Tips for Gay and Lesbian Travel

Gay and lesbian travel options are better than ever. Hotels, cruises and travel companies focusing exclusively on gay and lesbian travel have created new vacation choices for you and your partner. Additionally, the number of safe domestic and international destinations for gay and lesbian travel has increased exponentially.

When you and your partner are planning a vacation, you should decide if you want your gay and lesbian travel experience to focus specifically on gay culture. Or, are you looking for a traditional travel destination where you can also feel safe and comfortable? In many cases, the line between mainstream and gay and lesbian travel is quite narrow.

If you are looking to experience a new gay and lesbian community, you can choose to visit any major city during their Pride celebration events. Some of the best known gay and lesbian travel destinations in the world feature famous Pride celebrations. These include Sydney's gay and lesbian Mardi Gras and New York City's Pride parade.

Other choices for gay and lesbian travel are major international events, such as the Gay Games or Worldout Games. Other cultural events can also help you choose your gay and lesbian travel destination. Gay and lesbian travel options include film and music festivals, ballroom dance events and even science fiction conventions.

Well-known gay-friendly communities like San Francisco or Provincetown, Massachusetts, are also attractive options. This type of gay and lesbian travel is particularly timely as concern exists about the longevity of many gay communities. As straight society begins to accept gays and lesbians, many gay and lesbian neighborhoods are increasingly integrated and may not always offer a unique culture.

Gay and lesbian travel choices also include cruises, tours and adventure travel opportunities. Providers of these types of gay and lesbian travel include Olivia, Alyson Adventures and Toto Tours. Some companies cater exclusively to gay men or lesbians, while others target the gay community as a whole.

Some gay and lesbian travel companies offer choices aimed at couples, singles or families. Gay and lesbian travel planners also acknowledge that some travelers prefer diversity and offer choices that are gay- and lesbian-friendly but not exclusive. One of the main advantages of choosing gay and lesbian travel companies with such offerings is increased travel date availability.

If you are interested in gay and lesbian travel that is safe and friendly but not focused on the community, choosing the right destination is critical. While cities are often more welcoming for gay and lesbian travel than rural areas, this is not always true. However, any city that offers a major Pride celebration is probably a safe gay and lesbian travel destination.

Locations with legalized gay marriage or civil unions are good choices for gay and lesbian travel, although some are better than others. South Africa legalized gay marriage in 2006 but is less culturally accepting of gays and lesbians than the Netherlands, a popular gay and lesbian travel destination that legalized gay marriage in 2001.

Increasingly, publishers of mainstream travel books include sections on gay and lesbian travel. Many Web sites focused on gay and lesbian travel can help you select a destination. Things to consider when choosing a gay and lesbian travel destination include local laws and customs; any past record of anti-gay violence; and whether the area's tourist board actively courts gay and lesbian travel.

When researching gay and lesbian travel destinations, remember that your version of being safe, comfortable and out may not be the same as that for everyone else, including your partner, so be sure to look for specific information on whether you can expect to hold hands or otherwise display affection in public without having to worry about harassment. Gay and lesbian community centers may also have information for you.

If gay and lesbian travel planning sounds daunting to you, a travel agent can always help. Most travel agents are friendly to gays and lesbians and know about gay and lesbian travel options. Some gay and lesbian travel agents can be relied upon to offer accurate information on destination safety and can tell you about unique points of interest. NowVoyager and Edirp are two of the most well-known gay and lesbian travel agents. Additionally, many online travel companies like Travelocity offer gay and lesbian travel packages, bookings and recommendations.

While there was a time when gay and lesbian travel planning was a source of worry, that time is long past. Gay and lesbian travel is daunting today only because of the range of choices available.

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Working with a travel agency that caters to gay and lesbian vacations can allow you not only peace of mind while traveling, but also information to customize your experience while vacationing.
Working with a travel agency that caters to gay and lesbian vacations can allow you not only peace of mind while traveling, but also information to customize your experience while vacationing.
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These tips for gay and lesbian travel address lesbian vacations and how to find a gay and lesbian vacation travel agent. 

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These tips for gay and lesbian travel address lesbian vacations and how to find a gay and lesbian vacation travel agent. 

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These tips for gay and lesbian travel address lesbian vacations and how to find a gay and lesbian vacation travel agent. 

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