Machu Pichu, or tour Lake Titicaca. Pride Peru also provides a list of local bars and clubs that are LGBTQ friendly and safe for you to visit.
  3. GayCities: From Seattle to Reykjavik, GayCities offers travel insights and services in nearly every corner of the world. The platform publishes articles centering on LGBTQ events and places, and makes it tantalizingly clear as to why you should make it a point to visit them.
  4. Celebrity Cruises: Well-known cruise company Celebrity Cruises has been awarded Best Large Ship Cruise Line for LGBTQ+ Passengers at the Cruizie Awards for four years. Celebrity offers cruises to the Caribbean as well as legal wedding ceremonies onboard the ship. Whether you’re there to have fun or enjoy your honeymoon, Celebrity Cruises is sure to be a welcoming vacation vessel.
  5. Purple Light Vacations: This LGBT travel agency plans unique and customized trips for its customers whether you’re looking for cruises, land vacations, or vacations specifically with other men or women. This organization isn’t just for people who identify strongly as gay or lesbian. Purple Light Vacations also offers the option for “Straight but not Narrow vacations.” Vacationers have access to costume design and concierge services that Purple Light Vacations offers.