Travel is finally back with summer around the corner, but traveling as a LGBTQ+ person—especially as a queer woman—comes with some special practice to navigate certain destinations. That’s why we want to give some important tips to consider when planning your travel to ensure your safety while also creating amazing memories to last a lifetime.
By researching the destination you are going to before your trip, you’ll be aware of local laws, customs, traditions, and more. This will help you be more prepared on how to travel not only safely, but respectfully and with cultural sensitivity. There are still many countries without LGBTQ+ equality or even women’s rights to this day, so you want to make sure you are as well versed in a country’s laws prior to traveling.
It is so important to leave your personal contact information and itinerary during your travels for any emergencies. We typically leave our contact information, flights, and hotel information with family to reach us.
Before we travel anywhere, we find LGBTQ+ blogs and travel sites dedicated to traveling safely for the LGBTQ+ community for that destination. IGLTA, Misterbnb, and Gay Cities are just some of the sites that will help you book your travel with LGBTQ+ friendly accommodations, tours, and more. This is also a helpful way to find lesbian/ queer bars and parties where you can meet local gays and have a night to remember. While reading LGBTQ+ blogs, we are able to curate our own initineraries based on other LGBTQ+ travel influencers and expose us to queer travel places and experiences that are not easily found. (You can check out ours, On Airplane Mode, too!)
It’s so important to “read the room” when traveling. We always make sure we’re being cautious and careful of our surroundings and local customs. PDA, especially for the LGBTQ+ community, can be negatively looked upon and while we strive to push boundaries, it is sometimes illegal in certain destinations around the world. While it’s totally unfair that a same-sex couple cannot always hold hands in public, safety is a priority, so be aware of any cultural sensitivities wherever you travel to.
“There’s an app for that” is no understatement and the same goes for the LGBTQ+ community. Download apps like Maps.Me to always have a map on your phone even when you are without wifi, Refuge Restrooms is amazing for finding gender-neutral bathrooms, and Arch will help you find LGBTQ+ bars and cafés.
In many destinations, there are LGBTQ+ centers dedicated to helping the local community and visitors like you. You can google the destination name plus “LGBTQ+ center” or look at the destination’s tourism website under “LGBTQ+.” These in-person centers often have great local professionals who will be there to provide information, guides, and resources to enjoy your vacation.
In many destinations, there are LGBTQ+ centers dedicated to World Nomads is a user-friendly and easy way to get covered
on your trip. While we hope accidents don’t happen on a trip, sometimes they do and we are full believers that it is better to be safe than sorry! Especially in a time of COVID, travel insurance can help protect you against losing your money if you must cancel a trip last minute because of a positive test, surging cases, or a closed border.