Home > Travel > 5 Cost-Conscious Tips for the LGBTQ Traveler

Comments 0 Comments

The queer community has close to $1 trillion in disposable income and many of us don’t have children. That’s a lot of money and not a lot of responsibility. So how are we spending our discretionary income?

It’s so common it’s cliché: Queer people love to travel! According to 2015’s 20th Annual LGBT Tourism & Hospitality Survey, “the annual economic impact of [American] LGBT travelers is over $75 billion per year in the U.S. alone.”

Now is when we’re trying to get away from the cold or plan our summer vacation. If that sounds like you, here are five cost-conscious tips for queer travelers to get your travel on right.

1. Use Travel Sites

We’re super fans of websites and apps that make our travel planning and budgeting easier.

One of our favorite apps is Rome2Rio. It maps the most efficient routes to get from one location to the next in terms of time and cost. If you’re in Brussels and want to get to get to Cape Town, for instance, Rome2Rio will get you there.

Another favorite tool is Skyscanner, which searches the sky for the cheapest flights to get from one location to the next. Skyscanner relies completely on its algorithm to find flights, and not its relationship to airlines, so its recommendations are unbiased.

Our friends Stefan and Sebastian, who blog at the The Nomadic Boys, say, “Our starting point for planning our travels is Booking.com. It not only shows the best prices for the filters entered, but after using them for a while, you’ll receive discounts.”

2. Less Is More

In 2012, we spent a month Down Under. For 30 days, we traveled to Sydney, Australia, to be tourists; Cairns to snorkel The Great Barrier Reef; Sydney again for Mardi Gras with Kylie Minogue as Grand Marshal; Melbourne to eat up its foodie scene; Auckland, New Zealand, to be tourists; Waiheke Island for wine; Kaikoura to swim with dolphins; and then Rotorua to sit in hot springs.

With all that travel, we each had one medium-size suitcase full of clothes. What at first seemed impossible was a lifesaver. When hopping from planes to trains to automobiles, elevators, steps, sidewalks and, yes, sand, we were all the better for our lighter load. This will also save you money because many cost-conscious international airlines charge for luggage over a certain size or weight.

3. Stay Off the Beaten Path

Sometimes the best way to contain travel costs is to take the road less traveled. Below are some LGBT-friendly destinations that are uncommon and cost-conscious:

Costa Rica is a Central American country with coasts in both the Caribbean and Pacific Oceans. Costa Rica is known for being very queer-friendly, with the heart and soul of its queer community in Manuel Antonio. In addition to seaside activities, Costa Rica boasts beautiful volcano parks, rivers and waterfalls that are great for hiking, playing and exploring.

Latvia’s coast is on The Baltic Sea and boarders Estonia and Lithuania. Latvia prides itself on “green tourism” and hosts many natural and manmade wonders. It started warming to the queer community in 1992, when it broke from the Soviet Union. While same-sex marriage is still illegal, the country does prohibit discrimination against queer people.

Belize is another Central American country on the Caribbean Ocean. Belize has amazing marine and coral life, especially where we traveled, in San Pedro, which makes it great for snorkeling and scuba diving. It includes hundreds of small islands called “cayes.” Though Belize is accepting of gay people, it is very much a conservative country and frowns on any public displays of affection.

4. Search Gay Travel Sites

With the popularity of travel sites, it was inevitable that the queer community would get its own.

One popular site that you’ve probably seen on your Facebook feed is Misterb&b. Misterb&b is not related to Airbnb. Misterb&b connects travelers with locals. You can rent the home of a queer peer while they’re away or sleep on their couch while they’re home. In most cases, doing so is cheaper than hoteling it.

Another travel site is Ebab.com, which stands for “Enjoy Bed & Breakfast.” Ebab was the very first queer travel site, originally founded in 1996, when queer rights weren’t what they are today. Ebab was founded on the principle that “everyone has the right to travel freely and without discrimination.”

5. Stay Out of Trouble

Even though the queer community has made much progress in the last 20 years, especially in the U.S., homophobia still exists. Even the U.S. State Department publishes a useful page with LGBT travel information. As you’re planning your next vacation alone, with your partner or family, consider these cost-conscious tools, tricks and destinations to help you save money — and stay safe.

Looking for more money-saving reads? Check out Credit.com’s personal finance learning center.

This story is an Op/Ed contribution to Credit.com and does not necessarily represent the views of the company or its partners.

Image: peterotoole

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team