Travel as a lesbian couple can be daunting at times. You hope to find an LGBT friendly hotel or accommodation, but online research for lesbian travel resources is quite discouraging at times. I must admit, we always Google our destinations to see if there is any lesbian activity or nightlife available, maybe even a lesbian festival… Usually, this search brings up little to no accurate and current information. It would be better to stay at a guesthouse or B&B that’s run by lesbians so we’d be sure to be welcome and get invaluable tips about your destination… the kind of tips that are difficult to find online!
The first item to consider as always is safety! Will we be safe walking the streets as a lesbian couple? Are we allowed to hold hands and show public display of affection? That’s a critical question for a successful lesbian travel experience. I think it sucks when we see the streets bulking with enamored couples holding hands and kissing, knowing that we don’t always have that freedom. Not that I think people should be making love in public, I will always be more cautious than most people I see.
We listed a few resource websites that can help you find out just how safe a country or city is for lesbian travel! Check these links:
Destination Pride is a Canadian website that collects data about LGBT laws and rights worldwide. It’s a great resource as you can browse countries and cities alike. The site will give you information about marriage equality, gender laws, and social acceptance. A negative score doesn’t necessarily mean that a destination is unsafe, but it shows that there is still work to be done towards LGBT rights.
Equaldex is a resource website we use quite a lot to research lesbian travel safety. It displays information on LGBT rights and acceptance. The website is very complete and it shows historical data as well as current status. This website is made by and made for LGBT, so you can be a contributor to this project.
Staying at a lesbian-owned hotel or guesthouse offers a lot of advantages for lesbian travelers. Even though gay-owned accommodation is very delightful, lesbian owned accommodation offers just that extra punch to make things more comfortable and reassuring.
First of all, you’d be pretty sure to be welcome and nobody will question the fact that you booked a queen size bed instead of single beds. In other hotels, it happens that questions about your sexual preferences arise and these have a tendency to make people uncomfortable. Lesbian owners won’t give you that hassle, they know why you booked a double bed and they don’t care!
Getting inside tips on lesbian travel – Advice from a local
Getting first hand inside tips from locals are just the best you’ll ever find. Browsing the internet in search of cool lesbian activities or nightlife almost seems impossible and more often than not, there is nothing recent to be found. Lesbian or LGBT hotel owners can point you in the right direction and give you the best possible tips for a night out.
Make new friends
Being a part of the same minority group is a surefire way to bond, especially in an environment that isn’t always as accepting as we would like. We experienced this first hand when staying in a lesbian-owned hostel in Colombia. We had the best time with the owners and felt at home from the minute we walked in.
Lesbian Travel Accommodation Links
I fear that there is a hiatus in the online accommodation world concerning lesbian travel. Would we like to find a database or community that lists all accommodation owned and run by lesbians? Yes! Did we find it? Guess! We did find some other possibilities to help you figure out where to stay while traveling. Meanwhile, we will consider building a huge network of interesting hotels and guesthouses that are lesbian inspired. Let us know if you would become a member of a lesbian travel enterprise like this!
Purple Roofs is a gay accommodation resource website. Listings are hotels and guesthouses that are run by gays, lesbians or transgender owners. This LGBT travel resource has been around for a while and it has one of the most extended information databases on lesbian travel and LGBT travel in general. Listings provide information on location, ownership, and friendliness.
World Rainbow Hotels
World Rainbow Hotels is a platform that lists lesbian and gay-friendly hotels and resorts worldwide. Hotels listed on this website are certified and controlled. They must meet a few guidelines to ensure a positive LGBT or lesbian travel experience. All listings have a decent and welcoming policy toward lesbian travelers as well as employees. You can also find free LGBT travel guides for a vast number of destinations on this platform.
She’s Wanderful is an online home-sharing platform for women. It’s not LGBT, but it’s a tight community of women welcoming women into their homes. You can see it as an Airbnb for women. Membership is free, and accommodation is priced per night. She’s Wanderful also offers travel advice and tips on their blog. We contributed to this blog with an article about Travel as a Genderqueer Person.
Women Welcome Women World Wide
Women Welcome Women World Wide or 5W was originally a website for Europe, but it expanded to the rest of the world due to massive success! This world of friendship and travel wants to connect and empower women everywhere. The concept is about home sharing and making new friends. Becoming a member requires a donation of about 40€. This website isn’t oriented to lesbian travel, but to travel for women in general.
Women Travel the World
Women Travel the World is an organization that collects all travel things for women: tours, accommodation listings, and travel guides. Make sure to check this guide before finalizing your travel plans.
Home Around The World
Home Around The World is a database of travelers and guesthouses alike. You have the option to socialize and find new friends, enroll into homestays and home swaps, or find a great LGBT guesthouse or hotel. You have to become a member to use this service.
Global Gay Lodging
The Global Gay Lodging website collects links and information about gay-friendly and gay-owned accommodation. Listing your business is free and browsing them is free as well. We’d love to see more clarity on whether some of these listings might be lesbian owned or oriented towards lesbian travel.
Lesbian tours and cruises
Who doesn’t like the idea of going on an all lesbian or all women holiday? If you’d like to be surrounded by like minded people and maybe even find the love of your life, lesbian tours and cruises are the way to travel. Whether you’re single or not, lesbian travel is a relaxed and safe way of travel. There’s no need to get into extended research mode, because someone else already researched it for you. Lesbian travel done right! These enterprises organise lesbian travel tours and activities or offer women-only trips.
The popular European party concept started offering tours not long ago. Currently, Ella Travel has different trips available which are all women-only. Groups are small and guided by Ella staff. We expect these tours to be awesome and well-designed and we hope to see the number of offered tours multiply over the next few years.
Olivia is the leading lesbian cruise organization with many years of experience. What started out as a cruise travel organization has grown out to be a full-fledged travel agency that still offers cruises, but also resort accommodation and adventure trips.
Destination Damselfly is a Greek travel agency who offers trips and cruises in the Greek area. Trips with names like Cycladic Crush and Aegean Radiance speak to the imagination and we personally have a few trips that we want to do in the future.
Adventure Women is a US-based company that offers adventure trips and packages for women all over the world. Trips vary in length between one and three weeks. They have in common that there will be only women in your group and you will have loads of fun!
General LGBT travel resources and communities
Our community has a need for shelter and helping hands. We have all been at a stage in the play of our life where we needed a push in the back or a pat on the shoulder. Feeling the backup of an entire community that is with you the entire time and relying on the wisdom of people who have already seen things you’re experiencing is invaluable. We’re in luck because there are plenty of communities worldwide. Some of them will help you travel, while others are there to support you in every way. Since this is mostly a travel post, we’ll offer you just these travel organizations, but keep your eyes on our blog to see what else we have for you in the future!
Travels of Adam
Travels of Adam is a massive resource for LGBT travelers and aside from gay information, a lot of interesting LGBT travel tips and tricks can be found on this website. Adam is an established gay blogger who focuses on hipster city guides and gay travel resources. Make sure to check his LGBT travel page before boarding an airplane to any destination!
The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association is the leading network on LGBT travel. They have ambassadors all over the world and this website has a lot of interesting information on LGBT and lesbian travel.
EllGeeBe is an extensive network of LGBT travelers and information. This vastly growing community offers the possibility to get to know people in destinations you’re traveling to and find activities and accommodation. You can contribute to the site by leaving reviews or adding information. This website looks very good and it’s easy to navigate. We should all become a part of this community and make it grow!
Need a safe bathroom? Knowing how much I dread using public restrooms, this website and app can be a lifesaver. Refuge Restrooms helps you find gender neutral bathrooms around the world. You can contribute to this directory and you should. There could be many more listings on this app and we would all benefit from an extended safe restrooms directory. If it isn’t important to you, think about all your lesbian and LGBT friends who would benefit from using this and not having to stress out about using public restrooms. If you know a safe restroom, add it!
Enhancing lesbian travel
Hopefully one of these links can help you find the perfect accommodation or tour for your future travels. If you know other organizations that we forgot to mention, please let us know so we can add them to our list. Don’t forget to read this interesting article about lesbian festivals in Europe and the best lesbian destinations in Europe!