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.