All About the TSA’s Preclearance Program

Author: , January 30th, 2014

TSA PreThere’s been a bit of a stir this week concerning a new U.S. Customs facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport, which is now offering preclearance for all U.S. citizens heading directly to the United States from Abu Dhabi. That means that U.S. citizens can pass through American customs before they arrive on American soil.

Though the UAE boasts one of the world’s most progressive economies, the new service has raised eyebrows among American pilots and certain members of Congress who believe that the new facility gives an unfair competitive advantage to Etihad Airways, which operates the only route between Abu Dhabi and the U.S.. Politics aside, preclearance is popular among American travelers, and for good reason. It helps them skip lengthy customs lines at home. And though it’s still only available at a few airports worldwide, here are the nuts and bolts of the program and how it can help you when you’re flying back home.

What is Preclearance? The CBP Preclearance program essentially inserts a cadre of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents inside an international airport. Once a U.S. citizen passes through that country’s own security lines, they are then allowed to pass through an additional security line — one manned by American agents. This procedure mimics the procedure used in U.S. airports, and allows the passenger to clear both security and customs before ever landing on U.S. soil. It requires an extra 10 to 20 minutes prior to take-off, but it allows flyers to skip massive immigration lines once they return home.

Authored By Darren Murph – See the Full Story at Sherman’s Travel

Click here for gay travel resources.

Win a Trip to Spring Break in Key West

Author: , January 30th, 2014

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Still hibernating? Don’t let us tempt you with a free trip to Key West.

That’s right: we have teamed up with Island House to send you to Key West, the best gay resort town in the world.

Spend a fabulous Spring Break partying poolside, sipping on free cocktails and enjoying the eye candy all weekend long. Oh, and we’re not only sending you, but 3 of your best buds!

The winner plus 3 friends will all receive:

  • Free roundtrip flights to Key West, Florida (originating in the continental U.S.)
  • Three-night stay at Island House in a private 2-bedroom apartment
  • Complimentary dinner + bottle service
  • VIP reception with Key West’s hottest dancers, drag queens and DJ
  • Photos of your Spring Break weekend published exclusively on Queerty

Enter by 2/23.

See the Full Story at Queerty

Click here for gay travel resources in Key West.

One Step ~ 4 Counties in Oregon

Author: , January 29th, 2014

It may look like a grave marker of a long lost surveyor.  But it’s not.

Four Counties Marker in the Tillamook State ForestEveryone has heard about America’s Four Corners.  That would be the only place where four state boundaries meet: Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

In Oregon our Four County Point in the Tillamook State Forest notes the meeting of Clatsop, Columbia, Washington and Tillamook counties.

The trailhead has a brown four counties sign on the north side of U.S. 26, at milepost 34.8 (this is 2.9 miles west of the Timber-Vernonia junction, or about 39 miles west of Portland).

It takes about an 45 minutes to make the one mile hike out and back to see the marker and stand on all four counties at once. That makes Four County Point a quick leg-stretching hike when you’re driving between Portland and the northern Oregon coast.”

And then there is the drive down the Oregon Coast.  Talk about an Oregon Geotourism Experience?  But that’s another blog.

Purple Roofs Guest Blogger:  Mary Pellegrini, owner/innkeeper at the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast in the Upper Hood River Valley, Oregon.  We are about an hour and a half east of Portland, Oregon, a scenic drive through the Columbia River Gorge and the Hood River Valley to our B&B at the base of Oregon’s tallest mountain, majestic Mt Hood.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: John Morris Manor B&B, Seneca Falls, New York

Author: , January 29th, 2014

John Morris Manor - Seneca Falls, New YorkPeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Your Country Home Away From Home: The Bed and Breakfast is a beautifully restored 1838 Greek-revival farmhouse surrounded by 5.7 acres of trees, flowering bushes, and lush lawn, overlooking Cayuga Lake. Our aim is to create a home away from home atmosphere that promotes peace, relaxation, congenial conversation, fun, maybe some adventure, and exceptional comfort.

See the John Morris Manor B&B Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in the Finger Lakes Region

A Fantastic Time in the Balearics, Spain

Author: , January 29th, 2014

Majorca, Spain - Apple Maps

Apple Maps

Majorca is a small Spanish island (one of the Balearics) in the Mediterranean sea. It’s a hugely popular holiday destination, with just over 6 million visitors every year. Because Majorca is a relatively small island of just 100 km from east to west and 75 km from north to south, it’s possible to explore all this fascinating island has to offer in the space of a relatively short two week vacation.

No doubt because of its huge tourist and ex pat population, Majorca (particularly the capital of Palma de Majorca) is an incredibly gay-friendly resort, offering a host of gay clubs and bars and an annual gay pride event held in June every year. It’s also home to a surprisingly large number of historic artifacts and sights of interest, bearing in mind its relatively small size. Whatever you’re looking for from your annual summer break, you’ll find something to enjoy if you head to Majorca.

Things to Do

One of the most popular things to do in Majorca is simply to relax on the many miles of beaches and soak up the sun. That’s why you’ll find the beaches are always busy with tourists. Whilst on the coast you could try your hand at wind surfing or sailing, or even hire a pedalo and paddle close to the shore line. If you’re looking for more strenuous activities then you could try renting a road or mountain bike.

See the Full Story at Pink Choice

Click here for gay travel resources in the Balearic Islands.

The Big Gay Train Roars Through Sonoma in March

Author: , January 29th, 2014

Big Gay TrainOut in the Vineyard, a Sonoma-based LGBT travel company, is gaying-up the Napa Valley Wine Train with a partnership that will bring guests to various LGBT winemakers in a once-of-a-kind adventure.

In its fourth year, “The Big Gay Train 2014″ will have LGBT winemakers representing four distinctive West Coast American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), who will pair their wines with a specially prepared four-course gourmet meal created by Napa Valley Wine Train Executive Chef Kelly Macdonald.

Winemakers Annette Bergevin (Bergevin Lane Vineyards, Walla Walla Valley, WA), Kurt Giusti (Via Viusti Wines, Russian River Valley), Deb Schatzlein (Bink Wines, Yorkshire Highlands, Southern Mendocino County), and Brad Beard (Mercury Wines, Alexander Valley) will be aboard the luxurious Wine Train, bringing the unique flavors of each AVA to the table while meeting and greeting guests.

Authored By Joseph Pedro – See the Full Story at Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources in Sonoma.

What to See in Petra

Author: , January 29th, 2014

Petra, Jordan - Alain The SojournerIt seems that the best monuments in the world are tombs. The Pyramids of Egypt, The Taj Mahal in India, The Terracota Warriors in Xian, China, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and Westminster Abbey in England are all famous sites that honor the dead: Kings, Queens, Emperors, Royals, Pharaohs and Saints.

Petra in Jordan is no different. The Treasury, the most recognized architecture, was built to bury a Nabatean King. Exploring the whole Petra in circuitous climb and hike, visitors will be awed at the number of caves on the rocky mountains that meant to bury the dead in peace.

Many are of small sizes that resemble like capsule hotels in Japan where I once stayed. Few are huge and some are unfinished carvings which are patterned after The Treasury.

Authored By Alain – See the Full Story at the Sojourner

Click here for gay travel resources in Jordan.

Details of Phuket Gay Pride Announced for April

Author: , January 29th, 2014

Phuket Pride 2014 FVThis week the Phuket Loves You club (PLU) has launched Phuket Pride week 2014.
With events being run all over Phuket which are open to anyone, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Straight or Undecided. Phuket Loves You Club would like to invite everyone to come together and join the events. The Parade will be colourful as always and PLU would like to encourage everyone watching to join the end of the parade and follow it to Loma Park on the beach for a ‘Party in the Park’ stage event will include International DJ’s, Live shows and bands and will have many stalls which will offer great fun and will be family friendly.

The final details for all the week’s events has not yet been published but will include:
Official Pride week launch party – Pool Party at CC Hideaway Dance to great DJ’s and swim, enjoy a lovely buffet plus see a stunning Cabaret show. Plus the Launch of DAW (Donate And Win) 2014 and crazy fun Bingo.

Beach Volleyball tournament a competition for teams of 6 people, with all teams playing each other on a point’s basis, leading to a final knockout for the final. There are bar and food facilities available on the beach and the beach chairs will be arranged around the Volleyball court for easy viewing.

Gay Day out Island trip to Raya Island A special for Phuket Pride week this Gay day cruise to Raya Island promises to be a day to remember.

Sunset beach party at Iguana Beach Swim, dance, eat and party on a private beach and enjoy the beautiful Phuket sunset.

Gala Dinner Evening A fantastic evening is planned for this Gala Dinner evening at a large hotel in Phuket (venue to be announced soon). The evening will include a luxury buffet dinner, shows and a Grand Charity Auction plus lots lots more.

Grand Parade through the streets of Patong This parade will have many floats and street entertainment from gay and gay friendly venues and organisations from all over Phuket, with fantastic costumes and music.

‘Party in the Park’ at Loma Park on the beach The Stage itself will have entertainment from Live local bands, International Dj’s, shows and guest appearances from local performers. All around the park there will be booths and stalls offering food, drinks, Fun Games and sexual health information.

Pride closing Tea Dance party in Soi Paradise Music from Kiss Bar, dancing and partying in the street in the daytime warmth and sunshine and a BBQ from Bistro Restaurant. Donate And Win Grand Draw will be held during the afternoon

The PLU will be announcing more events soon please keep visiting their web site: www.phuket-pride.org for up-to-date information and details and on their hugely popular face book site: Prideinphuket.

Many of the gay bars and venues will also be holding events during Pride week, many of which will be raising money for PLU Charities, the details of these will also be shown on the web site.

Ian Philips the PLU Chairman said “This only our 3rd year of PLU organising Phuket Pride week and under the theme of this year’s Pride week ‘Celebrating who we are’ we hope that we will attract even more people than we did last year to not only have a fun week of celebrations but also help us to raise money for our charities. Over the past two years we raised over 500,000 Baht for Phuket LGBT & HIV charities and hope that this year with so many events and continued support from many of last year’s sponsors and some very exciting new ones we will achieve our target of raising 1million Baht”

For more information or to get involved in Phuket Pride week or become a much valued Sponsor or volunteer please email: info@phuket-pride.org

For up-to-date information about Phuket Pride week visit our web site: www.phuket-pride.org And follow us on face book: Prideinphuket

Click here for gay travel resources in Thailand.

Great Boutique Hotel in Beltline Community

Author: , January 28th, 2014

 Hotel Elan, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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By Roy Heale

In the heart of downtown Calgary the trendy, residential community known as the Beltline is close to the business center of the city plus the hip restaurants, clubs, and boutiques of the 17th Avenue Entertainment District. For this reason a number of boutique hotels have recently located themselves in this area providing accommodation options for business and leisure visitors to Calgary. Perhaps the newest addition is the Hotel Elan which opened in June 2013 after an extensive period of renovations converting an apartment building into luxury suites for discriminating travellers.

Large Living Space

Large Living Space

At the gay-friendly Hotel Elan no detail is overlooked when it comes to comfort, luxury, and space. From the custom designed bathroom fixtures to the stylish furniture that has been imported directly from Italy, each suite has been created to make your stay unlike any other hotel you’ve ever experienced in Calgary. This is the only boutique hotel in Calgary to offer combined accommodation and private in-suite meeting spaces designed specifically for business travellers but also appreciated by vacationers to the city.

Spacious Bedrooms

Spacious Bedrooms

Situated just one block from Calgary’s renowned Uptown 17th Avenue SW, Hotel Elan is in a vibrant part of the City that is home to over 200 boutique shops as well as numerous restaurants, lounges, and pubs. The downtown business district is just a short walk from the hotel. If you have your own vehicle, you can enjoy the benefits of their heated, secure underground parkade for a moderate nightly cost. It is also situated in the heart of the car-2-go zone—Calgary’s newest mode of transportation.

Hotel Elan has been designed to make you feel pampered and well looked after whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure.

Designer Bathrooms

Designer Bathrooms

Hotel Amenities:

Suites:

All suites offer meeting spaces for 4-6 people

•47″ flat screen TV in the meeting space/living room

 •Complimentary High Speed Internet – Secure Wireless and Hard Wired

 •Complimentary, unlimited calls anywhere in North America

 •Natural light with access to a private outdoor balcony

 Fitness Centre:

 •Google map enabled treadmill – you can go for a run on a wide variety of trails all over the world

 •Elliptical trainer

 •Recumbant Bike

 •Weight machines

 •Bosu Ball

 •Stretching area with free weights

 Complimentary Deluxe Continental Breakfast Buffet

 •Delicious, fresh, and healthy breakfast offered weekday mornings from 7:00am to 10:00am and weekends from 8:00am to 11:00am

Kitchenette

Kitchenette

The spacious rooms and suites offer the perfect combination of contemporary style and thoughtful functionality. The simple elegance of this boutique hotel will ensure that you stay in comfort and style. Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, you’ll find everything you need.

Room Amenities:

 •Complimentary Dedicated 15 MB secured wireless and hard wired internet access for the most secure highspeed connection in each room

 •Multi-layered walls that provide incredible soundproofing between all rooms and halls to ensure a restful and quiet night’s sleep

 •Luxurious pillow top mattresses

 •Italian furnishings throughout the bedrooms

 •Thermostatic temperature control water valves in all showers to ensure the perfect water temperature every time

 •Heated floors and toilet seats in all bathrooms for added comfort

 •Dimmable light fixtures in every room ultimate lighting control

 •Windows that tilt open in every suite

 •All suites have bedrooms separate from the living/meeting space

 •All rooms and suites have Lavazza Luxury Italian Coffee brewed in a Cuisine Art machine

 •Complimentary local and North America wide calling

 •Wake up call system that guests can use to set their own alarm each day

 •iPod and iPad dock

 •Luxurious contemporary sofas in suites

Workstation

Workstation

 So whatever the reason for your visit to Calgary the Hotel Elan is sure to please and satisfy every travellers needs. The ultimate luxury of the heated toilet seats is truly unique and very welcome on a cold winter Calgary day!

 

For More Information Visit: http://hotelelan.ca

 

Colin Mocherie and Brad Sherwood – Feb 5th

Author: , January 28th, 2014

Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, http://www.glynnhouse.com/calendar/#february_2014 stars of the Palace TheatreEmmy nominated Whose Line Is It Anyway? have teamed up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy. Using their quick wit, Colin and Brad take contributions from the audience to create hilarious and original scenes…. Just like a live version of ‘Whose Line’! Throughout the evening, the show becomes truly interactive as audience members are called to the stage to participate in the fun. Their high-profile presentations have played to sold-out venues all over the country. Don’t miss the most exciting comedy event of the year!

Use the romantic Glynn House Inn as your New Hampshire getaway base. Experience elegant surroundings, delicious food, uncompromising service and genuine hospitality. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Bring your favorite four-footed canine pal and reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. View the Glynn House www.glynnhouse.com/ website for other special offers plus additional information about the Inn and local activities.