6 Tips To Plan For LGBTQ+ Travel Safely

Important tips to follow when traveling with your gay partner.

Holidays 10th Aug, 2021

Gay travel can be a difficult thing to discuss and plan. Even though the world has opened considerably to the LGBTQ+ community, there are still places where it is almost forbidden. According to Community Marketing and Insights (CMI), more than 60% of LGBTQ+ travellers stated their safety is their top concern when traveling internationally, and about 45% of transgender Americans said they felt threatened by physical or verbal abuse during their travels abroad. 

When you consider these numbers, you get an idea of how many challenges gay people have to face when thinking about their vacations abroad. If you are going to a new city, whether in the USA or internationally, here are some tips to help plan your travel. 

1. Do Your Homework: 

Prior to booking, study the situation of LGBTQ+ people in that country: Is homosexuality illegal? Are queers despised? Can gay people check into any hotels? Visiting a country where the LGBTQ+ community is marginalised is ultimately your decision, but you must ensure to take everything into consideration. 

2. Be Discreet: 

It is not fair, but simply displaying your love, kissing, or simply holding hands can be problematic or even dangerous, depending on where you are. You may want to take a stand, but you are at a distinct disadvantage as an outsider. Obey the local law and respect local customs and cultures. Proceed with caution and behave appropriately. Remember that it all comes down to knowing your audience. 

3. Know Your Rights

In some countries, only carrying sexually explicit material, including condoms, can be used as evidence of sex work. If you are traveling with your partner, you may need to provide proof of marital status. If you find yourself in a situation where you need medical attention, or are in trouble with the authorities, it can be challenging to defend your marital rights and your legal bonds with your partner. This is particularly important if you need to make any medical decisions, so know how you are protected when going abroad and always know where to go when in trouble.  

4. Help LGBTQ+ Friendly Companies: 

More and more hotels, restaurants, and resorts not only welcome LGBTQ+ guests but also look for them. Many micro-sites target gay tourists and create accommodations that meet specific requirements, such as an inclusive non-discriminatory policy and training staff on LGBTQ+ issues. Likewise, shared houses are a great way to meet locals. If you are booking a travel package or cruise, please consider an LGBTQ+ focused operator. Not only will you be supporting your community, you will receive more personalised care. 

5. Always Be On The Lookout For Scams: 

All holiday adventures can be fun, but there are risks. Tourists are the main targets for robbery, blackmail, or worse. In some countries, the authorities monitor gay dating sites to attract users. Avoid putting yourself in legal trouble or needing to bribe the police. If you are meeting new people, try to know personal details about them. Meet any dates in public places, and watch out for red flags. 

6. Always Know Where To Go For Help: 

If you are threatened or victimised and think it is unsafe to seek help from local authorities, contact the nearest embassy or consulate. The consular staff will protect your privacy, and they will protect you. No country wants an international situation. If you are arrested, please immediately ask the police to notify the embassy.

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