Insider tips in GlobetrotterGirls at Pepo - Jul 25 2017, 05.48.07 PM UTC
Somebody asked me yesterday how I find lesbian-friendly / LGBT-friendly hotels when I travel, so I wanted to share all my favorite resources for LGBT travel planning:

What are LGBT-Friendly Travel Companies?
-The IGLTA has a comprehensive list of all of its official partners, which include companies like Delta, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, United, Orbitz, Hotels.com

-Expedia has a separate section for queer travelers with LGBT-welcoming hotels and guides to top gay destinations

How do I find lesbian-Owned and -Friendly Accommodation?

-Purple Roofs: The best place to look for lesbian-owned and lesbian-friendly accommodation is Purple Roofs, the world’s largest travel directory of LGBT-friendly accommodation. They list over 4,800 bed & breakfasts, hotels and vacation rentals. Simply type in your destination and all available properties in that location will be listed. You’ll see right away if it’s lesbian or gay owned and the price per night.

-TAG: Then there are TAG Approved® hotels, which are those that are not only LGBT friendly but also support the LGBT community in their employment policies and services. (TAG stands for Travel Advocacy Group.) 2,000 hotels in total, including several big chains, like Hilton Hotels, Marriott, Sheraton, and The W. Similar to Purple Roofs, you can type in your destination you’ll see a listing of all TAG Approved® hotels there.

TAG features mostly bigger hotel corporations while Purple Roofs focuses on small, independent businesses. The advantage of TAG is that it features many hotels that are members of travel reward programs, so if you are into travel hacking and looking to use points in a lesbian-friendly hotel, the TAG website is great!

-GayTravelNet,(operated by the ILGTA) also features a number of gay- and lesbian-friendly accommodations around the world.

The Best Lesbian Tours and Cruises

-Olivia: The biggest lesbian tour operator is Olivia – they offer all-lesbian vacations, ranging from resorts to cruises. Olivia always buys out a whole resort or charters the entire ship to make sure the trip is a safe space for women, so that they feel like they can be out without worrying about anything. Olivia also offer the best lesbian entertainment on their vacations, including artists like Melissa Etheridge, the Indigo Girls, Wanda Sykes, and Lily Tomlin.

-Focus Diva: a UK-based lesbian tour operator that offers hosted lesbian group holidays around Europe, like the Women’s Festival in Lesvos, Greece; or a golf-themed cruise; and river cruises around Europe. (you don’t have to be UK resident to join these tours & cruises)

-R Family Vacations: Founded by Rosie O’Donell, they offer a variety of LGBT family vacations. Most popular are their family vacations for lesbian parents and their kids, but they also have an “Adult Vacation” line, which offers kid-free vacations (not strictly for lesbian travelers but both gay men and women). The 2017 edition of the Adult Vacation is a transatlantic cruise from England to New York on the Queen Mary 2.

-Aquafest Cruises: Another company that offers mixed cruises (for gay men as well as lesbians), is Aquafest Cruises, specializing in discounted LGBT cruises to destinations such as Alaska, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, and Asia. Aquafest’s cruises are considerably cheaper than other gay and lesbian cruises (including the above mentioned R Adult Cruises), and it also offers themed cruises around celebrations like Mardi Gras and Halloween. Entertainment on board includes lesbian get-togethers, singles get-togethers, theme dance parties, gay Olympics, stand-up comedy, cabaret, and celebrity singers. (In 2017, Aquafest is offering its first non-cruise vacation: an African safari.)

-Out Of Office: A new travel start-up that arranges high-end holidays for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender couples as well as gay-friendly flights, hotels, transfers, and excursions. It also offers several itineraries aimed at lesbian travelers (guaranteeing that the tour operators and hotels used in the itineraries are lesbian friendly), and group trips for LGBT travelers to destinations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, and China.

If you have any other LGBT travel resources to add, feel free to share them in the comments!
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