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A Few Tips for LGBTQ+ Travelers

There’s lots of tips for travel that apply to everyone; do I pack just a carry-on, how many pairs of socks do I need, contacting financial institutions to advise of upcoming travel, or simply aisle or window seat.  However, for some there are additional concerns that come with traveling, both within the U.S. and internationally.  These tips are not exhaustive, and I don’t speak for everyone & their concerns; I’m just a fellow human who has family & friends who have shared their stories and a passion for advocacy and activism.

  • Research the culture & laws of your destination.  The people may welcome you, however there may be laws or customs in place that may cause you to experience unsafe situations.  If you wish to engage in public displays of affection with your partner and not worry about being seen, select a destination where other LGBTQ+ folks like openly; or a destination or experience in which all are welcome (specialty trip, or a brand that supports the LGBTQ+ community). 

  • Know “your” risks.  Not everyone faces the same concerns and risks during travel. 

  • Consider visiting destination during their Pride celebration, festival, or gathering.  This can help you feel more comfortable and help you meet other LBGTQ+ locals.

  • Make intentional choices on who to do business with.  Choose to work with a travel professional that appreciates and assists with the needs and concerns you have regarding travel.  Consider if a hotel or company has LGBTQ+-friendly policies.  Look for resources on where to find professionals and businesses that may be considerate of your needs, such as the IGLTA or an LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce. (This agency is a member of the WI LGBT Chamber of Commerce.)

  • For our transgender, non-binary, or gender non-conforming friends who may be planning to fly, I recommend visiting this Gender Diversity page under the TSA Cares section at  And if you wish to apply or renew a U.S. Passport, visit this page on Choosing your Gender Marker, which offers some basic information, options, and a few FAQ’s.

  • Over 70 countries consider consensual same-sex relations a crime, so when traveling internationally consider reviewing the information the U.S. State Department has available for travelers with special considerations HERE.

  • Use common travel sense.  Consider what safety measures you utilize in your home community and apply them to your destination.  Let others know where you are.  Use caution of who you entrust details of your travels with as well as who you disclose your identity to while traveling.  Obey local laws, even if you do not agree with them.

As I mentioned above, this is not a list that meets all and every need or concern.  These are a few tips to help navigate your options and what considerations you might need to be aware of.

Stay safe and travel proudly, friends.

Denise Lang

Travel Agency Owner & Travel Advisor


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