How to Stay Safe While Traveling – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 1st, 2018

How to Stay Safe While Traveling - The Nomadic Boys

During our extensive travels around the world as a gay couple, we’ve enjoyed a whole array of experiences, mostly positive, but a few less so. Whether induced by homophobia such as experiencing life under the anti-gay laws in India or going back in the closet in Russia, we’ve certainly learnt a great deal about the best ways to stay safe while travelling.

We’ve put together our 10 best tips for how to stay safe while travelling, which apply to all travellers whether straight or gay:

Check Official Government Advice

Before doing anything, check the official government advice. This is the starting point for staying safe while travelling. Is it politically stable and secure? Are there are any areas to avoid? Are you at a higher risk of going because you’re gay? Any customs you need to be aware of? Do you need to carry your ID with you at all times (like in Russia), or better locked away in your hotel safe? How high is the risk of terrorist activity? And more…

Based on all these factors, you can make an informed decision as to whether you want to visit. We highly recommend the UK Foreign Office Travel Advice.

For us, travelling as a gay couple, we are at a higher risk in a large number of countries where being openly gay is either a punishable crime, or such a taboo in society that it could lead to trouble. We’ve put together a comprehensive summary of which countries are the most gay friendly and also recommend checking the US Department of State’s LGBTQI Travel Information for excellent practical advice.

If you do choose to visit countries where being openly gay is a punishable crime, we highly advise taking extra precautions in public, for example, avoiding public displays of affection and setting your social media networks to private.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Get the Best Out of Your Business Class Flight – Nomadic Boys

Author: , May 19th, 2018

Business Class Flights - The Nomadic Boys

This is a guest post by London based gay blogger, David Wides – The Travelling Mo:

After taking advantage of a great business class deal a few years ago, I have found it increasingly difficult to turn right on a long haul flight. So I now carefully craft my travelling plans based on getting good long haul business class flight deals, cos let’s face it- once you’ve put your feet up and sipped that first glass of champagne, you’re hooked! But nobody wants to pay top dollar for the privilege…

Friends and family are often envious of the deals I’ve bagged over the years, but it really isn’t that hard to do! These are my 5 top tips for getting the best business class flight deals.

This is where you have to do a little bit of reading. Many people don’t know much about the different points membership programmes available. You need to understand how these work in order to take best advantage of any deals and to secure the frequent flier status that will get you access to the best lounges, even when you’re flying economy.

Airline frequent flier programmes usually have a concept of an airline mile (earned based on the distance you travel and augmented by your class of travel or status) and status points (also earned based on where you travel augmented by class of travel). Status points determine your status with that airline (and with their alliance partners- more on that below) and that decides what benefits you get from the airline, which can include lounge access, upgrade vouchers and more. These can only be earned by flying with an airline (or their partners). Miles on the other hand can be earned by flying with an airline (or their partners) or by other ways of spending.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Five Awesome Apps for Gay Travelers – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , February 12th, 2018

Apps for Gay Travelers - The Nomadic Boys

When we first started traveling back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the most hi tech piece of technology we had back then was a CD Walkman and a camera you needed to roll a film into (remember them?)

How things have changed since! After our recent trip in Latin America, we have found we are more than ever dependent on our smartphones. The downside is of course that technology is always going to be an inevitable part of our travels. But the upside, this allows us to travel smarter, seek out unique experiences better then we did before, and document things more effectively.

We previously wrote about our favourite gay travel apps. As an update to this, and based on our recent travel experiences, here are our 5 favourite apps for gay travelers we recommend for 2018:

TRAVELIBRO: document your travel memories

What is it: TraveLibro is an app which allows you to create a Journey for your trip, into which you post all your photos, videos, reviews, thoughts, memories, and more, in chronological order. The end result is your own timeline of your trip, which you can re-live at any time and show off to friends + family.

Why we love it: it’s fun, very easy to use and a great way to encourage you to really get into your trip. It’s kind of like you’re blogging about your trip, but without all the IT effort involved working around WordPress/Plugins etc. We spent some time with our families in London/Lyon and used this as an opportunity to see more of each city, documenting everything in TraveLibro. It forced us to organise our time better and to double check facts, as well as striving to take the best possible photos. Check it out: we’re super proud of our: Londonand Lyon TraveLibro “on the go” stories.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Dani’s Top Ten Travel Gadgets – Globetrotter Girls

Author: , December 7th, 2017

Travel Gadgets - Globetrotter Girls

In the past, I’ve simply listed new additions to my travel accessories and gadgets on my Travel Gear page, but I have decided that going forward, I’ll do an annual round-up of the best things that have been added to my packing list. That way it is easier for you to see what I’ve bought that I think makes a great addition to my travel gear.

I thought Black Friday would be a great day to kick off this new series, because if you see something on my list that you think you could use for your next trip, you may be able to get a Black Friday discount on it (Note: Most of Amazon’s Black Friday Deals are valid until 27 November 2017).

1 PORTABLE BLUETOOTH SPEAKER

I’ve been wanting to buy a portable speaker for a long time, but I couldn’t decide which one – there are so many out there! I finally found the one this summer – I was cat-sitting for a friend and used hers – and I love the sound quality. The Oontz Angle is probably not the best speaker out there, considering the low price tag, but for me it is more important to have a lightweight speaker that I can travel with, that is water resistant, and one that is not too pricey because I know I’ll lose it sooner or later. I use this speaker all the time – not just on the beach, in the park or in my hotel room, but also at home.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

A GPS-Powered Travel Encyclopedia & Giveaway – Globetrotter Girls

Author: , January 22nd, 2017

GPS-My-City-App

Most of us spend quite some time reading about our next destination. We have to read through tons of articles before we find the right information. Then you finally discover some great tips and exciting suggestions, only to end up totally blanking out when you reach your destination. Don’t you wish you had your favorite articles or blog posts along? You can, of course, bookmark them, but what if you can’t find even the faintest bar of wifi anywhere in range? What if your mobile connection comes with a pocket draining data plan or, worse yet, you have no roaming at all? Sometimes you can afford to spend hours or days doing your homework, printing out your articles or blog posts and maps. When you finally get there, you realize finding your way is still too hard and time-consuming. Don’t you wish there were a simple solution to your problem? Well, there is one! It’s called GPSmyCity.

What is GPSmyCity, you ask? It is a travel encyclopedia app that offers not just a huge amount of travel information, but also GPS navigation. The travel articles available through the GPSmyCity app have been transformed to include the coordinates of the attractions mentioned by the authors, offline digital maps, and GPS navigation. So, if you want to visit a hidden gem mentioned in a travel article, by simply tapping a button, you get the detailed travel route from where you are to the destination plotted on an offline map.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

9 Mobile Apps for the Gay Traveller – Nomadic Boys

Author: , February 17th, 2016

Stef-Seb-9-apps-for-gay-travellers-iphone-and-non-iphone

After our 18 months trip in Asia, we put together our 9 favourite mobile apps for gay travellers. They aren’t all gay, but simply the apps we grew to depend on every day whether it was for booking flights, hotels, planning, networking or socialising.

Our pink friendly apps for the gay traveller are all available in the iPhone app store and some for non-iPhones, but you can still use the mobile friendly version of their website.

#1 SKYSCANNER

Skyscanner is our #1 resource for researching flights and finding the best deals online. They also have a very user friendly app. We like Skyscanner because of all the flight search engines we’ve used, we’ve found it has the widest variety of flight operators, including budget ones like Air Asia and Easyjet, thereby maximising your options. We also like the way the search results show you the cheapest prices for each month and then each day. This allows you to select the most cost effective flight around your schedule.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Seven Tips for Traveling While Trans

Author: , October 9th, 2015

tsa_imaging

The recent tale of a transgender woman humiliated, demeaned, detained, delayed, and derailed by the Transportation Security Administration has struck fear into some trans travelers and validated the paranoia of others who vow not to travel (or avoid airports) so as to avoid a horror story of their own.

Well, as a trans woman who’s traveled the country by nearly every means available, I have something important to tell you: whatever happens, you’ll survive.

But I know from my own experience that bad things happen at the airport screening area all the time, ranging from the simply annoying to downright soul-crushing, as in the case of Shadi Petosky. Her friends and supporters created a hashtag on social media to help others share their experiences: #TravelingWhileTrans.

And let’s face it, airport insecurity is hardly a new phenomenon.

By Dawn Ennis – Full Story at The Advocate

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Basic Rules for Hotel/Motel Safety

Author: , September 19th, 2015

do not disturb

We hear horror stories from our readers all the time about hotel/motel safety. And we have also had ‘problems’ with hotel/motel safety. We do need to add that in all of our travels from coast to coast that we have NEVER had a problem while staying in any Bed and Breakfast, NEVER!

The first problem anymore is when you check in, whether you have already made reservations with your credit card or just walking up and checking in. You present your credit card and then they want to see your driver’s license which we certainly do not mind showing. Then the new thing now is that they want to make a copy of your driver’s license for their files. Let’s see now, they have your name and address, telephone number, credit card number and now have a copy of your driver’s license which includes your photo!

Is that not something that an unscrupulous $10.00 an hour clerk to take advantage of? Talk about easy credit card fraud! The rate of employee overturns in the hotel/motel industry is astounding so why take a chance doing that? We never allow them to make a copy of our driver’s license, NEVER. Most often we have to talk to the manager on duty and they say that they will make an exception this time just for us, but of course they just want no problems with us We never mind showing our driver’s license but will not let them copy it.

room safeThen you check into the room, check for bed bugs and if the TV and all the lights works. Does the air-conditioning work? Is it clean? Then we go to the room safe (and is that not an oxymoron)? All room safes are not made equal. Most hotels have in-room safes and most of them charge you for that added security.

Yet this added hotel security does not mean your belongings are insured by the hotel if there is a robbery. Most hotels are protected by individual states’ innkeeper’s laws, which state the hotel is not responsible for theft from your room – including the in-room safe. Using the safe in your hotel room does not even mean your things are locked up. Most hotels have a back-way into their in-room safes, be it a master key or a master code. Management has access to these in case they need to assist guests if they loose their keys/code to the safe.

This poses a security risk since there are people who can access your belongings. Just think about it! Since we always travel by our own automobile, we have a special safe in the trunk of our auto and to get to that, they would have to steal our entire automobile and we triple lock it all the time! Just for the heck of it, sometime, simply touch in 0000 on the safe keypad and see what happens. Rather scary isn’t it?

bicycle lockWhenever we leave our room, we put our laptops in a suitcase which we lock, plus we have a bicycle chain lock so that we can lock all of our suitcases together and sometimes even lock them around a leg on the bed.

We know many guests who have returned to their rooms to find one of their pieces of luggage stolen by an employee or a thief. Walking down the hallway with 3 or 4 pieces of luggage chained together is more or less a dead give away that they are stealing them. Luggage locks and bicycle chain locks can be purchased anywhere for under $10,00. One can just never be too careful when traveling.

If your room keys are electronic and one is lost ask the hotel for a new room key – not a duplicate. This will reprogram the lock on the door in case the key was stolen. It’s important to note there have been a few security flaws reported in common keycard locks, resulting in many hotel room break-ins. Essentially the electronic locks were hacked, allowing thieves to enter hotel rooms undetected.

Insurance is a necessary evil. Before you purchase travel insurance though, check with your existing homeowners or renters insurance to see if your policy covers things like thefts when you are traveling. Making your room always look occupied deters thefts. Simply leaving the TV or radio on a low volume can make it appear that someone is in the room.

luggageAnd, if you do not need your room cleaned, hang the Do Not Disturb sign on the door to keep cleaning staff out of the room. This does not just eliminate possible thefts from hotel staff but from someone pretending they are staying in your room and coming back to grab a few things while the room is being cleaned.

This does happen, and according to recent reports it’s fairly common. The Do Not Disturb sign is not a sure fire way to keep cleaning crews out of your room though. To help ensure the cleaning staff does not enter your room, call down to the front desk and ask them to not clean your room.

As we mentioned, we have never had any problems while staying at a Bed and Breakfast, but only at hotels and motels. Just always be safe when traveling and have a great time.

Don and RayAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).

Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

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Gay Travel Tips for Touring Europe

Author: , September 29th, 2014

Europe - Apple MapsThe Gay European Tourism Association (GETA) has launched an information campaign to educate LGBTI travelers touring Europe. GETA’s new website explains the ‘difference in legal and social attitudes to homosexuality across Western, Central and Eastern Europe,’ so LGBTI travelers are aware of how homosexuality is treated throughout European countries.

Using countries like Poland, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Russia as case studies of how society and laws might treat LGBTI people differently, GETA advises: ‘It is for individual LGBT travelers to decide what countries they wish to visit but as a rule, the further east you travel in Europe, the more careful you need to be about public displays of your sexuality.’

GETA’s website also advocates proper planning for families and same-sex couples traveling throughout Europe. ‘Most countries in Europe welcome LGBT tourists,’ said GETA’s Executive Director Carlos Kytka, ‘but there are a few simple tips to make sure your trip is safe.’

Full Story at Gay Star News

Image via Apple Maps

Packing for the Summertime

Author: , August 15th, 2014

I don’t know about you, but even though it’s August, it still feels very much like Adam Groffmansummertime. (And technically it is!) I’ve got several weekend city breaks around Europe planned for the remainder of my summer, so thought I’d share some of the favorite things I’ve been running around with. It’s a bit of a funny list but that’s probably because I’ve had a strange summer with trips everywhere from Thailand to Poland.

What makes summer such a good time to travel anyways? Maybe it’s the sunshine. Or the good weather. But for me, summer is just such an easy time to pick up and go away. With many thanks to childhood, summertime is essentially the ultimate symbol for freedom.

Travel and freedom are seemingly strange bedfellows, but when you stop to think about it, it makes lots of sense. Those lucky enough to travel far and wide have a special sort of freedom — the ability to wander, to get lost, to see new things, to experience the world. It’s an amazing feeling and one that aligns well with summertime — a time for many freedoms.

Authored by Adam Groffman. See the Full Story at Travels of Adam here.

See Adam’s full blog here.

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