These days, gay travelers have more options than ever for LGBTQ-friendly travel destinations worldwide. However, some might prefer locations better suited for senior gay travelers. If that sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place!
You can find the best senior gay travel destinations in Palm Springs in the US, Toronto in Canada, and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. But if you’re looking for destinations further away, Stockholm in Sweden and Taipei in Taiwan are also incredibly exciting and enriching gay travel destinations as well.
Read through the rest of this guide to discover more about each of those 5 best locations for senior gay travel. As you read through to the end, you’ll also discover some helpful information about traveling alone and what to keep in mind before and during your travels.
Let’s get started!
Top 5 Locations For Senior Gay Travel
There are plenty of gay-friendly travel destinations in the United States and around the world. However, senior gay travelers will enjoy some more than others.
Here are the top 5 locations for senior gay travel in particular:
Palm Springs, California (US)
Firstly, let’s start with a destination that’s within the US. More specifically, we’re talking about Palm Springs in sunny California, where celebrities go when they need to get away from Los Angeles.
You’ll never run out of things to do in Palm Springs, regardless if it’s day or night. For starters, you’ll have plenty of pool parties and sunbathing to do in the daytime.
Later on, you can visit the many well-renowned gay bars and drag shows that make Palm Springs the popular destination that it is.
As you might already know, different bars attract different kinds of people. So, you’ll have no problems finding one that’s mostly frequented by other seniors. Alternatively, you can also find gay bars with a more diverse crowd across different age groups.
Be on the lookout for annual events as well! For example, you can plan your travels around the Greater Palm Springs Pride Festival that takes place on November 1st.
If you feel like venturing a little further away from home, consider going to neighboring Canada. Toronto is an incredibly LGBT-friendly travel destination, and they most certainly have plenty for seniors to rave about as well.
Toronto’s gay community has always been loud and proud, particularly since the 1970s. So, you can expect there to be plenty of local attractions for senior gay travelers.
You could visit Canada’s largest gay community in the aptly named Gay Village. Then, drop by other gay-friendly areas like Old Cabbagetown and Queer West Village.
You’ll certainly find plenty of gay bars and drag shows in Toronto, but that’s not all you should look out for. Besides that, there are plenty of retail attractions unique to the gay community as well.
For instance, check out Glad Day Bookshop, which is said to be the longest-surviving LGBTQ bookstore in the world. Meanwhile, you also have a three-storey gay department store in the Church and Wellesley Village.
Overall, Toronto is the place to go if you prefer a more laid-back experience with plenty of retail therapy.
Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)
Another country neighboring the US that’s worth checking out as a senior gay traveler is Mexico. As you might know, there are plenty of exciting places to visit all over, but few are better than Puerto Vallarta.
Fun fact: Puerto Vallarta is known as the Gay Beach Capital of Mexico, which should tell you plenty about what to expect here!
Puerto Vallarta sits within the state of Jalisco, which legalized same-sex marriage long ago in 2016. As such, you can expect a very LGBTQ-friendly environment for locals and travelers alike.
Spend time on the beach soaking up the sun during the daytime, then head to the many fun gay bars around town at night.
You’ll get the best experience by joining a tour going around with a few locals who can show you the best spots to be!
Don’t worry if sunbathing on a beach isn’t the kind of travel experience you’re after. You can look further towards Europe to find lots of great gay travel destinations, too.
Stockholm in Sweden is a particularly good place for senior travelers.
That’s especially true since it was a pioneer for gay acceptance in Europe as a whole, making it an incredibly welcoming and warm place for gay travelers.
As a result, you can bet that you’re walking into a friendly environment when you travel here, and one with much cooler weather all year round!
Unlike some other destinations, you won’t really find designated areas where gay communities and businesses are concentrated. Instead, they’re spread out across the city, which shows you just how much acceptance there is for gay culture in Stockholm.
So, you’ll want to do a bit of research beforehand to find out what kinds of bars, restaurants, and other attractions here appeal to you the most.
If you’re looking for a gay-friendly Asian destination, you’ll definitely want to visit Taipei in Taiwan. In fact, many consider it to be the most gay-friendly destination you could go to in the entire continent.
Firstly, there is plenty of sightseeing to do in Taipei. You could take tours to make sure you see all the beautiful sights all around the island, including various cities, lakes, and rock formations.
Of course, the nightlife here is also something you must experience. Try your best to visit around the end of October, when Asia’s largest Pride march takes place here!
Is It Safe To Travel Alone As A Gay Senior?
Yes, it is generally safe to travel alone as a gay senior, especially to the top 5 destinations mentioned above. Of course, you’ll want to take some basic precautions to lower your risks of problems and ensure that you have the best experience possible.
People of all backgrounds travel alone for many reasons, some of which you might relate to. No matter the reasons, though, you’ll certainly enjoy many benefits when you choose to embark on a solo adventure.
Here are some of the benefits of traveling solo as a gay senior:
- Flexibility: Firstly, traveling alone means enjoying plenty of flexibility. You’ll be able to choose exactly where you want to go and can even plan it according to your preferred schedule. Overall, that means you can move at your own pace.
- Self-Discovery: Sometimes, you have to leave your normal environment to learn a bit about yourself. Solo travel is an excellent way to do that, as it helps you develop a better appreciation for yourself and where you come from.
- Socializing: Traveling alone also opens you up to the possibility of meeting others along your journey. You’ll rub shoulders with fellow solo travelers, locals, and many other people in between.
- Confidence: When you combine all of the benefits above, what you’ll get is much stronger self-confidence. That will come from learning more about yourself and knowing that you can survive and thrive on a solo trip to another state or country.
Overall, solo travel is safe as long as you take the necessary precautions. Better yet, it could be a life-changing experience with benefits that you wouldn’t get by traveling in a group.
How Should You Prepare Before Traveling?
Planning a vacation at one of the 5 best locations for senior gay travel can be quite exciting. Still, it’s important to take some time to prepare before you catch that flight.
Here are 4 things to prepare before you travel:
1. Do Your Homework Learn The Local Culture
The first and most important thing you must do is research the local customs at the destination. Sure, the places you read about on this list are all LGBTQ-friendly. Still, each place is unique and will have a few cultural nuances you should respect.
A perfect example of that is the different views on public displays of affection (PDA). Despite being gay-friendly, the culture at one destination might be completely against any PDA, while others might be more accepting.
2. Prepare Your Documents
Naturally, you must also get your documents ready beforehand. The most important one is your passport, which should still be valid and contain accurate information.
If that’s not the case, you’ll want to get that sorted out as quickly as possible before you take your trip.
Be sure to prepare other documents as well, like copies of your flight tickets and hotel reservations.
3. Let People Know Where You’re Going
It’s also an excellent idea to let people know where you’re going for both safety and social reasons.
Firstly, you can let your closest friends and family members know where you’ll be staying. That way, they’ll know how to reach you just in case they have to.
Besides that, you can also let friends in or around your destination know that you’re coming. That would make it easier if they want to meet up with you once you arrive.
4. Get Travel Insurance
Lastly, be sure to take a few moments and get yourself some travel insurance. Generally, travel insurance protects you against many kinds of different risks while you’re traveling, including financial risks.
Some people make the mistake of thinking that this is a waste of money. However, others also learn the hard way that they could’ve avoided plenty of problems with it.
If nothing else, travel insurance provides you with peace of mind so you can let go and enjoy your travels even more. That’s especially true because insurance providers will give you a phone number to call in case you ever need help along the way.
Things To Keep In Mind While Traveling
Once you land at your destination, there are a few additional things you’ll want to keep in mind to make the most of your experience.
Here are a few helpful things to remember:
1. Support LGBTQ-Owned Businesses
One of the best things you can do while traveling to gay-friendly destinations is to support LGBTQ-owned businesses! That includes everything from bars to restaurants and even the bookstores you read about earlier.
Supporting businesses that way helps to keep these destinations thriving so that many other gay seniors can enjoy them as well!
Sometimes, supporting a business can be as simple as leaving a tip, ordering a cup of coffee, or buying cute souvenirs for your friends and family back home.
2. Connect With Locals
Whether you’re traveling alone, with a partner, or in a large group, don’t be afraid to connect with locals. Introduce yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about the places you visit.
While tour guides are helpful, sometimes a conversation with a local can teach you everything you need to know about your destination!
3. Be Mindful of PDA
You’ve already read about this earlier, but it’s worth remembering. Always be mindful of public displays of affection (PDA)! Some destinations are more accepting of it than others, and that’s especially true at the clubs and bars you visit as well.
When you’re mindful of these things, you’ll avoid offending anyone unnecessarily and keep the fun times coming!
4. Live In The Moment!
Finally, always remember to live in the moment! Sure, you should grab plenty of photos and videos to remember your trip.
However, you should also focus on building memories by taking in the sights and sounds of your trip.
So, put the phone away and immerse yourself in the destination, the food, the conversations, and everything in between.
Whether or not you ever come back to the same destination, at least you’ll have memories that will last you a lifetime!
So remember that you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to holiday destinations for senior gay travelers. You can find places within the US, like Palm Springs in California, or head over to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico or Toronto in Canada. Besides that, there are other excellent LGBTQ-friendly places further away, like Stockholm in Europe and Taipei in Asia.
Wherever you choose to go, prepare yourself beforehand with the necessary paperwork and some knowledge about local dos and don’ts. Doing these things will ensure you have the best experience possible.
- Where Are The Best Locations For Senior Gay Travel? - October 23, 2023