For LGBTQ+ travelers, it can be disheartening to hear that some countries on your dream travel itinerary are either not welcoming to downright hostile to queer folks.
Although it can be risky, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t visit a non-inclusive destination there are some considerations you should take before buying a ticket. Here are some tips to help alleviate some concerns while you look to book your getaway anywhere in the world.
Do you want to travel to a non-inclusive destination for LGTBQ+ folks but aren’t sure how to do it safely?
Keep reading for travel tips to ensure you have all the information you need to know to prepare for a trip to a non-welcoming location.
Travel with Important Documents
When traveling to a destination where legal rights differ from those in the United States, LGBTQ+ travelers should take a copy of important documents for security. For example, taking a copy of your living will or health care directive, contact information for family members, or your contact information for a lawyer in the United States in case you’re in a situation where health decisions need to be made quickly.
If you’re traveling with children, bringing a copy of parentage and custody documents — especially if your children don’t share your last name — will help keep your family safe and protected.
Have the address and phone number of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate easily accessible; as a bonus, make sure you have it in English and the local language to help with any issues.
Stay at a Bubble Resort
If you’re looking to simply get away for an easy and relaxing vacation, sticking with a bubble resort will be your best bet.
A bubble resort is an all-inclusive resort where you don’t need to leave the property and can enjoy an idyllic getaway without any fuss from exploring the area. Bubble resorts minimize your local interaction, and the resorts are vested in ensuring all their guests remain safe.
A few examples of Bubble Resorts recommended most often by Rainbow Getaways include the AMR Collection (Secrets, Dreams, or Breathless) or boutique properties such as Palmaia, the house of Aia. Not all all-inclusive resorts are equal; if you’re considering one, be sure to work with a specialist who knows how to pair you with the right experience.
Work with LGBTQ+ owned Resorts and Travel Suppliers
Another way to ensure a safe but fun travel experience is by working with resorts and travel suppliers that specialize their focus on the LGBTQ+ Community. Round Hill in Jamaica is one of our favorite resort options in the Caribbean.
If you’re looking to get out and explore the local culture, finding a travel supplier in our community or a strong ally will help ensure you have a safe experience. Some of my favorite options include Out in Columbia and High End Journeys in Egypt, both LGBTQ+ owned. Both allow you to dive deeper into the local culture and even know the best Gayborhoods to give you a taste of how our community lives in their countries.
Avoid Risky Situations
Traveling as a member of the LGBTQ+ community is a great way to be an ambassador, showing that we are members of the larger global community and are no different from everyone else. It’s still important to remember that you are subject to the local laws and customs of the destination you’re traveling in.
Depending on your destination, consensual same-sex sexual activity, public gatherings,s or material considered “pro-LGBTQ+” may be illegal. Before you head to a new country, read the State Department’s information about your destination for more details.
While exploring a destination, being mindful of the local customs and traditions will help you maintain a low profile. This could include avoiding PDA with your partner and watching out for entrapment campaigns. Police and criminals in some countries have been known to monitor websites, apps, and meeting places, making engaging with the local queer community more dangerous.
If you’re a traveler who prefers adventure or engaging with the locals, you may be better suited for visiting a more open and welcoming destination.
If you want more information about traveling to a non-inclusive island or destination, schedule a consultant with Rainbow Getaways, and we’ll help you with everything you need to know.
Rainbow Getaways proudly help 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 you.