Category Archives: Share Your Stories
A new wave of scammers are targeting hotel guests by pretending to be calling from the front desk, requesting personal information and credit card details.
The fraudsters, according to Lifehacker, call hotel rooms, claiming to be hotel managers or front desk clerks reporting an error with their booking, asking them to clarify credit card numbers over the phone.
One Reddit contributor experienced this on a recent hotel stay in Vegas: “Sunday morning at 10:30 my hotel phone rings and it’s the manager letting me know their computer system is down at the moment…He lets me know that because the system is down they’re a few hours behind on recovering data. He confirmed my room number and offered me an extended checkout (which sounded great from the hangover) and also offered to comp our least expensive night’s stay for the inconvenience. He mentioned there were 30+ people in the checkout line and offered to check me out via the phone and said I could leave my keys as I left. He asked me to confirm my credit card number and I got a little hesitant and said I would feel more comfortable providing that in person.”
Luckily the Redditor picked up on the scam and headed to the lobby where the front desk confirmed that the call had not come from inside the hotel.
Consumer Affairs have reported similar examples up and down the country. Their advice on avoiding these scams? Never provide personal info and credit card numbers to incoming callers.
I don’t read movie critics reviews. And I try not to listen too much to public opinion. Half the time people hype up a movie, then I see it, and am disappointed, expecting so much more.
That’s why user generated reviews can usually give you a wide variety of samplings to pick from.
This week on Thrillist they picked 10 top tourist attractions and showed the worst reviews for them. Let’s face it – many tourist attractions are over rated!
If you want a good laugh – check this out!
2 words. Common Courtesy.
Use common sense people.
I can’t believe I am even writing about this. And I hate to stereotype, but honestly, I don’t think I have seen a gay person on any of my flights, do any of these.
But on a flight this past week, I was offended by at least 4 of these situations, and maybe, for what it’s worth, this advice may help someone out there.
My biggest pet peeve; the plane lands and stops and EVERYONE jumps up and crowds the aisles. Really People? Where do you thin you are going? For God’s sake, please wait until your row has arrived to leave the plane. There is no need to jump on and clog the aisles. Waiting patiently, in your seat, will make the deplaning process much easier.They can only empty a plan so fast. And I find it SO RUDE, when someone from behind me, jumps up into the aisle ahead of me. UNLESS your are connecting and running late, stay seated and wait like civilized humans.
Cell phones really should not even be used on a plane. Is your call THAT important?
Bathe. I don’t care if your flight is at 6am and you had to be up at 3am – take a bath or shower. We’re going to be in close quarters for the next few hours!
Seats seem to get smaller and smaller! If you are on an aisle or window, try to be conscientious of that person in the middle. Maybe lean a little that direction and give the person in the middle more breathing room. And if you are in the middle – remember that. If you doze off, you don’t want to end up laying to the far right or left!
Armrests are so tiny! But try to share. If there are three seats to a row, the middle person should have first
rights to armrest space because the person on the aisle and window gain a
little extra space. However, those in middle seats should also understand that people to the
left and right of them will also want a small bit of space to lean
their arms or place their elbows; the middle seat person should adjust
slightly for their travel companions so that everyone is as comfortable
With the pressure in the cabin, sometimes peoples ears get “clogged” or “stuffed up” and they have a tendency to talk louder. Use your indoor voice. Try to talk softly.
Attire. Remember when people would “dress up” to fly? Probably not – you’re too young. Dress comfortably, but appropriately. Remember you will be sitting next to strangers and they do not need to look at your cleavage the whole plane ride. And avoid strong perfumes and colognes.
Speaking of attire….
Flip Flops? Really? Flip flops were made for the beach – and the gym shower. That’s about it.
If you have a really long flight, you might want to take off your shoes. Are your feet clean and smell-free?? But DO NOT take them off if you have sweaty smelly feet. And DO NOT take your socks off.
Speaking of smells… Do not bring food on the plane that will have a strong or lingering smell. Like Thai Curry Shrimp! EWWWWWWW!
Some travelers do not want to talk to others.
It’s reasonable and courteous to briefly acknowledge the traveler next to you so that they may increase their comfort level with sitting by you for the duration of the flight.Offer polite chitchat or a hello with your seatmate, but know when the conversation should end. Do not go on and on.
Consider using the bathroom when other folks in your row are using it as well. Avoid making people get in and out of their seats several times.
Unless you are challenged in some way, do not grab onto the seat in front of you when you are getting up from your seat. You will yank the seat back and bother the person in front of you.
Look at the seat in front of you; there is not much room right? If you recline your seat, do it slowly and gently as to not smash the person’s knees behind you. Or maybe they have a drink on their tray top – and you wouldn’t want to spill it everywhere. They have the same amount of room as you do. Be considerate of space.
Many travelers feel entitled to recline their seat as much as possible
to gain a few more inches of room, but never consider that the business traveler behind them may be using the tray table for reading or working on their computer.
When there is not enough legroom, as is the case when flying economy
class, it is polite to limit your movements according to the space
available. For example, instead of stretching out the pages of a
newspaper, read a pocketbook instead.
Passengers should always store only one item in the space above their
seats; however, some who board the plane first may inappropriately
choose to store both of their items in the overhead bin so that they
have more leg room during the flight. Be considerate.
Use headphone for electronic devices. People around you do not need to listen to your music or movie.
Be aware of how much you drink as to not get tipsy or drunk. A drunk on then plane is not pretty.
Carry your bag in front of you as you walk down the aisle. If you have a back pack, take it off, and hold it down in front of you. This will help you avoid hitting other passengers as you walk by them.
Those are most of violations I see on a regular basis! It’s not rocket science to be courteous to fellow travelers!
Toronto’s gay and lesbian village is most famous for having provided the location for much of the Showcase series Queer as Folk. Canada’s laws regarding legal same-sex marriage make this city a perfect destination for a wedding and honeymoon vacation. Church Street’s lively bars, warm cafés and friendly people provide a fun and a very welcoming atmosphere for gay and lesbian travelers. Prague is VERY AFFORDABLE and the city of spires has more than just gorgeous architecture and a fascinating history to offer gay and lesbian travelers. The city boasts numerous gay and gay-friendly clubs, bars, restaurants, cafés, saunas and accommodations. Lots of shopping. Lots of culture. Lots of GAY! Very easy to meet people. Prague is like one large outdoor museum with myriad wonders to explore. – On the other hand, Paris is like a huge large outdoor museum, but for the most part, not over-friendly. Hard to connect with people. and triple the price of Prague. Costa Rica has been dubbed “Central America’s Gay Paradise.” From cloud forests, rainforests and rushing rivers to active volcanoes and tropical beaches, Costa Rica boasts innumerable natural wonders that will arouse your senses. With its progressive laws protecting gay rights, Costa Rica is a friendly place to visit without hassles.
Travel is one of the most enriching experiences a person can undertake. But deciding where to go can sometimes be a challenge. With almost any option possible and (in the case of a solo traveler) nobody else to have to pander to, in some respects choosing your destination can be more of a challenge than the actual journey itself. What is it you want from the trip?
In the US – I would suggest Palm Springs. They have a lot of small intimate resorts and guesthouses that make it very conducive to mingling and make new friends. Palm Springs California is well-known as one of the most reliable and consistent sunny destinations in the USA. Abundant sunshine, clear blue skies, low humidity, warm temperatures and only a hint of rain characterize the consistently beautiful weather in Palm Springs, Ca. In fact, the sun shines in the Palm Springs California area more than 350 days a year!
Big city – obvious gay meccas like West Hollywood and San Francisco are not my first choice for the single guy. Though you can have fun in both cities. It just depends on how outgoing you are – and what you are looking for. New York City is amazing, for all kinds of reasons.
Chicago (below) is very laid back – it’s very easy to walk into a bar and start chatting with strangers. Huge gay population concentrated in some very cool neighborhoods (Lakeview-Boystown, Andersonville, Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park), friendly people, the only major US city that’s actually affordable to live in. You have Lake Michigan, beaches, shopping and world class dining.
Fort Lauderdale is certainly very nice – but very spread out – whereas Key West is small enough to feel at home. Key West is very easy to navigate and meet new people. Key West is a Lush tropical island with fascinating architecture, friendly people, a rich history, and plenty of activities to keep you engaged or help relax
Columbus Ohio is a new and upcoming gay travel destination. The Short North/Victorian Village/Italian Village/Grandview area of town is a huge and vibrant gayborhood that mixes trendy shops, art galleries, fun dining, nightlife, high end dining, lots of homes, apartments and new condos, and culture. The city can skew a little young at times due to Ohio State, but there are lots of young urban professional gay men all over Columbus. It’s sort of a smaller version of Chicago.
There is a great tour group called Spirit Journeys. Spirit Journeys offers extraordinary gay travel, retreats and workshops at magical destinations all over the world. Whether it be on adventure tours or attending a retreat, our aim is to offer you a chance to “get away from it all”, to connect with others and to explore the mysteries and cultures that are in the world around us. You can see a lot of the world, with a gay group.
David Hodkinson, of Travel Leaders agrees. ” For gay, single individuals, small group gay travel is the easiest and best way to meet other singles. There is a lot of variety in the type of travel one can choose, often very specific, i.e. adventure, cultural, active, ecotourism, spa and health, etc. Small groups vary in size….perhaps ranging from 8 to 18 and some even larger. Since participants often share the same interests, there are many opportunities for discussions and dialogue.
The companies that offer this type of travel are numerous…travel to exotic destinations, ski (Gay Ski Weeks), small ship cruising, river cruising, gay safaris (outstanding!), Gay Games, active (hiking, dude ranches, climbing, rafting, skiing), and the list goes on.
Gay travelers should check out agencies that are members of IGLTA (International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association) since these agencies can direct them to appropriate suppliers and provide guidance in making decisions.”
He also says, “Amsterdam is my #1 choice…..the bars and clubs are like nothing else and there is something for everyone and every preference. The biggest festivals are Amsterdam Pride and Queensday with many celebrations, concerts, parties, etc. held not only in the streets but in the numerous clubs and bars. Europe’s biggest gay dance party is Rapido and one of the best and most famous is held in Amsterdam during Pride, at Rapido Paradiso (a phenomenal venue). Tickets sell out fast and must be purchased months in advance. Gay and single….Amsterdam is an easy to meet and mingle and English is spoken everywhere. Winter is a bit dreary but there’s always something going on.”
Puerto Vallarta Mexico is great for couples, friends or single travelers. Beautiful ocean bay beaches
World class dining, mountains and jungles, and a huge gay & lesbian community. Very friendly. Lots to see and do. Still affordable.
In Europe. Prague is one of my favorites. Paris is one of my least favorites.
Phuket, Thailand. Patong beach has become a gay hotspot because of its unbelievably inexpensive nightlife, exhilarating water sports and friendly atmosphere. The dazzling beach has been host to pride festivals and remains a perfect place for gay and lesbian travelers to meet and enjoy the excitement of Southeast Asia.
These are just some of our top picks. There are many more great places, depending on what you are looking for. Don’t be afraid to travel alone. You will find so many places around the world that are friendly and very open to talking to you! Even despite language barriers, many people are so nice and will try to communicate with you! – Even you need help making a decison, call an expert for advice.
Toronto’s gay and lesbian village is most famous for having provided the location for much of the Showcase series Queer as Folk. Canada’s laws regarding legal same-sex marriage make this city a perfect destination for a wedding and honeymoon vacation. Church Street’s lively bars, warm cafés and friendly people provide a fun and a very welcoming atmosphere for gay and lesbian travelers.
Prague is VERY AFFORDABLE and the city of spires has more than just gorgeous architecture and a fascinating history to offer gay and lesbian travelers. The city boasts numerous gay and gay-friendly clubs, bars, restaurants, cafés, saunas and accommodations. Lots of shopping. Lots of culture. Lots of GAY! Very easy to meet people. Prague is like one large outdoor museum with myriad wonders to explore. – On the other hand, Paris is like a huge large outdoor museum, but for the most part, not over-friendly. Hard to connect with people. and triple the price of Prague.
Costa Rica has been dubbed “Central America’s Gay Paradise.” From cloud forests, rainforests and rushing rivers to active volcanoes and tropical beaches, Costa Rica boasts innumerable natural wonders that will arouse your senses. With its progressive laws protecting gay rights, Costa Rica is a friendly place to visit without hassles.
GAY TRAVEL…..what does it mean?
Everyday I scan countless news headlines, blogs and story leads, looking to see who is saying what, and looking for things that are interesting. Today I discovered LANDLOPERS . It is a general travel site written by Matt Long, who happens to be gay. It’s not a “gay travel” site, like this one. He says, “My site brings a unique perspective that is hard to find online. I am not a backpacker, nor am I super wealthy. I am just an average person who has managed to travel the world efficiently and without spending a fortune.”
His post today No Respect for the Gay Traveler , really got me thinking about how my partner and I travel, compared to how other gay people travel.
When I travel, I look for “gay friendly” signs and symbols. Rainbow flags. That way I know, they are accepting and are not give me strange looks if I kiss my husband in public. I can safely assume the staff is going to be accepting of us and they welcome my gay dollars.
Matt says, “why do we need separate things? Expedia recently launched a GLBT Travel Lounge offering gay friendly travel options. That sounds fine on the face of it, but why does there need to be a GLBT search listing? Would you have a separate search criteria for African-Americans or Christians? That’s absurd. Furthermore, the gay city guides on Expedia seem to highlight a lot of clubs, bars and design stores. Not feeding into any stereotypes there, are we? If they advertised stereotypical listings to other minorities, there would be a national boycott.
I do not need to be segregated with other gay people. I am an independent traveler and am quite capable of handling myself in most situations around the world and can interact with people of all backgrounds. I’m not looking for everyone to get who I am and do not need to travel in a homogenized bubble.” – I disagree with Matt. I WANT separate listings. And to compare us with African-Americans or Christians does not make any sense. Of course, you would not have separate listings for those groups. But what about separate listings for families? or seniors? It comes down to a group having certain needs and wants.
And as gay travelers, I think many of us want different things. Some people want the gay, gay, gay experience. While others just want to blend in. Matt says, “Drop the rainbow flags and instead educate your staffs that 1) gay people do exist and 2) that you treat them like any other guest. This revolutionary concept would go well beyond any promise of techno parties or the excessive use of glitter. The same goes with gay-friendly itineraries. I don’t even know what this means: clubs and brunch only restaurants? We don’t need that, our travel interests are usually the same as anyone else when visiting a new place. When I go to Paris I want to visit Montmartre or the Louvre, not a drag club. What we need is respect and not segregation.”
The rainbow flag is like a big welcome sign. You can’t drop that. It demonstrates that a place is gay or at least gay-friendly. Matt says our travel interests are usually the same as anyone else when visiting a new place. I disagree. When I was in Paris last year I went to the Louvre sure, but I also hung out every night in the le Marais, the gay district and went to a drag bar, a sauna and gay restaurant! I think we all want different things when we travel. And while Matt isn’t necessarily looking for the “gay experience” when he travels, many of us are.
I was out with a gay friend last night who commented he loves to go on cruises, but has never taken a gay cruise. I asked what he liked about it, and he said he enjoys picking up the bi-married men! That’s not my thing. It’s too much work for one thing. I would rather be on a boat with all gay men!
This whole issue brings into question just how gay friendly are certain countries that tend to be popular with gay tourists? No doubt if we boycotted every country that didn’t have a Clone Zone or gay club we’d be limited to a very dull itinerary. But many gay people may not be aware that their well-earned holiday dosh is going into the coffers of governments who oppress homosexuals and refuse them to live their lives openly, and in some cases in fear of imprisonment.
It’s got plenty to recommend it on the romantic front; cruises down the Nile, sun basked shores and experiencing the Pyramids at sunset etc. But Egypt also happens to be one of the most unsympathetic countries relating to human rights especially over homosexuality. Recently gay websites were closed down by the authorities and used as evidence to secure jail sentences for Egyptian gays.
Like many Islamic / Muslim societies that view homosexual acts strictly as precursors to marriage, being openly gay and in love with someone of the same sex is a big no, no. Algiers may appear wild and louche but it’s unlikely you and your lover will be able to sign a ‘civil partnership’ there for many years to come.
Jamaica, Dubai….do I really want to go there that bad? Not so much.
So I am curious, how do you travel. What do you want? What do you look for?
Leave us your comments!
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DO SMALL TOWNS WITH NO GAYS SCARE YOU??
It scared gay comedian ANT too! However, some interesting things were discovered along his journey.
U.S. of ANT follows the often outrageous and always comical writer/comedian as he travels across America in search of gay life.
From East to West and all points in between, ANT captures the diversity of the LGBT community and the personal stories of small town gay America through the eyes of both the gay and straight residents. His journey across the country reaffirms that spirit and humor are alive and well in the gay heartland.
It wasn’t easy but he found a few gay people in Montana, and a few more in Mississippi. Then he went to North Carolina and he found some gay couples raising kids. Alabama, Texas, and the not-so-popular gay spots of Florida, ANT crawls through them all!
I was born a little city town boy and was 18 I ran the hell away and never looked back. I am big city guy. I love lots of options and freedom of choices in a big city. But hey, everyone likes something different. Some want the quiet gay life. To each his own.
ANT did 7 episodes for LOGO tv and you can rent the DVD online today!
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New online hotel booking site, VibeAgent.com, helps vacationers, including gay and lesbian travelers find the best personalized hotel choices at the best price
Following the landmark ruling by the California Supreme Court this week, same-sex couples from across the country have a new reason to visit The Golden State.
For gays and lesbians wondering what California’s top-rated gay-friendly hotels are, VibeAgent.com reviewers, or Vibe Agents, have already done the work.
VibeAgent.com is the first and only web site that combines comparison shopping for the best hotel deals, hotel recommendations based on personalized criteria and extensive social networking features. Meaning, same-sex couples can not only find the top-rated hotels to stay, get married, or honeymoon, but also find the best deals on those hotels as well by using VibeAgent.com’s comprehensive search engine to compare rates from more than 30 leading web sites for over 120,000 hotels worldwide.
The top ranked romantic same-sex friendly hotels at five of the most popular California destinations according to VibeAgents are as follows:
1) Le Meridien San Francisco
2) Clift Hotel
3) Mark Hopkins Intercontinental
4) Hotel Vitale-Embarcadero
5) Parc Fifty Five Hotel
1) Mondrian West Hollywood
2) Hyatt West Hollywood
3) Le Montrose Suite Hotel
4) W Hotel Los Angeles Westwood
5) The Beverly Hills Hotel
1) Le Merigot – A JW Marriott Beach Hotel
2) Huntley Santa Monica Beach
3) Georgian Hotel
4) Viceroy – Santa Monica
5) Shutters on the Beach
1) Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina
2) Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
3) Bristol Hotel
4) Hotel Del Coronado
5) Marriott San Diego Hotel and Marina
1) Bacara Resort Spa
2) Hotel Oceana Santa Barbara
After their trip, couples can help others following in their footsteps by registering at VibeAgent.com, reviewing their hotel experience and using VibeAgent.com’s unique tagging function to “tag” their hotel as recommend for Gays & Lesbians or Honeymooners.
About VibeAgent Inc.
VibeAgent.com is the first and only web site that combines comparison shopping for the best hotel deals with personalized hotel recommendations and extensive social networking features. An innovator in hotel booking, VibeAgent.com saves travelers time and money by comparing rates from more than 30 leading web sites for over 120,000 hotels worldwide all on one hotel booking site. Debuted in November 2007, VibeAgent is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.