The challenges of same-sex travel
When booking a holiday there are many factors to take into consideration – do you want a city or beach break? Are you seeking an adventure or the chance to completely switch off? And then of course there’s your budget and time scale.
For same-sex travellers these choices become a little more complicated as you are faced with a world where attitudes and laws differ greatly from country to country, and they are constantly changing. We take a look at the challenges and choices – from the big decisions to the little things – that face gay couples when it comes to booking a holiday.
The big decisions
The most important choice when booking your holiday has to be where in the world you choose to go, and there’s no avoiding the fact that there are those places that gay couples are welcomed and there are those where they are not. . . and then there are there are a number of countries that sit somewhere in-between. This is where your personal views and preferences come into play. Some people would rather not visit those places where homosexuality is frowned upon, or perhaps even a criminal offence; while others are happy to visit and tailor how they act while they are in a particular destination.
Understanding laws and customs is the key to a successful holiday. There are some countries where although homosexuality is technically a criminal offence, as long as you keep your displays of affection out of the public eye (the same would be the case for straight, particularly unmarried couples in some of the world’s most conservative countries) you should have little trouble. Essentially, how comfortable you are travelling to these destinations is something only you can decide; our knowledgeable LGBT experts can guide you in your decision making progress, and talk you through the attitudes and regulations you would need to take into account. They keep up to date with the latest law changes, allowing them to advise and inform; some of them have travelled extensively as part of a same sex couple and can share their particular experiences with you.
There are those times however where you are particularly looking for a romantic break, whether it’s a honeymoon, anniversary or, well. . . just because, you’ll want to find somewhere you can be open and relaxed as couple. This is where our LGBT-friendly destinations are your best bet. We are continuously working closely with our suppliers around the globe to ensure you can find a spot for some true us time, without any worries.
When you're in resort
Once you’ve decided on your destination – and resort – there are still a few prejudices or annoyances that you may come across on arrival. It’s probably one of the most common annoyances of same-sex couples travelling the world – being assigned twin beds by the hotel as soon as two men or women book the same room. Or on the other hand hotel staff apologising they have no twin bed rooms available and that they will have to give you a double room.
Another area of contention is same-sex spa treatments. A romantic holiday, and in particular a honeymoon, is likely to feature an indulgent spa treatment or two. In some resorts this may cause confusion with therapists being unsure how to adapt their ‘traditional’ couples’ treatments.
Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a break a holiday. Although not quite in the same league as a country’s legal standings on homosexuality, there are those small things that if not thought through properly by the hotel or resort, may distract from an otherwise perfect holiday. These can consist of receiving ‘his and hers’ slippers and robes, welcome letters addressed to Mr and Mrs and friendly-yet-intrigued hotel staff enquiring as to your relationship status – sisters? brothers? cousins?
Taking time to chat to one of our Personal Travel Experts is the best way to ensure any assumptions are avoided as they can pass on all your relevant information to your chosen resort. We also work closely with select suppliers to ensure therapists are comfortable offer same-sex treatments, and that resort staff are discreet and unquestioning.
Choosing a holiday can be complex, however our LGBT travel experts can guide you through the process with the most current information alongside their personal experience.