Updated: Jan 10
It recently occurred to me that over the last several months I have been writing this blog, I haven’t written about why I started Rainbow Getaways and why you want to talk to me before you book your next vacation.
My arrival into the world of travel planning started just over six years ago after I had recently taken a cruise. I was in the market of shopping for a new travel advisor after my first experience was lackluster. After searching Google and Facebook, I stumbled upon a Disney-focused agency that was a fresh start-up. I spent a few weeks chatting with the owner and quickly realized that I knew more about cruising than he did and found myself with an offer to join his team.
After some soul searching, I jumped on the opportunity. I spent the next five years learning the industry, building relationships with travelers and partners, and planning amazing vacations while keeping my day job. As you might expect, as the years passed, I was giving more and more time to planning travel until in early January of 2020, I found myself unemployed from a layoff. I decided to take advantage of the extra time and take my travel planning full-time, not realizing that the travel industry would grind to a screeching stop just two months later.
I’m not one to sit around, and after getting bored binge-watching tv shows during the first week of the quarantine, I decided it was time to start making some major changes that I had been putting off. The first significant change was moving to my own brand, Rainbow Getaways. Since I started my career as a travel advisor, I have wanted to specialize in travel for the LGBTQ community and our allies. I have felt that it is an underserved group if you aren’t looking for the party scene or are an Adonis.
For as long as I can remember, I have been “husky,” as my mom used to call it. Not entirely fitting into the gay scene given the pressures to have an eight-pack, bubble butt, and taller than I turned out to be. What used to make me uncomfortable is why I’m so passionate about creating experiences for everyone in our community. I absolutely believe that everyone deserves to travel regardless of who they love, what they look like, and every other thing that makes each of us unique.
Branding my agency for the LGBTQ community doesn’t go far enough. Our community faces different challenges when choosing vacation destinations than our hetero counterparts, safety being a chief concern. Of the 195 possible countries to visit, at least 69 countries still criminalize same-sex activities, and at least nine have laws criminalizing forms of gender expression (http://internap.hrw.org/features/features/lgbt_laws/).
To ensure all my travelers have the best vacations possible, I have spent hours researching destinations and travel partners. My goal is to know which destinations are safest to visit and which travel partners to work with when a trip takes my travelers to a destination that hasn’t caught up with the 21st century.
Beyond safety concerns, my travel planning approach is like my YouTube series “Gay Travel for the Rest of Us.” I work with members of the LGBTQ community with every body-type, personality, and mobility to create an inclusive experience. You should feel comfortable on vacation, and every travel partner I work with strives to make that experience happen.
Working with me has been described as talking with your best friend because I work to get to know you, your partner, and your family, so your first trip and every trip after is exactly what you’re dreaming about. I aim to understand your travel preferences to match you with the right destination and fill your time with the activities you will find interesting. To give my travelers a jump-start on thinking about what they really want, I’ve even made a fun Travel Personality quiz that offers insight into the types of destinations you may wish to visit.
The research and planning process is just the beginning of our relationship. After the first parts of a trip are booked, I continue working with you to find the perfect excursions and keep you updated about any news or changes that impact your vacation. As the first day of your getaway approaches, I make sure that you have all your travel documents, and while you’re away from home, I can take care of any issues that pop-up. I am quick to send an email or jump on the phone to a general manager to make sure they take care of problems quickly, and the rest of the trip goes to plan.
If my travel planning approach sounds like a good fit for you, I hope to see you for a consultation soon. You can schedule an initial consultation at any time by clicking on Schedule Consultation at the top of every page on the Rainbow Getaways website.
Rainbow Getaways is a full-service travel concierge specializing in travel for the LGBTQ community and our allies. Each vacation is planned to meet your specific needs, so you’ll have a fabulous time. Be sure to subscribe to the Rainbow Getaways newsletter at the bottom of the page, so you never miss a post and like or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.