You work hard and you want to play even harder. As a gay traveler, trips should be exciting, entertaining, and free from hassle or worry. To do this effectively, however, requires some planning and organization in order to make sure you maximize both your travel dollars and time.

Now, the type of planning we are talking about here does not mean you need to map out every second of your vacation. That would be micromanaging, and gay trips should be anything but. No, what this post aims to provide you with are 6 simple ways to prepare for your gay trip in order to make it the best ever.

  • Do it on Your Own or With a Group – Perhaps the first step involved in planning your gay trip is to determine if you want to plan your own holiday, or join an already established event that has been organized just for gays. While going it on your own in true independent style might sound appealing, the abundance of cruises and land-based vacations available today exclusively for gay travelers is absolutely amazing. Broaden your horizons and consider looking for a group tour, cruise, or traveling to a city that is hosting one of the numerous gay mega events this year. You will be able to mingle with new friends, rekindle the romance in an existing relationship, or perhaps start a new one. All of this takes planning, however, so start by picking an agency that fits within your particularly lifestyle. There are companies, for example, that charter entire cruises ships several times a year for an exclusively gay and lesbian excursion. No matter what you are into, you will find it with thousands of people on board. The two most prominent agencies today are Atlantis and RSVP Vacations, so you can begin the planning process with them. If you are into a smaller, more exclusive scene, then look for an agency that offers theme parties in various cities of the world, or on board select cruise ships. You will find Bears and Bear Lovers, groups into leather, and more. You just have to be patient and look for a trip that fits your particular liking. Take your time here and it will be pay dividends when the actual time arrives for you to depart.
  • Decide What You Want to Do and What You Want to See – With the gay travel scene expanding at a rapid pace, the world is truly open for business once again. What to see and what to do are questions that should enter your mind front and center during the planning stage. Start by deciding what region of the world you would like to see. Europe? OK – what countries? Once you decide that, then determine if you want a land based vacation, a cruise, or a mix of both. This will go a long way towards narrowing down the many options that are available to you. If you are traveling with a same-sex partner or spouse, make sure that you are both are on the same page or you will just end up fighting like two queens at a drag show. While your vacation mates would certainly enjoy that show, you would just assume be the headline speaker at a conservative political rally than go through that drama.
  • Packing Properly for a Gay Trip is Essential – You might be thinking that you know how to pack. After all, you have been traveling all of your life, so how is this trip any different? You are going on a well planned and organized gay vacation, so there are a few things you should keep in mind that are unique to your trip. For one, if sex is on the agenda, you need to ensure that you bring a good supply of condoms and lube. This is particularly important if you wear a particular size of condom, as you may find that some destinations do not have a variety of sizes available. Bring more than you think you need so that you have peace of mind when that special encounter does materialize. If you are taking part in an organized trip, you will want to review your trip itinerary carefully. Look for any theme parties that might be taking place. If that is your thing, then you want to make sure you pack the requisite clothes and supplies. Going to a white knight party? Then make certain you do not leave your snazziest white clothes behind. Do not leave this until the minute or you might just find yourself standing out at the party, and that is certainly not the kind of attention you are looking for. Also, take some time to review the weather conditions and any special excursions you are planning to take part in. Pack clothes and supplies accordingly. Finally, avoid over packing. Nothing is more hilarious than watching a gay couple trying to navigate the hallways of a cruise ship with more luggage than Paris Hilton reserves for her dog. Take it easy. Pack what you need and then get going. Do not take your entire closet with you. You will be particularly pleased that you followed this advice if you end up with a small cabin on the inside of a ship. Also, remember that most European and Asian hotel rooms are smaller than their North American counterparts, so over packing could leave with no room to invite in guests.
  • Look for Pre and Post Trip Excursions and Parties – Do you have a bit of extra time on your hands? Take a look at some pre/post-trip excursions or parties that your trip might have available. If you are going on an Atlantis Cruise, for example, they often have gatherings a few days prior in the city of embarkation. This is a great way to experience the gay scene prior to leaving on the cruise, and you can also meet some fellow shipmates that will be with you for the next two weeks. If you are taking part in a large cruise or land based vacation, the host city will know this and will often plan some great circuit parties in anticipation of gays from all over the world taking part. Look for these both pre and post trip. If you have the extra time in your schedule, these will definitely be one of the highlights, so make sure to plan accordingly.
  • Join Trip Networking Groups Prior to Leaving Home – No matter if you are travelling alone, or with a same sex partner or spouse, you will almost certainly meet many new friends along the way. With the advancing nature of social media, many networking groups are created in advance of a trip to connect past and future guests. Atlantis, for example, sponsor an entire forum created specifically for cruises and resort vacations that stay active long after your return home. Look for similar forums on Facebook and other social media outlets. If you are new to a particular trip, such forums are a great way to learn what to expect. They are a great source of information to plan for any theme parties/nights and excursions that you are considering to take part in.
  • Leave Your Work and Home Life Behind – You are likely going on this trip to get rid of stress and do whatever your heart desires. Plan ahead of time to ensure that work does not invade your thoughts, and that you have properly de cluttered your affairs at home in order that you will feel free to just party like it’s 1999. Take time the week or two prior to the trip to clear you work calendar. Ensure that all necessary ‘to do’ items are removed from your list, and that any pending items are sufficiently delegated to others. Find someone to take care of the dogs and arrange for someone to look after the house. Work hard on the front end to truly leave your troubles behind as you depart so that you begin the enjoyment of the trip from the time you depart by taxi for the airport.

There you have it. Gay trips are fabulous and wonderful, but some planning will help to make them even more so. Following these six tips will set you on the path to untold amounts of adventure and the making of many great memories.
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