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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

LGBT-Friendly Travel Brands for Your Next Vacay

Happy Pride Month, you guys! I've been doing my best to be an ally and get some info out about great travel destinations, and now I'd love to talk about some awesome travel brands that have the LGBT community covered by contributing to great organizations, sponsoring Pride events, and making sure their companies are both inclusive and diverse, creating a safe space for all people, no matter their sexual orientation, identity, and gender. 

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This is by far not a complete list, but these are some of the most outstanding brands when it comes to inclusivity:


From their inclusive television commercials to their destination overviews for gay and lesbian travels, they offer the chance to read up and then book right on the site.
Need a one-stop shop for LGBT-friendly hotels, resorts, destinations and events? Orbitz offers up their own guides to make your vacation the best ever.


A member of the IGLTA, an active member and contributor to LGBT nonprofits and community campaigns, airberlin takes pride in have a diverse and inclusive staff from over 60 countries.
Pride flies nonstop with Alaska and they have a list of resources for great Pride celebrations in cities they fly in/out of, including an events calendar and special discounts. 
American is one of my favorite airlines, but they are also a fantastic company on the inside. They the first airline to include sexual orientation (1993) and gender identity (2000) in its nondiscrimination policies for employees, it has criticized anti-gay legislation, and scored 100 on the Human Rights Campaign index.
Pride Takes Flight Here at Delta and they offer plenty of resources for folx to find the perfect vacation destination for them and also tout their employee equality culture and denounce anti-gay legislation and discrimination.
The first airline to allow same-sex couples to accrue airline points together also supports amazing non-profits like the Trevor Project, National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, and the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, and sponsored the Pride events their HQ of Long Beach, CA.
Southwest is the official airline of several LGBT organizations, including GLAAD. Their tagline is "we support the LGBTQ Community, because we are the LGBTQ Community." Learn more on their LGBTQ Outreach page. 
The only other airline to earn a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign index, United is a gold partner of IGLTA and airline partner for the Gay Games of Cleveland.
The entire Virgin brand is headed by Richard Branson, a proud and loud ally. They are an official sponsor of San Francisco Pride.


I love a good vacation rental, and I'm a big fan of Airbnb. They have Project Lighthouse to uncover and overcome discrimination throughout their community and rentals. They also offer lots of experiences for LGBT folx.
Caesars Entertainment Corp.
Not only do they partner with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and IGLTA, but they also have scored 100 on the Corporate Equality Index many years in a row and even have their own microsite for their LGBT travelers. 
Choice Hotels
In 2019 Choice Hotels was named "Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality" for 9th consecutive year. With another perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index, they have a long list of resources for employees, including Choice PRIDE that aims help create and maintain a supportive work environment.
Commune Hotels
Commune has a brand called Joie de Vive that has sponsored the San Francisco Pride celebration for many years, their Thompson Hotels on the east coast offers specials for NYC's Pride celebration. Both brands are TAG-approved, an LGBTQ-owned and operated Travel Advocacy Group.
Hilton Hotels
Stay Hilton. Go Out. Like several other companies, Hilton received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and is a platinum partner of the IGLTA and an official partner of the Washington, DC Pride parade and GLAAD media awards. Check out their Hilton Pride microsite.
Hyatt Hotels
Not only does Hyatt celebrate equality, but they have a Facebook page dedicated to it entitled HyPride, that promotes their HyPride program and their LGBT initiatives.
IHG Hotels (Intercontinental Hotel Group)
While fighting for marriage equality and and against anti-gay legislature, IHG joined the Human Rights Campaign in their efforts for LGBTQ rights, and has sponsored Atlanta's Pride festival since 2011 (as that is where their headquarters are located).
Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group
The first hotel to sign on as the first national hotel sponsor for the Trevor Project, is also a member of IGLTA and is TAG-approved. All of their employees are given yearly trainig on how to make their hotels more gay-friendly and accepting.
Marriott International
In my photo above, I'm wearing one of Marriott's #LoveTravels shirts. I saw my friend Troy wearing one (Troy writes for a lot of travel sites and also runs The Gay Traveler, where he specializes in LGBT travel) in an Instagram post and I asked about it. He was kind enough to send me an extra. Not surprisingly, Marriott also received a 100 score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. You can read more about #LoveTravels here.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Starwood's W Hotels were the first to offer same-sex marriage packages in New York, but also frequently support Pride events and LGBT organizations around the globe.
The vacation rental booking site is owned by Expedia.

I saw these Portland Trailblazer shirts at a Pride event several years ago and went home and immediately ordered 2.


You can Ride with Pride with Amtrak and they also want to help you Ride to Pride, by showing you all the great destinations with awesome Pride events that are worth traveling for. They even provide a great link for more LGBT education.
Carnival Cruises
Carnival Cruiselines strives to treat everyone equally and extend the FUN to every single cruiser. The earned a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index and participate and sponsor both the Seattle Pride Parade and Southampton Pride.
Lyft does their best to support and employ the LGBT community. With equality in the workplace, they also contribute money to important organizations like StoryCorps' Stonewall OutLoud campgain and the ACLU, and they put their commitments out there with upLyftOut.
Not only do they get you to all the Pride events safely, they also sponsor Pride events in major cities in the US.

I hope you're all having a wonderful June and Pride Month, even if festivities are postponed this year. Just remember, Pride isn't cancelled, and you can find ways to support the community and also celebrate safely. And if you want to plan your trips beyond how to get there and where to stay, check out this list from journey of 12 LGBT+ monuments celebrating history. 

What are your favorite LGBT-friendly travel brands?

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