During the course of 2018, UK residents took in excess of 71.7 million trips overseas. Overseas holidays are, in fact, becoming increasingly popular among solo LGBT adventure-seekers as well as families who are brave enough to venture to distant lands with their young children in tow. Although there is no logical explanation of why there should be a disparity between heterosexual and same-sex travels, the latter does have a habit of being substantially more challenging, especially when young children form part of the family. Luckily there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that your first family vacation abroad is as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.
Pack all the relevant paperwork
Any family travelling abroad needs to remember to pack important documents such as individual passports, necessary medical documentation, and proof of your travel insurance along with all the regular travel gear for babies such as bottles, a stroller, and a carry sling. Make sure you have the necessary paperwork with you when you travel with small children, especially if they do not share your last name. Remember to keep copies of each child’s birth certificate, passport, health care proxies, and adoption papers (where applicable) with you at all times while travelling. It also comes highly recommended to leave copies of all the documents with a trusted party back home should it be needed in an emergency situation. If you are unsure of whether you will need a specific document, pack it anyway as it is easier to keep it in your suitcase than having to find a way to access it if you left it behind at home.
Seek out LGBTQ-friendly accommodations
When travelling together as a new family you ultimately want your trip to not only be exciting but comfortable as well. LGBT-friendly accommodation, tourist attractions, and transport operators will make your vacation a lot more enjoyable and will significantly help reduce the normal pre-holiday jitters you may be experiencing. Regardless of where you go in the world, you will, for the most part, be able to find hotels, resorts, lodges, restaurants, malls, parks, zoos, and other facilities that welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender travelers and their families. Some of the world’s most renowned hotel groups such as Fairmont and Hilton specifically train their employees on full inclusion while Hyatt, Accor, and Preferred Hotels all sport diversity initiatives that are aimed at LGBT travellers.
Familiarise yourself with local laws and customs
As exciting as visiting foreign destinations with your new family may be, it is of vital importance to familiarise yourself with the local laws and customs of your desired destination before booking your plane tickets. Despite the world as a whole becoming a lot more willing to embrace the LGBT community, there are still countries that are either openly hostile or in which being LGBT is against the law. The last thing you want on your holiday is to experience animosity towards your family, so it is better to just avoid intolerance as far as possible. While North America and most parts of Europe have become very supportive of the LGBT community, the Middle-East and parts of the African continent, in particular, are still very conservative in their beliefs.
Regardless of where you choose to travel to with your new family, make sure you make the effort to ensure that it is as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. Also, always be prepared for the unexpected as travelling with small children hardly ever pans-out exactly as you have hoped for.