Visibility and acceptance of the LGBT people grows every day, so travelers have a wider range of options when it comes to exploring the world. Still, being a gay traveler has its dangers, especially if you choose to travel freely out of the closet. Additionally, 2020 surprised us all and made our travel plans even more complicated. All in all, if you’re planning a trip this year and want to ensure you’re safe on all fronts, here’s what to pay attention to.
See your doctor
Before you even start planning your trip, make sure to see your doctor (about 6 weeks before your trip). Aside from confirming that you’re healthy enough to travel, this will ensure you receive all necessary vaccinations and refill your prescriptions. It’s also a great idea to ask your health practitioner for hygiene trips and the best ways to avoid COVID-19. Just be ready to stock up on masks, wet wipes and hand sanitizer.
Grab a local SIM card
Sure, you might want to have a small digital detox while on vacation, but staying connected is very important for your personal safety. Once you get to your destination, grab a local SIM card so you can freely use travel apps, contact your family, update your itinerary and call emergency services. It can also be useful for checking articles on your destination’s LGBT-friendliness.
Get good insurance
Having good travel insurance is the key to a safe trip. No matter what befalls you—a sprained ankle, stolen possessions or a canceled flight, you will be protected by your travel insurance so you can sleep peacefully. Additionally, if you’re planning a road trip for your next travel adventure, don’t forget to check a few attractive insurance offers that include vehicles. Keeping your car insured will help you stay safe on the road, especially if you grab a deal that includes roadside assistance. Don’t even start your road trip without having a plan on what to do in case your car refuses to cooperate.
Get an Uber
If you’re not taking your own car, you’ll probably need to catch some sort of transportation, usually a taxi. However, make sure to always choose a licensed taxi, especially at airports since they are notorious for taking advantage of tourists. For instance, an illegal taxi driver might deliberately deceive you and take you somewhere else if you’re not careful. One of the best ways to remove a lot of stress out of your trip is to download Uber where everything is done via an app, from taking care of payments to checking out the route. Also, the fair is calculated per distance, so you’ll always get a good price.
Download Google Maps
Another great app that can ensure you’re safe while traveling is Google Maps. It’s one of the best ways to ensure you get from point A to point B safely and efficiently. You can use it to calculate the distance between places, help you plan your trip better, find the nearest bank, ATM, supermarket and such. Also, it contains a lot of useful public transport information that will ensure you take the right route and stay safe.
Don’t flaunt what you have
If you love your lux Rolex or your diamond engagement rings, it’s best to leave them safely locked away in your hotel room. Having valuables with you will not only boost the chance of getting them accidentally lost, but also make you a target for muggers.
Prepare for safe sex
You’re probably going to have a lot of sexy fun on your vacation, so make sure to bring plenty of protection. Depending on where you’re going, you might find it hard to acquire condoms or lube, especially the quality kind, so come prepared.
Avoid excess alcohol and drug use
When you’re away from home on your fun vacation, you might be more inclined to drink or take drugs. While there’s nothing wrong with going a little wild in coffeeshops in Amsterdam or ordering special 2for1 deals in Sydney, you need to understand how these substances will affect your body and your mind. Also, when heading out, always stay with a trusted travel buddy so you can keep each other safe. Plus, partying with a friend or SO is always more fun!
If you plan your trip well and follow these safety tips, every LGBT traveler can have a blast and come back home full of nothing but positive vibes and good memories.
Peter Minkoff is a gay travel and lifestyle writer. Besides writing, he worked as a travel journalist for many publications in Australia and the UK. Follow Peter on Facebook and Twitter for more tips.
Peter Minkoff ist ein schwuler Reise- und Lifestyle-Autor. Er arbeitete als Reisejournalist für viele Publikationen in Australien und Großbritannien. Folge Peter auf Facebook und Twitter für weitere Tipps.