75+ Amazing LGBTQIA+ Travel Resources, Discounts, & Helpful Sites
With Pride events happening at destinations across the globe, cruise ships boarding for your dream queer vacation, and new LGBTQIA+-friendly (meaning lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and more) spots popping up in even the most remote locations, the world of travel for queer and transgender people is constantly expanding.
And, LGBTQIA+ folks love to travel — a 2017 survey from Community Marketing Inc. found that the average LGBTQIA+ person had taken 3.2 vacations in the last 12 months since taking their survey.
Still, travel in and outside the US can be a tricky thing for LGBTQIA+ folks. A recent survey from the UK government noted that over two-thirds of people in same-gender couples avoided holding hands in public for safety reasons.
There are still 72 countries around the world where homosexuality is illegal, and likely many more where being transgender is as well. And, in the US, at least sixteen states have considered laws that would make it illegal for transgender people to use the bathroom they choose.
Not to mention the recent Masterpiece Cakeshop US Supreme Court case in which it was essentially ruled that businesses have the right to discriminate against LGBTQIA+ people based on religious objections.
That’s why, for many folks, traveling to known LGBTQIA+-friendly destinations or traveling with other queer and transgender people can feel like the safest option. Fortunately, there are tons of resources, travel agencies, and LGBTQIA+-specific cruises, resorts, lodging, and camps out there to make sure that you have the best vacation possible.
Here’s what you’ll get in this guide:
- 11 of the best travel and safety resources for LGBTQIA+ folks
- 65+ travel agencies, cruises, adventures, lodgings, and more to help you plan your travel
Resources for safe LGBTQIA+ travel
It’s important to do your research when you’re traveling to ensure that where you’re headed is safe and that you know the cultural expectations you’ll be facing when you arrive. These resources are a great place to familiarize yourself with the best practices for traveling while LGBTQIA+.
- National Center for Transgender Equality. Check out their travel page for information on traveling safely as a trans person.
- US Government Travel Safety. This page offers useful information from the US Department of State for traveling safely as an LGBTQIA+ person.
- UK Government Tips for Safe Travel. Although this advice comes from the UK, it’s relevant to LGBTQIA+ folks worldwide.
- The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA). They publish a map annually with updated information on sexual orientation laws by country and they recent published their first Trans Legal Mapping Report which gives detailed information on trans rights by country.
LGBTQIA+ travel resources
When you’re getting ready for a vacation, it’s always important to plan ahead. These websites and directories can show you where all the best destinations, events, lodging, and entertainment are around the globe:
- Damron. In addition to their website with listings of LGBTQIA+-friendly hotels and destinations, they also publish print guidebooks with thousands of safe places for queer folks to stay around the world.
- GayCampers.com. Offers a listing of gay and lesbian campgrounds in USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean.
- Gay Camping USA. Provides users with a list of gay-owned and gay-friendly campsites throughout the US. Join their Friends With Benefits program to receive a 50% discount on membership fees at select campsites.
- Gay Cities. Offers travel guides for 235 different LGBTQIA+-friendly cities on six continents.
- GayTravel. GayTravel provides approval ratings for travel-related businesses based on how LGBTQIA+-friendly they are. Check out their homepage and sign up for their mailing list to find promotions like their current 20% off rentals with Advantage Rent-A-Car when you use the code: GAYTRAVEL.
- Global Gay Lodging. Offers a listing of LGBTQIA+-friendly hotels and other lodgings worldwide.
- International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA). Founded in 1983, the IGLTA is a leading free resource helping the LGBTQIA+ community travel. Check out their Specials page for exclusive deals like complimentary breakfast and VIP treatment in Lisbon, 10% off a Treehouse rental in Peru, 10% off a macaron baking class in Paris, and more. Sign up for their mailing list to stay up to date on the latest specials and information.
- Man About World. This is a gay travel magazine specifically for smartphone and tablet devices. They run 10 issues annually offering the best information on travel for gay-identified folks.
- Out Traveler. This site is the travel arm of the popular Out Magazine. They’ve created destination guides for most major US cities and a few places around the globe as well. Out Traveler operates as a blog with articles posted regularly on topics from events for the LGBTQIA+ community to the best resorts and hotels to expert advice on travel.
- Purple Roofs. Provides users with a directory of LGBTQIA+-friendly bed and breakfasts, inns, hotels, tour operators, and travel agents around the globe.
- World Rainbow Hotels. Has a listing of LGBTQIA+-friendly hotels around the world, searchable by city, hotel type, and more. Also has a great events listing to plan your vacations around.
LGBTQIA+ travel agencies and groups
Planning a vacation can be taxing, and when you add in scoping out the most fun and safest places to be openly queer, you’re looking at potentially hours of work. These travel agencies and tour groups can take some of the guesswork out of building your next vacation and get you some great deals in the process:
- Cruising with Pride. This travel agency connects you with all-gay cruises and gay-group cruises where you can get together a group of LGBTQIA+ folks to join a regular cruise. Plus, if you get together enough people for one of their group cruises, you could earn a free trip for yourself.
- Detours. They offer group tours primarily geared towards gay men to destinations around the world. Detours is focused on creating trips with less restricting itineraries which means they don’t plan daily activities in advance, but instead choose things to do based on the group’s interests.
- Equality Travel. A travel agency specializing in custom trips for LGBTQIA+ folks.
- Gaytlas. Creates customized trips for LGBTQIA+ travelers, plus pre-planned packages. They also do regular happy hours around NYC for travel enthusiasts.
- Gay Trippers NYC. Offers bus trips for LGBTQIA+ folks originating in NYC.
- Happy Gay Travel. Connects users with different all-gay and gay-group travel opportunities worldwide. Sign up for their mailing list to be the first to know about new vacations and special discounts.
- HE Travel. HE provides LGBTQIA+ adventures and tours around the globe. They specialize in culinary tours, bike tours, and their special Adrenaline Club tours for those who are interested in canyoning, bungee jumping, and other high-adrenaline activities. Save $100 when you register six months or more in advance for your tour, plus an extra 3% off if you pay in full six months or more in advance.
- Out Adventures. This company offers vacation packages with safe accommodations and genuine local experiences around the globe specifically for the LGBTQIA+ community. You can opt for one of their small group adventures with no more than 16 people per tour or 40 people per cruise or you can have a vacation tailor-made just for you and your loved ones.
- Outgoing Adventures. This company has tours available to locations around the world with groups of no more than 18 travelers. Their tours are typically designed for people ages 35 and over, and you can choose from trips that focus on local culture, luxury and pampering, or slightly more adventurous vacations with hiking and camping involved.
- Out of Office. This UK-based travel agency sends LGBTQIA+ folks to destinations around the world and organizes gay group trips. They’ve also got special services dedicated to helping trans folks travel.
- Pink Iceland. A travel agency that helps you plan LGBTQIA+-friendly vacations in Iceland. They also specialize in wedding planning.
- R Family Adventures. Specializes in vacations for LGBTQIA+ families and friends. Their Family Vacations feature special kids programming to keep your kiddos entertained. They also have special deals with Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton where you’ll receive additional amenities when you book through them. Sign up for their mailing list for exclusive offers.
- Rainbow Gay Tours. Offers tours and vacation packages for gay men in Barcelona and Madrid. Purchase more than one tour to earn 10% off.
- Toto Tours. Offers adventure tours at locations worldwide for LGBTQIA+ travelers, with prizes such as a $250 bonus for one lucky winner on each tour. They also specialize in creating personalized vacations.
- TravelGay. An online travel guide based in Europe that also offers specialized LGBTQIA+ group tours around the world. They also operate Travel Gay Asia with information, tours, and resources tailored specifically to travel in Asia. Check out their homepage for exclusive offers.
- Trips With George. A gay-owned US travel agency. Check out their exclusive cruise deals here.
- Zoom Vacations. Provides luxury, experiential tours at destinations around the globe. Join Club Zoom for free to receive special offers on vacations and discounts on gay-friendly services, accommodations, and shopping around the world.
- 32 Travel. A travel group with meetups at a handful of cities around the US, they also plan regular group tours to international destinations.
Cruises and resorts for LGBTQIA+ folks
Gay cruises have been popular for decades and make up one of the most popular sectors of LGBTQIA+ travel. With parties every night, all-inclusive rates, and an entire ship full of your peers to meet and mingle with, cruises bring the best parts of a vacation into one neat package. Check these out:
- Aquafest. This company has been connecting LGBTQIA+ folks with discount cruise prices since 2001. While they do not have all-gay cruises, they set you up with a block of LGBTQIA+ folks on mixed-clientele ships and provide special events for you to hang out. Sign up for their email list for exclusive offers.
- Atlantis Events. Offers all-gay cruises as well as some resort vacations. Their cruises host over 25,000 guests and tend to cater towards men with only around 5-10% women typically in attendance. Sign up for their mailing list to get the latest news and special offers.
- Brand g. Provides full-ship charters of 60-150 all-LGBTQIA+ passengers. Their specialty is river cruises with land tours around Europe and Africa as well as in India and Japan. Sign up for their mailing list to receive special offers.
- GaySail. They provide luxury sailing trips on yachts and catamarans at destinations around the world. Sign up for their mailing list to get exclusive discounts and offers. Singles can also book small single cabins at a 30% discounted rate.
- Olivia Cruises. In operation since 1990, Olivia Cruises is a lesbian-focused travel group that has taken over 200,000 women on vacations around the world. Join their mailing list to get entered to win a free cruise plus get exclusive offers and reminders to book early for Early Bird Discounts. Members who take five cruises also receive special VIP rewards. They offer a $100 discount to all current and former military members. Olivia also has deals with Delta, Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, and Air Canada where you can receive discounts of up to 15% on your flights to and from Olivia Cruises.
- RSVP Vacations. Offers all-gay and lesbian cruises. Currently their only offering is a Caribbean cruise at the beginning of 2019. Save money by signing up for their mailing list for special offers and news.
- Source Events. Provides luxury all-gay cruises to destinations around the world. Most of their cruises are for around 150-300 passengers and take place on luxury tall-ship sailing yachts. Sign up for their mailing list to receive private offers.
- VACAYA. VACAYA is a brand-new travel group open to all genders and sexualities specializing in cruises and resort adventures. Their inaugural cruise will be an all-LGBTQIA+ week-long cruise from New York to Provincetown in August of 2019. They’re offering a number of discounts including a $1000 early booking discount, a student discount of $799 total for interior staterooms, an invitation to a free VIP brunch when you pay in full by the end of 2018, and up to a 10% discount on Delta Flights to and from New York from within the US and Canada.
LGBTQIA+ camping and outdoor vacation resources
If you’re someone who loves to commune with fellow queer and transgender people in nature, or if you’re an adventurous soul looking for some high-adrenaline activities, these camping and outdoor vacations are sure to hit the spot:
- A-Camp. Started by the website Autostraddle, A-Camp is a five-day camp experience in Ojai, California for queer adults. The week includes lodging in cabins, 100+ workshops and activities, nighttime entertainment, a swag bag, and more. Save $40 by registering before February 14.
- Arriba Ski and Snowboard Club. This group is an LA-based ski and snowboard club specifically for LGBTQIA+ folks. They take several trips throughout the year to slopes around the world, plus host social events locally.
- Big Gay Raft Trip. They offer two rafting trips per year in Glenwood Springs, Colorado for LGBTQIA+ folks. A day of rafting plus lunch costs $125, plus they’ve negotiated discounted lodging rates with their host, the Caravan Inn.
- Camp Camp. Entering their 21st year, Camp Camp is an inclusive LGBTQIA+ adult camp that takes place each August in Southern Maine.
- Out Kayaking. An LGBTQIA+ kayaking group based in the Pacific Northwest, they take dozens of kayaking trips throughout the year, including to international destinations.
- Ski Bums. Billed as the largest LGBTQIA+ ski and snowboard club in the world, they offer group trips to locations around the world. Membership is free and gets you access to exclusive gear discounts including $40 off at evo.com.
- The Woods Campground. This spot is a 161-acre clothing optional campground and resort in the Poconos exclusively for LGBTQIA+ folks.
- Venture Out Project. This group provides backpacking experiences for queer and trans adults and youth. They provide you with all the equipment and food you need - all you need to do is bring hiking boots and clothing.
Lodging resources for LGBTQIA+ travelers
Finding a place to stay can be one of the toughest parts about travel. So many same-gender couples and trans and gender nonconforming people have faced discrimination in lodging, particularly when asking for a shared bed. These options can connect you with homeshares and LGBTQIA+-friendly places to stay:
- Axel Hotels. This chain of hotels is in places around Europe and specifically serves the LGBTQIA+ community - though they describe themselves as “heterofriendly.” They’ve got some great offers including 15% off in Barcelona when you book 30 days in advance and 5% off a minimum three night stay in Ibiza, Berlin, and Barcelona.
- GayStayBnB. An LGBTQIA+ homeshare site currently operating in New York City only.
- Home Around the World. Another homeshare site specifically for gay travellers that has both home exchange listings as well as rental offerings around the world.
- LGHEI. This site is essentially couchsurfing for LGBTQIA+ people. Their directory provides a listing of folks with a couch or space to share for travellers and users can also find folks to swap homes with.
- Misterb&b. This site operates much like Airbnb, but has hosts who are gay and can help you find the best spots for LGBTQIA+ locals. Through their referral program, you and a friend each earn a $10 credit when they book through your code, plus you’ll get an extra $200 if they decide to host. Sign up for their mailing list to enter to win a $500 travel credit.
- Stay In Pride. This group offers listings of LGBTQIA+-friendly hotels, villas, apartments, yachts, and other accommodations in Turkey.
- Stay With Family. Offers listings for home exchanges around the world, plus one of the most comprehensive lists of gay campsites out there.
Resorts, B&Bs, and hotels for LGBTQIA+ travelers
There are tons of different LGBTQIA+-friendly, many owned by queer folks, around the world - far too many to list here. But, here’s a short sampling of some of the best:
- Belvedere Guesthouse. A gay men’s guest house on Fire Island in NY.
- Carpe Diem Guesthouse. An inclusive bed and breakfast in Provincetown, MA.
- Casa Cool Beans. A gay-owned bed and breakfast in Rio de Janeiro, BR.
- Caves Branch. A gay-friendly jungle lodge located in Belmopan, Belize.
- Equator Resort. A clothing-optional gay male resort in Key West, FL.
- Foley House Inn. An LGBTQIA+ inn located in Savannah, GA.
- Frog Meadow. A bed and breakfast and massage oasis in Southern Vermont.
- Gaythering. A gay hotel, bar, and sauna in Miami Beach, FL.
- Highlands Inn. A lesbian resort in Bethlehem, NH.
- Jamala Madikwe. A gay-owned lodge in Madikwe, South Africa.
- Labrys Woods. A wilderness resort for women in Frankfort, MI.
- Pineapple Point. A clothing-optional male resort in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
- Rainbow Mountain Resort. A resort and hotel in the Pocono Mountains.
- The Woods. A 161-acre clothing-optional campground in the Pocono Mountains.
- Palm Springs. This site has a listing of 17 LGBTQIA+ hotels and resorts in Palm Springs.
Businesses with LGBTQIA+ travel options
Many mainstream travel sites, airlines, hotels, and other companies have adopted tools to help LGBTQIA+ folks find the best and safest places to travel. Here are a few to investigate:
- Delta Vacations. Works with the IGLTA to offer a listing of approved vacations that are great for LGBTQIA+ folks.
- Expedia. Provides a listing of hotels that are great for LGBTQIA+ folks.
- Hilton. Is openly welcoming of the LGBTQIA community and has benefits for their queer and transgender employees.
- Home Exchange. Offers a listing of LGBTQIA+-friendly home exchanges through their search function.
- Hotels.com. Under their Themes/Types tab in the advanced search, you can search for LGBT-friendly hotels.
- Marriott. This popular hotel chain is openly LGBTQIA+-friendly and has a #LoveTravels campaign showcasing queer travelers.
- Orbitz. Has LGBTQIA+ travel guides for several major cities around the world.
- Travelocity. Offers LGBTQIA+-friendly hotel listings.
Traveling as an LGBTQIA+ person should be every bit as stress-free as it is for everyone else. Use these suggestions to help plan a fun, safe, and affordable trip to just about anywhere in the world.
And, for more useful tips like these and ideas for saving money, be sure to keep up with the Knoji blog. Knoji has also answered thousands of queries about how to find the best discounts out there, so make sure to come back with all of your savings questions!