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9 tips for attending your first Pride

June 02, 2022
6 min read
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Editor's Note: This post has been updated with the most current information.


Gay pride celebrations happen worldwide throughout the year. They feature parades, parties, political gatherings, community rallies and memorials for those who have made sacrifices for the gay rights movement. No two pride celebrations are the same, but all are a great excuse to travel. With Gay Pride season in full swing, TPG offers these tips for what to consider ahead of time and what to expect when attending your first Pride.

The spirit and energy that Pride brings to any city are unlike anything else. Entire streets — neighborhoods even — adorned with rainbow flags fill with people young and old, of all backgrounds and sexual preferences, celebrating diversity. In recent years, municipalities such as New York, Tel Aviv and Madrid have begun to spend more and more on these annual celebrations — and they're not to be missed.

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Although the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic placed a temporary hold on Pride celebrations, this year, they're back bigger and better than ever.

Before you pack your most fabulous Pride outfits, book that flight and hit the skies, here are a few things you'll want to consider to make the most of your first Pride experience.

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Pick the right Pride for you

(Photo by Westend61/Getty Images)

"You’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all” applies to a lot of things in life but definitely not Pride celebrations. Make sure you pick the right one for you so you'll have the best experience.

For example, San Francisco Pride is great for IT folks, techies and those who like to network: Apple, Google and pretty much every other tech company you can think of will be out in full force there with their CEOs marching alongside employees. Meanwhile, New York's celebration has hundreds of interest groups that participate and can be either solidly issue-based or more like a big circuit party, depending on the angle from which you choose to hit it.

You'll find multiple noteworthy options abroad, too. Sydney Pride, better known as Mardi Gras, is a two-week event best suited to those who have enough stamina to survive the ordeal. Tel Aviv's events are largely centered around Hilton Beach (set beside the Hilton Tel Aviv), while in Copenhagen, it’s an all-inclusive experience where pretty much anyone can find and join a parade float that represents them.

Start with a city you'd like to visit, then research the vibe and events of its Pride celebration to determine whether it's the right fit for you.

Related: 3 ways to support the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month

Pack accordingly

Remember that Pride, regardless of where you go, is a celebration of who people truly are, not who society wants them to be or who others expect them to be. So toss any notions of what you think is expected of you out the door when you pack. Whatever you love to wear is what you should pack. Period.

Keep in mind, though, that if you plan on celebrating your Pride in a Northern Hemisphere area, it may get hot, hot, hot. Be sure to dress cool and comfortably.

Detox before you retox

Pride is a marathon, not a sprint. The one thing all Pride celebrations have in common is an abundance of parties and frivolity. In addition to the clothes you love, pack a spare liver. Make sure you pack vitamins and ibuprofen or your headache-chaser of choice, too.

The week before your chosen Pride event, be sure to take it easy and hydrate well with some much-needed electrolytes.

Location, location, location

Use that stash of points to cover a stay at a centrally located hotel.

When it comes to huge Pride celebrations, like those in Madrid, New York and Sydney, being in the wrong area of town can have a huge impact on your experience. Parades, street parties and other events often result in street closures and public transportation deviations, so even just getting around your own area of town can be tough.

Being far from the center of things will do you no favors. It's worth every penny to be in the heart of it all and not have to worry about missing out because you’re spending too much time underground on the subway.

Related: 13 amazing Pride events around the world

Book ahead of time

Make your Pride plans well in advance. Earmark where you want to go, and keep your eyes peeled for good deals.

There are no blackout dates around Pride events, but mileage seat availability will go pretty quickly during these times, as will rooms in the most ideal properties. Booking flights and hotels early will help you avoid stress later on.

Go with friends

(Photo by Vladimir Vladimirov/Getty Images)

No matter where you go for Pride, you’ll have more fun if you don’t go alone.

The atmosphere at any Pride is jovial. While you’re bound to meet new people, going with a friend never hurts. In fact, it makes the experience better because you have someone to share it with and you won’t feel quite as lonely as you pass couples embracing in the streets.

Do your homework

Spend some time researching the Pride you plan to attend and its associated events. In many cities, you can buy passes that will not only get you into multiple events but also offer admission at a steep discount compared with door prices.

The parties you're most looking forward to attending may sell out, so create a game plan and schedule for yourself and make any possible ticket purchases as far in advance as possible.

Related: Pride on points: How to use miles and points to celebrate Pride in 6 US cities this year

Tailor your expectations

Pride is about leaving all your prejudices and preconceived notions at the door, so do just that.

As different as every city’s Pride is bound to be, they all celebrate diversity. So, in that spirit, allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised by whatever it is that you’ve jumped into.

Hold your head high and have fun

We still have a long way to go in terms of achieving full equality and acceptance. However, don't forget the most important rule of Pride: Have fun.

No matter who you are, who you choose to love or how you choose to express yourself, your Pride experience should be full of energy and excitement. Dance your heart out in the street, celebrate the joy of diversity and don't forget to hold your head up high and be proud. After all, that's what Pride is all about.

Have a safe and happy Pride!

Additional reporting by Kevin Martinez.

Featured image by Getty Images/Glowimages RF
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases