7 planning resources for the LGBTQIA + community

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There are issues that LGBTQIA + travelers face that most other travelers never have to consider: staying safe, being greeted, feeling comfortable and more. Traveling might not be as easy as it should be in some parts of the world, and this is when asking for a little help can be a game-changer.

Sexual orientation isn’t everything, but it can make a difference when travelers decide how, why and where to travel. The good news is, no one has to figure it out on their own.

There are travel agencies, online websites, hotels, tour operators, and other travel professionals who are dedicated to helping the LGBTQIA + community meet our travel needs. These businesses and organizations help LGBTQIA + travelers find safety, comfort, welcoming accommodations, friendly events and fun with like-minded travelers.

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No one wants to be boxed, stereotyped, or labeled, but sometimes it’s more comfortable to travel to destinations that open their arms for a giant welcome to the LGBTQIA + community. Here are 7 travel resources that we believe can help LGBTQIA + travelers with all of their travel planning needs.

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Olivia’s Trip

Sometimes girls just want to have fun… and sometimes lesbians just want to take vacations with other lesbians. That’s where Olivia Travel comes in. These travel experts deliver world-class travel experiences geared exclusively to women who identify as part of the LGBTQIA + community.

This is not your ordinary travel agent. They take groups on trips around the world including small-group African safaris, charter cruises to the Mediterranean, or host a women’s empowerment weekend at a luxury Caribbean hotel.

These group trips are all LGBTQIA + women, so there is a level of comfort expected that may be hard to find elsewhere.

VACAYA



a sign on the side of a building: (Screen capture courtesy of Vacaya)


© The guy at the points
(Screenshot courtesy of Vacaya)

VACAYA helps you book inclusive group travel experiences with friends, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Gay, lesbian, trans and even straight allies can travel the world, relax and connect in environments where everyone feels safe. Everyone is welcome.

VACAYA produces trips that incorporate fun for everyone – all genders, sexualities, religions and races. They offer exclusively access to cruises and resorts for a fully immersive experience tailored specifically to the needs of the LGBTQIA + community. VACAYA creates unique, fully LGBTQiA + itineraries to a variety of places like Provincetown, Costa Rica and Seychelles.

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Zoom Holidays

Zoom Holidays does not organize regular tours. They offer pre-programmed luxury tours for small groups around the world, ranging from Rwanda to Morocco at Paris and Laos.

Want to learn architecture? Explore a volcano? Take an all-gay luxury train trip to Europe? Zoom does all of these tours and more, including private and independent trips and celebrations.

Custom packages include everything for adventures to LGBTQIA + friendly destinations that go far beyond the generic hotel and airline packages found on many traditional travel sites. Everything is designed to make their travelers feel safe, comfortable and connected, no matter where they want to go.

IGLTA

For those who don’t want a group travel experience – or just want the freedom to plan their own travel itineraries – the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association has a lot of useful information. Since 1983, IGLTA has focused on promoting LGBTQIA + hospitality tourism.

The organization provides free travel information and resources on its website so travelers can feel comfortable and safely book whatever trip they want to take. IGLTA members include accommodation, transportation, resorts, service providers, travel agents, tours, events and more in countries around the world.

Adventures

Based outside of Canada, Adventures focuses on organizing the tours of a lifetime. Tour options have included yacht trips in the Mediterranean, hikes in Scotland, and wine tasting in Slovenia. Out Adventures runs small-scale tours and offers in-depth guides, timetables, and reviews that groups can use to book LGBTQIA +-friendly trips.

Starting with your chosen theme (such as active, cruise or cultural), Out Adventures tailors trips to each traveler. Their website also has travel agents available to help organize private itineraries or book any of their featured vacations.

Rainbow hotels of the world



a group of people standing in front of a sign: (Screen capture courtesy of World Rainbow Hotels)


© The guy at the points
(Screenshot courtesy of World Rainbow Hotels)

For the DIY travel planner, there are plenty of options. However, not all of these options provide information relevant to the LGBTQIA + audience.

For anyone booking a hotel for business or pleasure, the hotels of the Rainbow hotels of the world directory are certified gay-friendly. This global brand carefully selects hotels that live up to the “love is love” philosophies and “make the table bigger”. All travelers are welcome, but LGBTQiA + travelers will know the hotel staff respect them and understand their unique travel concerns.

Each hotel in this directory actively searches for LGBTQIA + travelers and is honored to welcome members of our community. Local Gay Out & About Travel Guides are available at every member hotel and can help make a stay in a new city much more comfortable.

FabStayz

For those who are not looking for your group visit, hotel stay or typical destination, FabStayz is a great resource for short term rentals. This website has cultivated a selection of unique and unique accommodations across the world.

Whether you are traveling alone, planning a romantic getaway or take the kids on family vacation, FabStayz probably has a vacation rental that is exactly what you’re looking for. You can book a tiny house, a vintage motorhome, or even a designer loft in Ipanema, Brazil.

FabStayz makes sure that there is no embarrassment or even hostility with the hosts that some LGBTQIA + members have encountered when booking trips on traditional vacation rental sites. Each FabHost (what they call rental owners) is a member of the LGBTQIA + community or a supportive and inclusive ally. They promise that every traveler will be greeted, seen and enjoyed during their stay at FabStayz properties.

Conclusion: LGBTQ + travel is now easier than ever

As the world begins to reopen, many people are looking to return – and LGBTQIA + travelers are no different. Booking with these travel agents and tour operators, or staying in accommodations that promise to welcome the LGBTQIA + community, can make the trip so much more relaxing.

While gay travelers can and should go wherever they want, it is easier, more comfortable, and safer to travel to places identified as LGBTQIA + friendly.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, and not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and are not ‘have not been reviewed, approved or approved by any of these entities.

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