This article was published on March 4th, 2018
No travel is ever wasted. But during the current economic times in the United States, it isn’t always feasible to explore the world around you, especially for queer young people who are on a limited budget. When it comes to travel on a shoestring budget, it is possible. Here are 10 savvy tips and advice on LGBT youth travel to explore beyond the backyard.
- Stick to your home roots. Globetrotting is fun, but North America is the third biggest continent in the world. There are plenty of extraordinary places in North America to fill your desire for wanderlust at a fraction of the price of going overseas.
- Take a road trip. Flying can be very expensive and limits the amount of locations you can visit without renting a vehicle at your destination. Going on a road trip means you have your own transportation and can go anywhere the open road takes you.
- Consider camping. Pitching a tent is one of the cheapest way you can travel anywhere. And there are plenty of gay campgrounds across North America.
- Bring your road dawgs. Traveling with friends means you can split the cost of things like gas, accommodation, food, and equipment. You’ll make like long memories and experiences you’re your friends. Plus, there is safety in numbers.
- Share a room with friends. Consider budget accommodation over luxury. When you’re on vacation, most people don’t use their rooms for more than a shower and a bed. If you don’t need much more than that, think about staying at motels, hostels, or gay-friendly home-share
- Eat on the cheap. Stocking up on food at the grocery stores means you can adhere to your regular diet and save money compared to eating out. Buying alcohol and pre-gaming at your accommodation before heading out can help save some money when going out to the bar or clubs.
- Volunteer at events versus purchasing tickets. If you are planning on going to that summer music festival or a live performance, most events offer volunteer opportunities for those looking to exchange some of their time in exchange for an event pass.
- Know the local laws. Not every state or province is as friendly or open towards homosexuality, so it is always important to realize the culture of wherever you venture to. You’ll stay safe and out of trouble if you adhere to the rules of the region.
- Avoid using drugs or drinking too much. Public intoxication is illegal in most places, and so is drug consumption. If you’re going to do either, be careful, know your limits, and be smart.
- Choose gay friendly locations. Traveling to gay friendly places gives you some security in knowing you can be yourself without the fear of ill treatment. Gay friendly cities, like San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale, New York City, New Orleans, and Las Vegas, means there is a gay community there willing to take care of you when you need it.