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By @ 11/25/16 in Gay travel, Jeff Guaracino, ManAboutWorld, Travel

 

ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine named top gay travel app by TwoBadTouristsWanna start an LGBT travel revolution? Every time you travel, you have a vote. You vote with your travel wallet. You can choose to support LGBT-friendly travel companies, destinations, experiences, tours, airlines and accommodations or you can choose not to support those that support our community.

Disappointed with the Presidential election? Worried about LGBT rights? Maybe you are happy with the outcome? Regardless, every time you travel, you do have the power to positively transform the world. LGBT Americans will spend billions on travel next year. What hotel you choose, what destination you visit, what airline you fly, and how you plan, book, and pay for your travel can send a loud message to Corporate America. While President-elect Trump and other elected officials might say they represent the interests of Corporate America, your travel dollars have the power to send an economic message to Corporate America. From holiday travel to Spring Break and your business trip to Vegas, you can buy gay travel.

Bob Witeck founder of Witeck Communications, Inc. in Washington, D.C. said, “Gay people understand we’re not always made to feel welcome. The world has not always been very welcoming to the “few,” the “outsiders” and the “different.” Nonetheless, that knowledge can be liberating. For many LGBT people, when we recognize we aren’t going to change, why not change the world instead? Even if just one person at a time, or one brand at a time, or one destination at a time?”

Witeck continued, “I’ve had the privilege to work with some of the best of the best including American Borgata in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineAirlines and Marriott, and I have observed the pioneering work of many top brands at home and around the world. There is no longer debate that the world of travel is about welcome and respect – for all.”

Here are some tips for an LGBT travel revolution:
  1. Seek out LGBT-friendly companies. Refer to the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index at hrc.org. For example, planning a trip to Atlantic City? The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa and Caesars ranked 100%. If you have a choice in Atlantic City hotels, why not support these two leaders and let them know you did?
  1. Answer surveys! Be sure to “out” yourself on surveys. Take every opportunity to recognize how LGBT outreach has impacted your travel decisions and be sure to recognize those that do it right (like Enterprise Rent-A-Car) and those that missed the boat.
  1. Support LGBT-owned businesses and events. Small businesses are the life blood of the LGBT community. Small, gay-owned businesses are the first our community turns to financially support our issues, our politics, our community and our health. When you stay at a gay guesthouse in Key West or Ft. Lauderdale, you support the LGBT community there. Consider an RSVP, Olivia, Atlantis, R Family Vacations, or a Source Events trip. There is power and safety in numbers. Be sure to subscribe to LGBT travel publications and apps that promote and connect our community like local LGBT newspapers, ManAboutWorld, GayCities, Navigaytour, or Curve Magazine.
  1. Out yourself while booking travel. Google gay-friendly (airlines) or gay-friendly (hotels) and see what pops up and click through! Follow the links. Travel companies are following your digital trail and that’s ok in this instance. Increasingly, your digital travel purchase behavior is being tracked in a sophisticated way that also protects your privacy. The almighty dollar, like love, trumps hate.
  1. Invite others to do the same. Talk to your friends, relatives, and business contacts about how you and they can change the world by supporting those travel experiences that support equality.

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Jeff Guaracino is the co-author — along with Ed Salvato, editor of this site — of the Handbook of LGBT LGBT travel revolution by Jeff Guaracino in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineTourism & Hospitality: A Guide For Business Practice.

 

 

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By @ 11/23/15 in Gay travel, Jeff Guaracino, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Scruff venture in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

To mark the five-year anniversary one of the World’s largest apps connecting gay men worldwide, SCRUFF announced new features to keep you safe while traveling and to help you travel better. Reported by ManAboutWorld correspondent Jeff Guaracino.

Gay men are travelers, so it is no surprise that SCRUFF launched SCRUFF Venture, a groundbreaking feature that redefined the “hook up” app space helping to distinguish SCRUFF apart from Grindr, Tinder, Daddy Hunt and other mobile apps. SCRUFF set out to create a connection for gay men who travel. In the first week, 20,000 trips were created, dozens of premier events listed, and hundreds of Airbnb listings. 24 destinations and counting are now featured.

“Travel has been a core use of SCRUFF,” said Eric Silverberg, one of the co-founders of Scruff. “To meet local people when you arrive in town to get advice, to hook up, to make friends in a city on an event weekend. It was very early on that people started describing how they were using scruff while they travel.”

Silverberg tells a story of a friend who went on a whirlwind global trip. He was in India, Cambodia, Jordon, and Great Britain. He used Scruff –especially in Jordon and Cambodia–before he even arrived. He found guys to talk to on Scruff so when he landed he had someone ready to meet up to take him around. He went to gay bars to house parties and a tour of the desert for four days. (Be careful who you meet online! They are still strangers).

Silverberg said, “Unlike most straight travelers, gay guys befriend one another quickly and are comfortable sightseeing and spending the day with fellow travelers they have just met.”

Photo: Brian via Flickr

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By @ 10/01/15 in Gay travel, Jeff Guaracino, London, ManAboutWorld, Travel
Buckingham Palace in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Buckingham Palace

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth returned to Buckingham Palace last month as the longest-reigning British monarch. True to her reign, she returned to host the Chinese delegation. Werq!  Every August and September, Her Majesty’s subjects and royal watchers worldwide have a rare opportunity to tour the grand public rooms of Buckingham Palace. Even if you are not invited to one of the queen’s elegant garden parties, you can certainly spend a weekend in London and you too can live like a king or queen. ManAboutWorld correspondent Jeff Guaracino tells you how to plan on your own royal visit next year.

A visit to the palace is extraordinary — even when the queen is not in residence. This year’s tour, which ended Sept. 28, is called A Royal Welcome, and takes you through the public rooms of Buckingham Palace to experience what it is like to attend an event at the invitation of Her Majesty The Queen. Ticket prices are about 20 pounds (about $30.50) and benefit the Royal Trust Collection. A walk through the gardens ends your trip (after you depart the gift shop!). Check the site and start planning for next year’s tour. 

As you enter the palace, you follow in the footsteps of heads of state, prime ministers and all the other guests from every walk of life by entering the palace’s state rooms through the grand entrance. Your can imagine yourself arriving to the palace as a royal as you pass by an Australian stagecoach, displayed at the grand-entrance portico, where Her Majesty departs and returns to Buckingham Palace by carriage for ceremonial processions.

The palace ballroom is set for a state banquet, with the table dressed with silver-gilt centerpieces and a candelabra from George IV’s magnificent grand service. It is the showstopper of the tour. You can almost hear the music and the toast — it’s a real treat to see the event from the queen’s perspective right behind her chair.

(MORE ON NEXT PAGE)



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By @ 09/28/15 in Gay travel, Jeff Guaracino, ManAboutWorld, Travel, Travel Tips Tuesday
Travel problem; Jeff Guaracino shares his tips in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Menacing pirate ship or sleek black Turkish yacht?!

 Travel problems: There comes a time when even the best-planned travel can go wrong. And it is usually not your fault. When travel chaos happens, remember to focus, resolve and resume. ManAboutWorld correspondent Jeff Guaracino shares his secret.

Travel problems exist. Last month’s column said to expect the unexpected, like missed connections, lost luggage, stolen items, hotel mix-ups and tourist traps. It happens. The difference between a dream trip and a lost dream trip depends on how you react to the travel adversity. It is not what happens, but rather what you do next. If you have a travel problem:

  • Focus. Above all, take action but don’t panic. Be very specific on what you need to do now to resume your trip as planned. Don’t get distracted. Resolution or viable alternatives will be your mantras.
  • Lost or stolen credit card? Cancel it now. You are not liable for charges made after you cancel your card. If you don’t know your credit card number (who does?), don’t worry! The credit-card issuer can find it for you by asking you questions, including your Social Security number. Don’t know the number to call? Google it. You just need to know the bank’s name that issued your credit card, like TD Bank or Citibank. Credit cards offer more protection than debit cards. Your credit card can also offer lots of perks in travel drama like lost-luggage protection, overnight-card replacement or referrals to reputable businesses.
  • Missed airline connection? Get on the next available flight. If you are waiting in line to talk to an airline customer-service representative, call the airline on your cell phone. The main goal is to get to anyone who quickly can rebook your flight ASAP. Airline seats are hard to find since flights are flying full. If you wait in a long line of pesky travelers ahead of you all trying to get to the same place, you will lose time to snag that last seat.
  • Hotel doesn’t have your reservation? Take a printed receipt of your confirmation from the hotel or take a picture of it on your phone. Like airlines, hotels can “oversell” and may want to “walk” you to another hotel. “Walk” is an industry term for when the hotelier intentionally oversells its hotel with the expectation that some people will not show up and the hotel can keep the rate. Insist on being “walked” one night only and to a hotel that is equal or better than the one you book. Immediately post your experience on Trip Advisor. Right now! Hotels are afraid of negative reviews. Be specific and not emotional in your review.
  • Airline lost your bags? Airlines are going to lose your luggage. It is the most personal thing that you travel with. And who isn’t mad when you don’t have fresh underwear? Don’t pack items that you will need immediately, including medication, passports, credit cards or valuables. If you are traveling on a “code share” airline ticket — meaning you bought your airline ticket from one airline but you’re flying on another carrier — chances of mishap skyrocket. But remember, unless you are carrying the Hope Diamond, you are likely going to be able to replace everything in your bag — eventually.



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By @ 08/24/15 in Gay travel, Jeff Guaracino, ManAboutWorld, Travel, Travel Tips Tuesday

Top tips for traveling abroad by Jeff Guaracino in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineOur correspondent, frequent traveler Jeff Guaracino has logged a few miles around his home country and outside of it. Here are his top tips for traveling abroad. 

As summer 2015 comes to a close and your travel wallets turn to fall and winter escapes, it is good to review a few top tips for traveling abroad.

Here are 5 tips to make your trip safe and fun. Keeping in mind that some trips to nearby Canada and Mexico are easier than compared to the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa or South America. Factors you should consider when planning a trip abroad depend on the language spoken in the country you are visiting, the currency, the political situation and the accessibility to health care or an American Embassy.

  1. Consider travel insurance. Travel insurance can be very important if you pick the right company and if the company is responsive to individual needs while traveling. A great website is Travelinsurancereview.net. The site includes reviews, guides and articles. The best part of the site is the comments from actual buyers of insurances. The positive and negative reviews will give you an idea of consumer satisfaction. There are other websites you can check out before purchasing and don’t forget to ask your friends on Facebook if anyone had an experience with a particular travel insurance company. I picked Insure and Go for my next trip to Europe. Check your own healthcare plan to see what is covered when traveling abroad and what is not. Hospitals and doctors in foreign countries might want cash upfront and ask you to make a claim when you return home.
  1. Register for Global Entry and TSA Precheck. There is no need to wait in long lines at the airport or at the border when returning home. (Unless you are a criminal). U.S. Customs and Border Protection offers a fast, easy and hassle free way to enter the U.S. Basically, this is a program for trusted, frequent travelers. The online application is simple and costs just $100. Some credit cards even cover your fee. Visit cbp.gov for guidelines and an online application. The site has very useful information on travel.
  1. Call your bank and credit card issuer. Ask your bank if they can order foreign currency in advance of your trip. You might need some cash as soon as you arrive and ATMs are not always readily available or can have high fees at places like airports. In an effort to protect consumers from fraud, let your credit card issuer and bank know that you are traveling abroad and for how long. Ask your credit card company about foreign transaction fees (look for cards that don’t have unnecessary fees). It is best to use one credit card while traveling and be sure to ask about travel insurance benefits the card might offer as part of their service.

Click “read more” below to continue reading.

Photo: Hernán Piñera



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By @ 01/14/15 in Gay travel, Jeff Guaracino, Las Vegas, ManAboutWorld, Travel
As featured in ManAboutWorld, the gay travel magazine

Bellagio – Salon Bellagio – Barber Room

Our correspondent Jeff Guaracino relieved stress in Las Vegas. Discover his secret. 

Did you ever fantasize about taking a trip and just being a spa harlot? I mean literally every day — maybe twice a day or more — having every part of your overworked, super stressed body made to feel as beautiful Cleopatra herself? Every once in a while, doesn’t everyone need a “strip-n-dip” trip?

You’ve heard of the spa vacations. Almost every tourism office around the world wants us to come to their destination for the ultimate spa experience. The lure? Facials, massages, body scrubs, pedicures, manicures, hot tubs, and saunas. Each and every treatment promoted with a unique twist or that extra special experience. A particular rock for that rock massage or the perfect men’s moisturizes for the face or even a concoction of various oils and lotions blended into a signature treatment.

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By @ 10/19/14 in Gay family travel, Gay travel, Jeff Guaracino, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.20.31 PMThe latest gay travel column from Global Correspondent Jeff Guaracino celebrates 11 years of gay family travel.

R Family Vacations was founded eleven years ago by travel entrepreneur Gregg Kaminsky and Kelli Carpenter and since then 19,000 people have traveled the world with Gregg and Kelli on trips designed just for our community.

R Family Vacations is unique in the travel space. The R Family experience is for everyone. Families don’t just mean children. It can be adults with their adult gay or lesbian child or childless LGBT couples who are looking for a different experience than that of Atlantis Events, RSVP Vacations or Olivia.



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By @ 09/29/14 in Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, Jeff Guaracino, ManAboutWorld, New York, Travel, Uncategorized

nycAccording to our Global Correspondent Jeff Guaracino it is very easy to make expensive travel mistakes. So don’t do it. This post is dedicated to helping gay travelers travel better, smarter and fabulously, especially when visiting New York. Here are Jeff’s insider trips that will make you the next NYC trip expert travel planner. For more travel tips to the Big Apple, download our New York City Travel Guide.

Global Eats
The biggest mistake in travel planning is picking a restaurant last-minute. As important as where your rest your head and in which class of airline cabin that you fly in is the restaurant that you choose! The restaurant is your time to show your power as the ultimate “in-the-know” travel planner. Looking for ideas? To really impress check out my two favorite recommendations.



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By @ 01/24/14 in Correspondent, Gay travel, Jeff Guaracino, ManAboutWorld, New York, Travel
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaysha/516818391

Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaysha/516818391

By Jeff Guaracino, ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent

The Super Bowl kicks off in New Jersey and close to New York City on Sunday, February 2nd.

More than one billon people will tune in to the see the Super Bowl. Don’t have tickets to the game? New York will be hosting dozens of Super Bowl viewing parties at city bars, hotels and restaurants.

There are a series of official weeklong events that kick off on Monday, January 27th with the “Super Bowl Kickoff Spectacular,” a free, ticketed event with performances by Daughtry and Goo Goo Dolls and the Macy’s Fireworks show. The kickoff event, the first to ever be associated with a Super Bowl, will be along the Hudson River at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. For all the official information on the Super Bowl, visit www.nynjsuperbowl.com.



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By @ 11/13/13 in Correspondent, Gay cruise, Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, Jeff Guaracino, ManAboutWorld, Travel

CDR_02152013_0090_RSVP_Caribbean_2013 copyBy Jeff Guaracino, ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent

Since 1985, over 100,000 guests have discovered RSVP Vacations. Now owned by Atlantis Events—among the best brand names in gay vacations—RSVP Vacations has a new president Randel Roper. Formerly of Starwood Hotels, Randel brings a new energy to RSVP.

RSVP is drawing a diverse group of passengers aboard their trips. According to Roper, women are now 10 percent of their passengers. He anticipates 350 lesbians to join RSVP for their February sailing aboard the brand new MSC Divina for a Caribbean sailing from Miami on February 15th.

One reason for the increasing draw of women travelers is due to the work of Rachel Pearson, RSVP’s first lesbian executive producer who is responsible for operations and entertainment. Women traveling on RSVP will find lesbian comics Jessica Kirson and Poppy Champlin. There are women-only brunches, disco and cocktail hours.

“Our women passengers find RSVP an alternative to Sweet and Olivia,” claimed Roper. Sweet and Olivia cater to lesbian travelers offering cruises and land-based trips.

That’s not to say that gay men—who still account for 90% of the ship—will have to forgo their leather and underwear parties. With more Europeans and South Americans discovering RSVP Vacations, the clientele is diversifying beyond RSVP’s traditional American base.



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By @ 10/23/13 in Correspondent, Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, Jeff Guaracino, ManAboutWorld, Travel

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By Jeff Guaracino, ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent

When it comes to planning, buying, and taking that next trip, are you a travel top or a travel bottom? Do you feel like a travel agent for all of your friends or are you the one that replaced your professional travel agent with your own personal travel expert? Are you the travel guru or do you just want to know where and when to show up?

Take this yes or no 10-question quiz. Here is how it works. You get one point for each yes . You must answer yes or no. Count up your points and then find out your travel personality.

  1. You are the one who regularly makes suggestions of where to go next?
  2. You know your airline loyalty username and password?
  3. You consult seatguru.com before selecting your airline seat?



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By @ 10/12/13 in Correspondent, Gay honeymoon, Gay marriage, Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, Gay-Friendly, Jeff Guaracino, ManAboutWorld, Travel
Courtesy: Four Seasons Baltimore

Courtesy: Four Seasons Baltimore

By Jeff Guaracino, ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent

With 13 states in the U.S. (as well as the District of Columbia) now with legalized same-sex marriage, there are more and more choices for same-sex couples to choose from for destination weddings and honeymoons. In the first year since same-sex weddings became legal in New York, NYC & Co found that more than 8100 same-sex licenses were issued in the city alone.

The travel industry loves same-sex weddings. We are a new group of potential customers. We tend to book our ceremonies very quickly and we opt-out of the standard cookie cutter ceremony. Just read the Sunday New York Times Wedding announcements, the LGBT community is anything but typical.

With so many options to celebrate our love, it pays to be a smart and well-researched groom or bride. Here are just a few of your choices to mark the most important decision of your life (that is after you come out!)



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By @ 05/16/13 in Chicago, Correspondent, Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, Jeff Guaracino, Las Vegas, ManAboutWorld, Travel
The fabulous Cosmopolitan Hotel

The fabulous Cosmopolitan Hotel

By ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent Jeff Guaracino

Great trip ideas can come from travel columns like this one, from your favorite travel magazine or recommendations from friends and family. Business travel — if planned correctly — can be a perfect time to research your next pleasure trip. Yes, I know we are always in a rush to get to that next meeting, answer that pesky text or resolve the work emergency, but hey it’s travel. Don’t forget to stop and smell the fun!

Viva Las Vegas—midweek

I was invited to speak at the Las Vegas International Tourism Safety and Security Conference. I hadn’t been to Las Vegas since 2007, so I was excited to see what had changed along the famed Las Vegas Strip. A midweek trip proved to be an exceptional option to avoid the crowds but still enjoy all of the amenities that Vegas has to offer.

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