If you’re straight and you’re reading this article, then you might be asking yourself, “Why the hell would queer people need basic travel tips?” Well, gay people love traveling. Not only do they love to pack their bags and head off to an interesting location and be fabulous, but they also love exploring and going to different places that are not so popular with regular tourists. Because of that, and because not every country has the same LGBT rights, it is very important for them to know what to pay attention to where they are going. Apart from that, there are also other things they need to bear in mind, and the fact that you’re straight and reading this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about these things as well. So, it is safe to say that the following article is for everyone, but if you’re queer, it is even more important to memorize all of the following. Take a look:

1. Do your homework beforehand

This does not just apply to the queer people out there who want to travel – doing your homework before you head off to any country is a must. There are plenty of reasons for this, the first one being your own safety and saving a lot of time when getting from one place to another. So, make sure that you know where your hotel is, where the nearby restaurants are, what transportation you need to use in order to get to the places that you want to and so on. What queer people have to do as well is find out where the nearby gay bars and clubs are (if they want to have some good time), and also read reviews and comments as you need to make sure everything is safe. Also, choose the country wisely and see the bigger LGBT picture. Going to new places and experiencing the towns and cities from scratch can be quite challenging, so it would be better to know everything in advance.

2. Know where you are going

Apart from researching the essentials such as the shopping centers and restaurants, make sure that you know how things are regarding LGBT rights in your country of destination. Not all exotic countries are LGBT-friendly, so it would be good to know what your rights are in that exact country and if the people are gay-friendly or not. Asia and Africa might be the most important continents where you have to research this – some countries are great towards queer people while others are not so much. If you are going to an Asian country, for example, then you can have the best of both worlds: enjoy that country and also have a gay experience if you want one. Opting for an Asia miles credit card will, for example, make it easier for you to travel from one Asian country to another in a very fast way, so this can make your trip much more gay-friendly than it already is. 

3. Easy on the dating apps

One thing is for certain – if you are single and ready to mingle, then you will surely try to mingle on your vacation, especially if it is an exotic country. The same is true no matter where you go – easy on the dating apps. Make sure that you think carefully about the people that you will meet, especially if you find yourself in a country where the gay laws are poor or non-existent. Bear in mind that many locals in developing countries try to rob tourists, or even blackmail them. Always ask for a photo of a person that you want to hook up with and ask them to meet you someplace crowded.

4. Have fun with the locals

No matter where you go, you will find other queer people regardless of the laws there. So, in order to experience this country in the best possible way, perhaps it would be a great idea to mingle with the local gay community for a bit and see what kind of gay life they are living. Perhaps you will like it, and even if you don’t, it is definitely going to be interesting and fun. You can try and find local gay people either via Twitter or Instagram, or if you want to do that in a faster way, use apps such as Grindr, Scruff, Tinder or Planet Romeo. However, if you’re not looking for a sex date but want to have fun and go out with people, make sure you state that as you do not want them to think you only want a hookup.

5. Visit local gay shows

Since drag culture is slowly gaining popularity in many different countries, not only in America (but yes, we do have to thank Mama Ru for that), it might happen that the destination you are visiting has a drag scene of its own. Try to find it online, ask the local gay people about it, and go see a show. If not a drag show, they probably have an LGBTQ program. If there are no gay shows at the moment, you can either have a drink at a gay bar or do something else of your own choosing.

You will definitely find plenty of things to do no matter where you go. However, if you’re queer, it is very important to research the rules and the gay laws in the country you are visiting.