If you’re an LGBTQ traveler, there are three occasions when your priority is creating a socially progressive, welcoming vacation itinerary.
- When you’re planning a romantic trip, whether it’s a getaway with your partner or a destination wedding
- Family travel, when you want your kids to feel relaxed because they fit in, and no one is asking awkward questions about their two mommies
- A “Stella Got Her Groove Back” holiday when you are single and ready to mingle
We’ve asked award-winning travel writer Troy Petenbrink to recommend three trips for when you need that perfect – and perfectly welcoming -- vacation destination. Troy’s three no-fail holiday hot spots are Provincetown Family Week for LGBQT families, Ljubljana, Slovenia for a romantic vacation, and Palm Springs, CA for LGBTQ singles. Read on for more details, and budget (and geographically) friendly alternatives.
Provincetown Family Week
During the height of summer season -- when families with school-age children head out on vacation --more than half of the tourists streaming into Provincetown on the northern tip of Cape Cod are members of the LGBTQ community. If you arrive during Family Week 2018, July 28-August 4, 2018, the numbers are even higher. Enjoy daily family events or relax on the beach; photos from the Family Week 2017 can be found here.
For more family vacation ideas, check out Troy’s recent article “Ten Best U.S. Travel Destinations for LGBT Families” on Family Travel 411. You can also browse the family-friendly camps and cruises from highly rated LGBTQ travel agency R Family Vacations for more inspiration.
Romantic Ljubljana, Slovenia
When it’s time for a romantic vacation, book your tickets to Slovenia, a small, exquisite country with progressive marriage equality laws and a fairytale vibe. “I have been to Ljubljana many times and think it is an ideal getaway for couples,” says Troy. “It is a beautiful historic city and very romantic; boat rides on the river, tours of the castle, daytrips to a vineyard, delicious farm to table dinners.”
For romantic travel spots closer to home, check out free spirited Taos, NM, and hip and quirky Asheville, NC.
Party in Palm Springs
If you are single and ready to mingle, Troy suggests Palm Springs. “There are gay- and lesbian-only resorts and events,” Troy says. Two of the biggest festivals on the calendar, the White Party and The Dinah have already occurred, but with rooms selling quickly, now is the time to plan for next year. For a getaway this year, check the event calendars at Rage Monthly and the Desert Gaily Guide for the next party in Palm Springs. Also highly recommended in California: UHAUL SF’s pre-pride kick off party, coming up on June 15, 2018. Want more Pride ideas? Check out Troy’s recent article on the world’s best Pride celebrations for National Geographic.For a wallet-friendly option (especially for those not living on the left coast), the gay resort towns of Saugatuck and Douglas, MI offer picturesque beaches, relaxed socializing, and gay nightlife.
Packing a few vacation basics can smooth out travel bumps and keep everyone comfortable, entertained and well rested.
- Matador Pocket Blanket for picnics, sandy beaches and music festivals
- GSI Outdoors nesting Champagne Flutes
- Matador Droplet Wet Bag for damp swimsuits
- A few distractions for kids (and adults): Outside Inside Backpack Bocce Ball set, ZIPIT’s interactive coloring books that make colors and stickers come alive through their free app
- Matador Travel Earplug Kit mutes noisy neighbors and loud dance clubs
- Aaack Packs specific to your destination, like the Music Fest Pack and the Beach Pack
For this post Matador is indebted to the experience of award winning travel journalist Troy Petenbrink. Troy’s work has appeared on NationalGeographic.com, Travel + Leisure, and the TravelChannel.com. You can follow Troy’s adventures at thegaytraveler.com.