an overview of gay travel and essential advice for getting
the best deals, start at the Travel
Deals and Advice.
While gay travel and gay
travel agents have sprung up everywhere
- few seem to have much to offer older men.
However we have created extensive calendars of Events for
older men and admirers.
Crusing (on ships!) is
an increasingls popular option for many people but
there are many options
from to get the perfect trip for you, so read our Guide
to Gay Cruising and then the
Gay Cruise Calendar.
Would you like to go to all of the places you've ever dreamed of, make new
friends, have a unique holiday and save money at the same time?
exchange enables you to enjoy the comforts of staying
in a private home when travelling.
Find out how your home holds the key to staying for free.
Around the World is a gay owned and run home swap, guest
and host service. Our worldwide members discover
imaginative, and unique solutions to create the perfect
How to get the deal you want
For mature travellers or anyone on a budget, the Internet can
provide some great bargains - especially if you can be open about
the days you travel on. However,
simply using a search engine to try to find bargains often leads
you to sites that aren't bargains at all. So it does pay
to know where to look and the differences between the travel site
minute deals. When you don't care about specifics of travel
"bargains" are not what they appear. Some hotels
only offload the worst rooms they can't let normally.
Detailed reviews of sites and suggestions
for getting the best deal can be found on the Travel
What kind of trip are you making?
If you're looking for a traditional package holiday where the
flight, airport transfers and accommodation are all included,
then the Internet doesn't normally provide the best deal since
you can't negotiate the price. Best to use the Internet for research
to find out which tour operators cover your chosen destination,
to research the hotels - then use the phone to negotiate a deal
and trade one tour operator off against the other.
You should also compare your best
deal with using the low-cost airlines and booking the accommodation
direct as this may be beneficial - but bear in mind the additional
costs of airport transfers etc. Also find out which charter airline
your tour company uses, as legroom can be minimal on some of them,
and then check the seat-pitch at Air
When to go
While most major international cities
are busy year round, check before you take a bargain deal that
you haven't chosen the month when everyone is away and many amenities
closed (e.g. Paris in August). Also check the schedule of local
and national holidays at NationalHolidays.com.
Gay resort locations tend to be
seasonal with the warm winter places only busy between autumn
and spring (e.g. Ft Lauderdale and Gran Canaria) and others only
busy in warmer months, although these are usually best outside
the school holiday season when the families predominate (e.g.
Some resorts are busy in high summer
only (e.g. Provincetown, Fire Island, Mykonos) and some quiet
in high summer due to excess heat or humidity (e.g. Palm Springs,
Ft. Lauderdale). Finally there are natural hazards to be aware
of such as the annual influx of lethal jellyfish in Carins, Australia
which means you can't swim in the ocean between November and May
and the hurricane season in Florida.
Do it Yourself If you're looking to create your own travel package involving
flights, accommodation and/or car hire - then you can make some
significant savings if you know where to start.
If you've a date and destination in mind, use a mega search
website such as ITA,
- these search multiple airlines and some brokers for the best
deals to save you having to fill in the flight details multiple
times. For US travel, also use the SideStep
browser plugin as this also includes some web-only fares.
Having found your deal, then
use the airlines' own website to make the reservation - this
ensures your reservation is valid in case of any dispute.
Hotels If you're looking for mainstream cities and hotels, then
which scans multiple hotel websites for the best deals and then
enables you to filter the results by location, star rating,
price etc. It will connect you to the relevant website to make
the booking. Travelocity is also good
for finding the hotel rooms and the best rates. Both
have good filters and maps.
If you're looking for resort
hotels, especially in Europe, check Alpha
Rooms for the best deals.
If you really don't care about
the location of your hotel, you can "Name Your Own Price"
and allow hotels to bid for your custom on Priceline.
There are very helpful message boards that are a "must read"
before bidding, so visit Bidding For Travel
and BetterBidding first. Priceline
is best for US locations as more US hotels use PriceLine to
sell surplus accommodation. For Europe, also try Lastminute.com
- although the latter does tend to promote it's own deals rather
than the best price, unless you change the sort order of the
results or use the Map facility.
Cruises If you're looking for Gay Cruises see the Guide
to Gay Cruising and then the Gay
Cruise Calendar. For mainstream cruises there are brokers
such as CruiseDirect
who have extensive search facilites to enable you to find your
ideal cruise. It's worth checking out the Message Boards on
for reviews of ships and routes.
Frequent User Programs
Airline companies have been cutting back on the benefits they
offer to frequent users and making it even harder to actually
use the free flights. Best bet is to travel outside peak times
or use them to upgrade. However, they usually work best for
you if you book direct through the airline or hotel companies
telephone reservation systems since operators will often get
you reservations when planes or hotels are busy.
Rental Cars With a mninefield of
prices and insurance options, rental cars can seem to cost you
double the price you booked them for by the time you get the
has the best combination of prices and filtering of results
(e.g. to find a lower price on a larger car). In Europe, also
Join the frequent renter programs
of Alamo, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise and Thrifty
(the usual low cost winners) to eliminate waiting in line at
the counter and pressure to upgrade, purchase insurance or petrol.
20% - 50% of the total cost is
due to taxes and fees imposed by governments and airport authorities.
You can avoid these fees if you arrange to get to pick up the
car outside the airport without using their shuttle. This technique
has greater benefit for longer rentals.
Dare you book a double? In most major European and US cities, we have never experienced
any difficulty when checking in to a hotel with a same sex partner
- but if you using smaller hotels, bed and breakfast hotels or
if you staying in a more conservative location, refusal can be
Our take is that's it's your money
and what you do in bed is your business - plus you're unlikely
to stay at the hotel again so does it really matter what the receptionist
thinks. If you're concerned, then try booking a double for single
occupancy (although most major hotels only have doubles or twin
rooms anyway). Or you can use a booking service such as GayRes
that only books gay-friendly hotels.
Go gay all the way? It can be very liberating to stay somewhere where you don't
have to worry about holding hands with your partner or kissing
in the pool. I have enjoyed some of the most superb accommodations
staying in gay hotels and guesthouses and also made some great
friends as a result. On the other hand, some of the "gay"
accommodation I have stayed in is the worst I have ever had to
endure - particularly in Europe, where standards are generally
much lower than North America - so do some research before you
book (see below).
Bear in mind that you will usually
pay a higher price to stay in gay accommodations compared to their
similar "straight" alternatives (otherwise known as
the "Gay Tax"). Also check out the reviews and suggestions
from other travellers in the GrayGay Guide using the menu on the
Life Swopping An alternative way to get low-cost accommodation and possibly
a more in-depth impression of a location,is to swop
homes or hospitality with someone who lives where you want to
Lambda Connections Club is a hospitality and home exchange
network aimed at men over 40, mainly in North America. HomeAroundThe
World.com and One
World One Family and are similar exchange networks without
the age focus and a more international base.
If you need information that's
not covered here or have any suggestions, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org