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Travel with Pride: 7 planning resources that cater to the LGBTQIA+ community

June 26, 2021
6 min read
A spectator waves a gay rainbow flag at an LGBT gay pride march in London
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There are issues LGBTQIA+ travelers face that most other travelers don’t ever have to consider — staying safe, being welcomed, feeling comfortable and more. It may not be as easy to travel as it should be in some places of the world, and that’s when reaching out for a little help can be a gamechanger.

Sexual orientation doesn’t influence 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 all out by themselves.

There are travel agencies, online websites, hotels, tour operators and other travel professionals dedicated to assisting the LGBTQIA+ community with our travel needs. These companies 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 put in boxes, stereotyped or labeled, but sometimes it’s just more comfortable traveling to destinations that throw their arms open in a giant welcome to the LGBTQIA+ community. Here are 7 travel resources we think can help LGBTQIA+ travelers with all their trip planning needs.

Olivia Travel

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

This is not your run-of-the-mill travel agency. They take groups on trips around the world, including small-group African safaris, chartered cruises to the Mediterranean or hosting a weekend of female empowerment at a luxury hotel in the Caribbean.

These group trips are all LGBTQIA+ women, so there is a comfort level provided that can be difficult to find elsewhere.

VACAYA

(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. All are welcome.

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

Related: Pride on points: How to celebrate Pride in 6 international cities using points and miles

Zoom Vacations

Zoom Vacations puts together no ordinary tours. They offer luxury pre-scheduled tours for small groups around the world, ranging from Rwanda to Morocco to Paris and Laos.

Want to learn about architecture? Explore a volcano? Take an all-gay luxury train ride in Europe? Zoom does all of those tours and more — including private and independent trips and celebrations.

The personalized packages include everything for adventures to LGBTQIA+ friendly destinations that go way beyond the generic hotel and airfare packages found on many traditional travel sites. Everything is geared toward making sure their travelers feel safe, comfortable and connected, no matter where they want to roam.

IGLTA

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

The organization provides free travel resources and information on its website so travelers can feel comfortable and secure booking whatever trip they are looking to take. Members of IGLTA include LGBTQIA+ friendly accommodations, transportation, resorts, service providers, travel agents, tours, events and more in countries across the globe.

Out Adventures

Based out of Canada, Out Adventures focuses on arranging tours of a lifetime. Tour options have included yacht trips in the Mediterranean, hiking adventures in Scotland and wine tastings in Slovenia. Out Adventures puts together small-scale tours and offers detailed guides, calendars and reviews groups can use to book LGBTQIA+ friendly travel.

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

World Rainbow Hotels

(Screenshot courtesy of World Rainbow Hotels)

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

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

Each hotel in this directory is actively seeking LGBTQIA+ travelers and is honored to host members of our community. The “Out & About” gay local 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 aren’t looking for your typical group tour, hotel stay or destination, FabStayz is a great resource for short-term rentals. This website has cultivated a selection of unique and one-of-a-kind accommodations around the world.

Whether you are traveling solo, planning a romantic getaway or taking the kids on a family vacation, FabStayz likely has a vacation rental that fits exactly what you’re looking for. You can book a tiny house, a vintage RV or even a designer loft in Ipanema, Brazil.

FabStayz makes sure that there is no awkwardness or even hostility with hosts that some LGBTQIA+ members have experienced when booking trips using traditional vacation rental sites. Every FabHost (what they call owners of the rental) is a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or a supportive and inclusive ally. They promise every traveler will be welcomed, seen and valued when staying at FabStayz properties.

Bottom Line: LGBTQ+ travel is now easier than ever

With the world starting to reopen, many people are looking to get back out there — 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 traveling so much more relaxing.

While gay travelers can and should go anywhere they want, it’s easier, more comfortable and safer to go to places identified as LGBTQIA+ friendly.

Featured image by Shutterstock
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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  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
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5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • 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
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.