The world is getting smaller—and gay friendlier—by the day, but with time and money in tight supply for some of us, it can be hard to choose which rainbow path to travel down next. Stateside destinations like Florida and Las Vegas are often the smart budget choice, but would you believe a strong U.S. dollar isputting previously pricey vacation getaways within reach? Read on and discover why these international gay hot spots might now be perfect for the penny-pinching queer.
Britain’s swinging capital is not “cheap” by any means, but if London is calling you, know that prices these days are falling and insiders say go now. Post Brexit, the pound is dropping—fast. Consider that ten years ago it was an excruciating 2 t01 against the dollar and even six months ago it was at 1.5. Today it’s drawing close enough to even (1.22 to 1 as of this writing) that the best of gay London, including a West End show, a booty shaking night at Heaven (yes, it’s still going) and lodging at a hip hotel (some sources say lodging prices have dropped by half) are now within reach for Americans.
Remember the old timey days when a “Price is Right” contestant would lose their mind if the grand prize was a six-night stay in Acapulco? Mexico is no longer an outof reach getaway and these days is downright affordable. Puerto Vallarta has long been a fashionable gay destination and the entire Yucatan peninsula is buzzing right now, but in places like PV and Cancun you’ll pay tourist prices. Happening Guadalajara, meanwhile, is somewhat of an off-radar gay mecca boasting a dozen gay bars, a buzzy food scene, the birthplace of mariachi and posh hotels at dirt cheap prices.
That groaning you hear? That’s the sound of Canadians bemoaning the cost of visiting the U.S., thanks to their weak dollar. (1 Canadian dollar is worth .75 cents which means the entire country is basically 25% off.) Now is truly the time to shout “Oh, Canada!” Montreal is sexy and chic as all heck and Vancouver rules when it comes to the great outdoors, but urban enthusiasts should get their cute gay booties to Toronto stat. Try a stay at hip, queer-friendly hotels like the Drake and Gladstone (whose queer parties are quite the fête), and don’t miss dinner at Nuit Social or brunch at the Commodore.
Cape Town, South Africa
The most expensive part about visiting Africa’s stunning southernmost cityis getting there. Flights from North America will set you back a penny or two, but gay-friendly Cape Town promises the thrill of a lifetime without breaking the bank. A true mecca that even includes gay rights in its constitution, this seaside metropolis boasts a queer bar for every traveler type, a half dozen gay owned hotels (several are men only) and two gay-popular beaches. Best of all, a mid-range double room will set you back a mere $100, and a day visit to Kruger National Park (think lions, zebras, elephants and rhinos) is less than ten bucks!
As Americans flood Costa Rica in large numbers and countries like Nicaragua and Belize continue to lag on LGBT rights, less visited Panama is a true Central American gem. Nonstop flights from Miami can be found for as little as $150 round trip and bargains abound in the glitzy, gay friendly capital. Not only does downtown boost several gay bars, but the newly revitalized Casco Viejo (or Old City) is buzzing with food trucks, rooftop bars and boutique hotels. As costs go, places like the Waldorf Astoria and HardRock are a fraction of what they’d cost stateside, and an Uber will take you anywhere for around $2-$3.