Have Passport, Will Travel: 5 Things Every LGBT Traveler Needs to Know Before Heading Overseas

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With more and more countries having a broader acceptance of the LGBT community or even doing away with outlawing same-sex marriages, the number of LGBT travelers is on the rise.

In fact, LGBT travel is actually flourishing, especially when it comes to travelling abroad. With the desire to travel comes the eagerness to explore diverse destination… ones that may not exactly be LGBT friendly.

So when it comes to travelling abroad, here are some important suggestions to take into consideration that will help you maximize the comfort, safely, and enjoyment of your next trip out of the country…

Be Diligent About Your Research

This is key when it comes to making sure you avoid any potentially hostile environments towards the LGBT community abroad.

As much as you may want to travel to a specific country or region, keep in mind that there are still many countries that view homosexuality as illegal and punish “offenders” accordingly.

Also be sure you research gay-friendly accommodations as well. Yes, even in this day and age, there are still some hotels that will not accept LGBT travelers.

Know the Laws in Your Destination

After you’ve done your research and have selected a potential travel destination, it’s also important to make sure you’re up to date with current laws regarding LGBT rights as well as the political climate.

It’s also important to understand the social climate as well. While the destination may advertise itself as LGBT-friendly, that doesn’t necessarily mean the citizens are widely accepting of the lifestyle.

Be Aware of Local Customs and Perspectives

No matter where you plan to visit, adapting to a new culture can be a challenge. While you’re planning your trip, be sure to take note of the destinations culture as well as the general behavior and mannerisms towards the LGBT community.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be in the closet during your trip, but it does mean you should be respectful and aware of what the people believe and practice.

Remember, you are a visitor in their country, so always be sure to understand local sensitivities and practices.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

If you’ve done your proper research, then you’ll probably be aware of places and destinations that will be LGBT-friendly upon your arrival.

Make sure you are always aware of your surroundings when it comes to neighborhoods, restaurants, and tourists hot spots as well. Roaming into the wrong neighborhood or bar could result in a potentially dangerous situation, especially if the area is not known for being LGBT-friendly.

Pay attention to your surroundings and you should be just fine.

Seek Out LGBT Locals

This will not only help you understand the local culture better, but it’s also a great way to meet new people and network as well.

Look for social or professional groups in the area or look for LGBT-friendly tour guides that can help you make the most of your trip while staying safe.

When it comes to traveling abroad as an LGBT traveler, be smart, safe, and definitely do your research…and don’t forget to enjoy your trip too!

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If only the world was as “open-minded” as us… Alas, matters of sexual identity and equal love, often cause so much friction in the rest of the world. Here, find an open dialogue on the issues facing our LGBT community.

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