step out and step up

These queer travel companies will help you explore your next destination

A man in a light blue caftan looks onto the water and passing boats on a Nile river cruise in Egypt.
Credit: Zoom Vacations

Organizing a fabulous trip outside your home country can be exhausting, devoting a lot of time, and requires lengthy research. Whether you are looking for a completely bespoke itinerary or just a day off from planning your vacation, allow these LGBTQ+ travel companies to help you plan your gayest vacation.

A motorbike cruises through the narrow streets of Hanoi with red lanterns hanging for Tet.
Credit: Author

Gay Hanoi Tours (Vietnam)

Gay Hanoi’s tours are focused on showing you unique experiences around Hanoi via the back of a motorbike. Expect hole-in-wall restaurants with tasty bites, a healthy dose of history, and hidden coffee shops where you can chat with tour guides about life in Vietnam. It also arranges city tours in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City and day trips (not on a motorbike) to the countryside from both locations. All tours are also hetero-friendly if you are traveling in mixed company. 

Two handsome men pose with bikes in front of a pink wall.
Credit: Merida Gay Tours

Merida Gay Tours (Mexico)

Created by gay Mexican couple Riccardo and David, this boutique tour operator specializes in experiences in Mexico’s Yucatan and Quintana Roo states. Merida Gay Tours provides city tours and nightlife experiences of Tulum, Merida, Cancun, and Playa Del Carmen, as well as cultural experiences exploring Mayan-owned cenotes or the historic “Pueblos Mágicos” (Magical Towns) in the countryside of Mexico. Check out the group tours of Merida and Playa del Carmen for Pride if you want to see how other cities celebrate equality.

A group of multicultural woman pose in front of a colorful art market in Cartagena, Colombia.
Credit: Out in Colombia

Out in Colombia (Colombia)

Based in Medellin, Out in Colombia organizes all-inclusive trips and custom itineraries throughout the expansive country. Designed by a small, sustainably-minded team, tours aim to promote cultural exchange and let you experience Colombia hassle-free with a local’s expertise. Tour packages include trips based around Medellin, Bogota, and Cartagena.

Six people from a distance traverse a glacier with snowcapped mountains in the background.
Credit: He Travel

He Travel (Global)

Looking for a bit more adventure than your typical drink, eat, and repeat vacation? Look no further than He Travel which focuses on active travel experiences ranging from Antarctic cruises to bike tours across Portugal. Not sure if you’re up for something too extreme? Check out the website’s physical challenge rating to find the best trip for your mood and experience level.

A man with thumbs-up sits next to another who is pouring tea in a arid Moroccan village.
Credit: Detour Travel

Detour Travel (Global)

As one of the larger LGBTQ+ travel companies, Detour Travel organizes small tours with around fifteen people throughout the globe. Many tours trot through queer canon destinations in Europe, South East Asia, and New Zealand, but it also has tours to lesser-known countries such as Egypt, South Africa, and Morocco.

A women takes a photo in the crowd of a pride parade in India.
Credit: Pink Vibgyo

Pink Vibgyo (Global)

Best known for their in-depth gay tours of India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and other South Asian destinations, this New Dehli-based tour operator packs a punch. Culinary and cultural tours of different regions of India, tailored vacations, group tours for solo travelers, and even destination queer weddings are all in Pink Vibgyo’s possible itineraries.

A man rests in the desert to watch the sunset over the sand dunes.
Credit: Zoom Vacations

Zoom Vacations (Global)

Zoom Vacations organizes small decadent group travel tours of niche destinations around the globe, like Laos, Rwanda, Kenya, and Egypt. Sailing down the Nile on a luxury sailboat, pampering yourself in the Maldives, or exploring the remote cultural landscape of Bhutan are all past tours from this opulent tour provider.

A woman in a red polka dot dresses dances twirling her skirt while her dancing partner in brown cowboy boots, red pants, and a red strawberry shirt smiles on one knee.
Credit: Olivia

Olivia was started in 1973 as a record label for women and is known for its lesbian and LGBTQ+ women-focused cruises, resort vacations, riverboat excursions, and adventure tours throughout the globe that include inspirational speakers and world-class musical talent. Since 1990, Olivia has been offering cruises and is currently the only cruise company catering to lesbians and LGBTQ+ women.

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