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The LGBTQ+ Guide to Making Friends While Traveling

If you want to make unforgettable memories, explore new places, and strengthen the bond between you and your friends, there’s no better way to do that than traveling. But as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, it can be a little challenging to make friends while abroad. Making friends is no easy task, and worrying about cultural differences doesn’t make it any easier.

But don’t worry - we have loads of tips and tricks to help you make friends while traveling.

Here’s your LGBTQ+ guide to making friends while traveling.

Improve Your Charisma and Confidence

Woman pointing
📸 Thomas Kilbride - Unsplash

Before looking for places to find friends, you must be open to new friends. Improving your charisma and confidence is an excellent way to be more approachable and extroverted, a significant first step towards making new friends. 

You can bring several habits into everyday conversations to appeal to and attract more friends. These can include:

  • Keeping eye contact with the person you're speaking to.

  • Expressing empathy and interest.

  • Listening actively to the conversation. 

  • Being honest and authentic.

  • Smiling regularly (brushing and flossing your teeth, along with carrying mints and gum, are great ways to elevate your smile. Show off those pearly whites!)

These small habits can make a big difference in your conversations. Be kind to others and authentic to yourself, and you'll be sure to find friends on the go.

Join Online Travel Groups

Group of friends laughing on a trip in front of mountains.
📸 Felix Rostig - Unsplash

Joining travel groups is a beautiful way to expose yourself to the traveling world. These groups are dedicated to their love for traveling, so no matter how many differences you have, you know you'll be able to bond over that.

You can find most travel groups through a variety of social media platforms. Facebook is the most popular choice, but other platforms like Cruise Critic, Backpackr, and other travel-specific sites also offer travel groups.

Many LGBTQ+-specific travel groups are ready for you to join, including ones we have at Rainbow Getaways! Each year, we plan small group cruises and land trips designed to be intimate and provide a more profound cultural experience of the destination.

Joining an established group tour is also a great way to travel with new friends. Rainbow Getaways partners with the best group tour operators; this allows you to enjoy and explore your destination without worrying about any logistics. 

Go to an LGBTQ+ Bar Crawl

Silhouette of a person in a LGBTQ+ bar
📸 Tatiana Rodriguez - Unsplash

If you're traveling to meet new people and party all night long, there's no better way to do it than going to an LGBTQ+ Bar Crawl. LGBTQ+ clubs and bars are a vibrant part of our culture. Attend one of these, and you'll surely meet many energetic and adventurous travelers.

Don't feel like joining the party scene? There are several other ways to get a nice drink with other travelers while avoiding busy bars and clubs. Vineyard tours are a more relaxing alternative. If you want to avoid alcohol, visiting local coffee shops and cafes is another option for you. Searching for LGBTQ+-friendly ones before your trip can help you get the head start you need. 

Attend Workshops and Day Tours

Hop on Hop Off Bus
📸 Waldemar - Unsplash

Get involved with the community of your travel destination by attending workshops and day tours! These cheery events are perfect for exploring your destination while meeting other travelers. 

There are several kinds of classes and tours available catered towards specific interests, so you'll be able to find friends with the same hobbies and traits. Some popular courses include fitness classes, cooking classes, arts and crafts classes, and much more. Tours are also a great way to meet others while traveling. Whether you prefer to spend an entire day on the road or a few hours strolling through the city, plenty of tours can suit your needs - and plenty of people will join you!

Explore Hotels, Hostels, and Other Lodgings

Man laying in a hammock with only his legs visible
📸 Tobias Tilluis - Unsplash

Whether you stay in a local bed-and-breakfast, an extravagant resort, or an up-and-coming inn, where you stay can give you multiple chances to make friends with other travelers. Exposing yourself to your lodging can help you meet like-minded travelers and make lifelong friendships. 

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, here are some safety tips we recommend if you want to use lodgings to make friends.

  • Bring your own safety gear. Before you embark on a trick, equip yourself with the tools you need to stay safe: a portable door lock, a personal alarm, and anti-theft bags.

  • Check the ratings. Before booking your stay at the hotel of your choice, read through the reviews and ratings. Anything above four stars is a good bet. Five stars? Even better!

  • Lock your belongings and suitcases. It's best to always keep your personal belongings with you, but if you can't, keep it with security and lock it up tightly.

  • Trust your gut. Trust if your gut tells you a person, situation, or event is dangerous. Leave the situation as quickly and safely as possible. 

If you have additional concerns or questions about how safe your lodge is, you can always communicate your concerns with local security or law enforcement. They can help you with questions regarding safety tips, LGBTQ+ safe spots, and anything else you might need. 

Travel With Rainbow Getaways

Hand with a rainbow painted on the palm with a black outline of a heart in the middle
📸 Alexander Grey - Unsplash

One of the best ways to find your travel buddies is by traveling with an agency catered to your tastes. Travel agencies can help you find friends by offering exceptional group travel experiences, recommending popular and inclusive destinations, pairing you with other clients, and much more.

We hope you found value in these tips from our LGBTQ+ guide to making friends while traveling. If you're interested in meeting other LGBTQ+ members to travel with, you can start by scheduling a consultation with Rainbow Getaways. We cater your itinerary to your personal travel style and can make recommendations if you want to travel with new friends.

Rainbow Getaways proudly helps travelers of the LGBTQ community (and our allies) research, plan, and book incredible vacations where you feel confident and comfortable enjoying and exploring your destination. We plan each vacation to meet your specific needs, so you'll have an experience just as unique as yours.


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