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By @ 02/16/18 in Ed Salvato, Gay cruise, Gay tours, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Out on Tour, Peru, Tour operators, Travel

Ed Salvato aboard the Aqua Expeditions Aria in the Amazon and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineWhen you hear river cruise you probably think, Europe, which is where the vast majority take place. And that the passengers are all much older. And white. And it’s lovely but perhaps a tad too genteel.

Well, think again! That’s not the experience you’ll find on this river cruise. I was invited to experience a three-day journey in Peru’s lush Amazon basin aboard the modern Aqua Expeditions Aria, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls wrapping all three customer decks which virtually blends into the jungle as it smoothly plies the inky river ways. The common areas are casually elegant: understated but sumptuous like Ralph Lauren’s flagship-store on Madison Avenue (minus piles of Polo shirts). But the most dissimilar aspect from other mainstream river cruises we’ve taken: your fellow passengers.

Out on Tour aboard the Aqua Expeditions Ara in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Amazon sunsets. Better than YouTube!

Besides our small group of lesbian and gay media and travel agents, the 26 remaining guests (all couples including two gay men) ranged in age from their late 20s to early 60s, with passengers from Japan, Australia, the U.K., Germany, Italy and American coastal states. What everyone had in common was an interest in the Amazon, one of the world’s last great unexplored regions perched high atop many the bucket list, and an open-mindedness that comes with frequent long-distance travel. No one batted an eye at our big group of homos nor at the quiet but romantic gay couple, warmly welcomed into all groups. Read on to discover a unique and enriching experience that you may not have even thought possible.

Story by Ed Salvato pictured above and below (here with a fellow traveler, Lynda Gregory)
Ed Salvato on an Aqua Expeditions cruise of the Amazon River in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine
MEMORIES AND MOMENTS ABOARD THE AQUA EXPEDITIONS ARIA
Swimming in the Amazon

The three skiffs — each filled with 8 passengers, a pilot in the back and a guide up front — motored quickly away from the Aria as the sun began its punctual descent in a blaze of glory. Sunset and sunrise times don’t vary much near the Equator. Our skiff found a remote location; the pilot cut the engine so nothing manmade drowned out the ever-present jungle sounds. Unseen birds cawed while a Black-collared Hawk swooped to the river to pluck out an unlucky fish; a troop of barely seen Titi monkeys rustled through the trees in streaks of red; the eyes of an alligator-like caiman silently broke the surface to investigate this bulky intruder.

On a skiff heading to the jungle“Ok, if anyone wants to jump in the river, now’s the time.” Crickets. Not the insects but the lack of response from my skiff-mates. We are told this is a deep part of the river, and our guide ensures us there aren’t any piranhas. Right?… right?! Ok, no one is going in. What the heck! It’s been on my life list since, well, forever. Without allowing myself more time to think, I strip down to my shorts and jump in. After a few minutes two others join me. We swim around for about a half hour. Was that a little nibble at my foot? Hmmm, maybe the piranhas were curious but realized I was just too big to eat. We get back into the skiff — an ice cold local beer as reward.

Fishing for piranhas

Each day the staff of th Aqua Expeditions Aria organized excursions, included in the price, which are mostly waterborne experiences when the rivers are at their highest levels (generally November through May) but with many land-based excursions during the drier season (generally June through October). This morning we are going to fish for … wait for it … piranhas! We’d watched local villagers grilling them for dinner, dinner-plate-size specimens with razor-sharp teeth jutting out in menacing (and obviously this time anyway futile) defense. But wouldn’t they just bite through the line? We skiff to a likely section of the river — not too deep where this carnivorous fish likes to cavort. The fishing gear is comprised of a strip of bamboo, a nylon string, hook and a little piece of chicken gristle. Very Huck Finn. Agitate the water with the tip of the pole then let the baited hook sink into the water a couple of feet. Feel a little tug? Pull sharply up and behold a piranha! Of course it’s catch and release, and we’re assured the fish feels no pain.Ed Salvato aboard the Aqua Expeditions Aria in the Amazon and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

French toast and maple syrup in the jungle

The onboard cuisine never included piranha but everything was as fresh as possible, all locally sourced from villages we visited during our journey or the farthest shipped in from Lima, a couple hours by plane and boat. The TripAdvisor reviews and magazine coverage all rave about the incredible cuisine on the Aria but how could that be true on this small boat with one chef and two assistants working in a galley kitchen no bigger than what you’d find in most New York City apartments? Well, after three sit-down dinners and our buffet-style breakfasts and lunches, I can verify, that yes, this is some of the best cruise cuisine I’ve ever eaten, all prepared by a team that came from the nearby jungle villages with a passion for cooking and a lot of training at schools in Lima.

Ok, I was hoping for and expecting all the incredibly fresh and exotic fruit several of which I had never heard of but everything else was a revelation. Some of the best Italian style fresh pasta I’ve ever tried. A variety of vegan options, including colors of quinoa I had never seen. Delicate sauces. Homemade bonbons. Espresso. Fresh-baked croissants. In the Amazon! Delicious. One day the manager asked if we wanted anything else. I half-jokingly said French toast and maple syrup. The next morning: voila, my breakfast choice along with syrup they prepared overnight from a local fruit.Out on Tour aboard the Aqua Expeditions Ara in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Exploring the Amazon jungle and local communities

In the drier season, the Aria team leads overland excursions. Just as on an African safari, our guides, all from local villages, are highly trained naturalists, making jaunts up and down the diluvian trails highly informative. Their eagle eyes spotted creatures who otherwise blended into their surroundings, including poisonous frogs, elusive macaws, ever-smiling sloths, countless birds and a variety of plants including rubber trees (which was the source of incalculable wealth in this part of the world for a brief period a century ago). At one point our guide’s lightning-fast reflexes allowed him to snatch a baby caiman from the shallows at the river’s edge.

The highlight of our exploration was meeting local villagers whose tiny communities dot the banks of the Amazon and its many tributaries. The main river branches are pretty busy with passenger and cargo boats and you can see puffs of smoke from villages along the banks and further inland. Some have electricity but most don’t. Their homes and community buildings (schools, clinics, administrative buildings) are perched on stilts, a hint of just how high the river gets in rainy season. A number of villages are truly remote, and there remain uncontacted peoples in the deepest most inaccessible parts of the jungle. Most villagers speak the local dialect as well as Spanish though many only speak the dialect. We didn’t meet any openly LGBT locals however our guides told us that in the jungle bisexuality especially among men is common.

Out on Tour aboard the Aqua Expeditions Ara in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Super cute school children in an Amazon village

The Aqua Expeditions Aria randomize visits to local communities so none become dependent on the gifts that passengers are encouraged to bring (mostly basic medical and school supplies). Each visit had a feeling of mutual, respectful curiosity. A highlight was our visit to a “large” community with a half dozen homes for extended families and a schoolhouse, where the children prepared several songs. Family life remains traditional with the men leaving early in the morning to hunt or fish and the women mostly remaining at home to cook and look after children. There is some agricultural cultivation by villagers who tend small plots of land. The community lives in the jungle so it was no surprise to see many animals traipsing through town, including a 10-foot long anaconda, a pair of adorable three-toed sloths, and a furry Spectacled Owl.

Ed Salvato aboard the Aqua Expeditions Aria in the Amazon and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Sloth

Sustainability

Aqua Expeditions, which operates in Amazonia and the Mekong Delta, takes sustainability seriously. You can Ed Salvato aboard the Aqua Expeditions Aria in the Amazon and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineread the details of their various programs herebut we appreciated several efforts in particular. Aqua Expeditions participates in Pack with a Purpose, a global initiative, encouraging all passengers to leave some space in their luggage to bring recommended supplies (from an online list) for area schools or medical clinics in need. Aqua Expedition supports local environmental conservation and wildlife protection including work in Peru restoring the taricaya turtle population. Finally, we felt the positive impact of the emphasis Aqua places on training and hiring locals from nearby Amazonian towns and villages: from cabin stewards right on up to the captain himself. Our guides, all locals, spoke multiple languages fluently including local dialects, Spanish and English. Several of them were also studying French at the Alliance Française in the Amazonian gateway city of Iquitos. Without companies like Aqua Expeditions, there would be very few such well-paid opportunities in the region.

Gay factor

Ok, you’re in the Amazon jungle, one of the most remote parts of the world. While the local villagers are known to practice bisexuality, it’s not really possible to meet them one on one. And of course not recommendable. If you follow our advice and spend a good two to three days in Lima (see our What’s Hot: Lima piece in this issue), you’ll have plenty of opportunity to meet gay locals.

Know before you go
  • There is very little cell service (except occasionally when the Aria pulls near a big village or town); and no WiFi on board. It’s ok people; it’s only for a few days! You can borrow movies from the (lovely) social director Jhuliana or do what I did; just pull back your curtains and enjoy “live TV” through your floor-to-ceiling glass walls as the Amazon in all its raw verdant glory drifts slowly by while the heavens produce a kaleidoscope of clouds and colors.
  • This is random, but note that Aqua Expeditions’ Italian founder and CEO Francesco Galli Zugaro is incredibly handsome. You may or may not see him on a cruise, but … you’re welcome.
    Ed Salvato aboard the Aqua Expeditions Aria in the Amazon and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

    Francesco Galli Zugaro

  • There is also a one week itinerary available which visits different ports and offers different experiences than the half-week itinerary.
  • There’s a lot of talk about mosquitos. They’re definitely there and it may depend in part on how susceptible you are but I didn’t find them to be a problem in the least. The Aria offers DEET-based repellant.
  • There is a closet-size gym tucked away on the third floor with room for two machines. You’ll have to get exercise of the outdoor variety.
  • There is a wetter season from around October/November – May/June with April being the wettest month. A drier season occurs from May/June – October/November with September being the driest month. I personally loved the “dry month” visit since we were able to hike a lot overland and go into the villages to meet locals. Those opportunities are more limited during wet months; however the mighty Amazon is all that much more powerful and truly awesome in the high-water season and there are plenty of waterborne activities including canoeing, swimming and exploration deeper into otherwise inaccessible parts of the jungle by skiff.
  • Invest in AIG Travel Guard travel insurance. They’re a client of ours but we’ve grown to believe in the importance of such insurance especially when you’re going to a place whose nearest quality medical care may be hundreds of miles away … by helicopter!
Packing guide
  • Less is more, girl. You don’t want to be journeying from home to Lima to Iquitos to the ship with a set of your finest Louis Vuitton luggage. Aqua Expeditions outlines key items to pack. But just think casual and comfortable breathable layers. It’s hot in the jungle but you don’t want to expose arms and legs at dawn or dusk or when hiking in overgrown areas.
  • Don’t forget sunglasses. The light, often directly overhead (remember, the Equator), can be bright and reflects off the river and other wet surfaces.
  • Bring an iPad preloaded with books, movies and shows to catch up on. Or not. And just watch the scenery pass by so mesmerizingly. Change your dollars in Lima for lots of small bills so you can purchase village-made arts and crafts, which are beautifully done!
  • If traveling at high water times (November through June), your list will include more watertight options, naturally.
  • Also if you love to shoot (photos) birds and small animals, you’ll want to invest in a decent SLR camera. If you want to see these critters, you’ll definitely want to invest in decent binoculars.
Ed Salvato aboard the Aqua Expeditions Aria in the Amazon and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Yep, that’s your bedroom. And view

Is it for you?
Yes
  • You want to do something very few others in your Facebook newsfeed have done.
  • The Amazon is on your must-go list.
  • You love adventure and the wilderness, but really enjoy a little pampering.
  • You love great food. Multiple times a day.
  • You’re interested in meeting local people who live satisfying lives that largely forego modern conveniences (electricity, plumbing, modern tools, etc)
No
ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine goes to Peru aboard the Aqua Expeditions Aria

Grilled piranha.

  • You really need a gay experience.
  • You’re traveling solo. The cabin pricing is per person double occupancy so best to bunk up with someone if you go. (The rooms are actually large enough for two friends.)
  • You can’t be disconnected from WiFi or cell for this long because of work. Or you suffer from Internet addiction. It’s a thing.
TRIP PLANNING
  • There are a number of options for flying into Lima and onto Iquitos to meet your ship. We flew on JetBlue which has convenient non-stop direct flights once a day from their Ft. Lauderdale hub to Lima.
  • You can book this trip directly but if you wish to combine it with additional travels in Peru, we highly recommend experts at COLTUR Peru, a gay-managed company which organized every minute of a rapid-paced, six-day tour, flawlessly. Contact awesome (gay) manager Ylan Chem:  mailto:Ylan.chrem@colturperu.com
Disclosure

The article above is editorial based on a press trip. ManAboutWorld highlights tours and cruises we’ve personally participated in, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here.

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By @ 01/23/18 in Billy Kolber, Ed Salvato, Gay cruise, Gay family travel, Gay honeymoon, Gay pride, Gay tours, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Kenny Porpora, ManAboutWorld, New York, Travel, Travel Show

ManAboutWorld at the LGBTQ Travel Pavilion at the New York Times Travel ShowMingle with 10 LGBTQ and LGBTQ-friendly travel businesses at the LGBTQ Travel Pavilion at the New York Times Travel Show this weekend, January 25-26. Get FREE tickets here with code LGBTQ. You’ll meet the ManAboutWorld team (pictured above) along with the following awesome businesses all of which offer tours, cruises and experiences tailored by and for LGBTQ travelers.

LGBTQ Travel Pavilion

All are welcome at The New York Times Travel Show first-ever LGBTQ travel pavilion! Learn about hot destinations and events as well as tours, cruises and experiences the world over — from right here in New York City to the farthest corners of all seven continents and on the high seas — for gay, lesbian, transgender and queer travelers and their straight friends and family. At the LGBTQ travel pavilion, proudly organized by Ed Salvato, editor in chief of gay travel magazine ManAboutWorld, you’ll meet a wide range of L.G.B.T.Q. travel experts, including:

Ask questions. Gather information. Book travel.

Whether you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you are welcome here. Find travel information tailored for you and those you love.

Meet LGBTQ Travel Expert Ed Salvato 1P.M EST on Saturday
  • Topic: “L.G.B.T.Q. Travel: Tours, Cruises, Events and Destinations for 2018”
  • Saturday, January 27, 2018 from 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM
  • Location: Booth #933
  • Meet the Experts complete schedule
Facebook Live Sunday, January 28 at 1 P.M. EST

If you can’t join us at the LGBTQ Travel Pavilion tune into our Facebook Live Q&A Sunday, January 28 at 1 P.M. EST. Meet the travel experts at the booth and ask your travel questions!

Follow the Rainbow

Find us under the rainbow in booth numbers 120, 122, 124 and 126.

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By @ 06/09/17 in Berlin, Correspondent, Dennis Hensley, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Bike tour in Berlin with Dennis Hensley for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineOne of my favorite ways to get to know a new city is to take a bike tour. You get a lay of the land, are able to cross off some major tourist attractions of your to-do list and are able to justify any and all tasty treats you eat before, during and after, because hey, you’ve been pedaling all day. On a gorgeous spring day in late March, I took the 3 and a half hour, 15-kilometer “Berlin’s Best Bike Tour,” one of several tours offered by the company Berlin on Bike. Annd I’m so glad I did. Story and photo by ManAboutWorld correspondent Dennis Hensley.

The bike tour set off from the Kulturbrauerei, a charming complex of red brick buildings that during the Industrial Era was home to a beer factory but now houses restaurants, beer gardens and theaters. The sites we saw and learned about on the tour included a preserved section of the Berlin Wall complete with watchtower, the Brandenburg Gate, Museum Island, the Spree River, Tiergarten Park, the Victory Column, the hauntingly powerful Holocaust Memorial and the oh-so posh Hotel Adlon where Michael Jackson dangled his baby Blanket out the window. Along the way, we took a rest stop at a currywurst stand where I sampled Berlin’s most popular street foods, the currywurst, and a bottle of Club Mate, a trendy cold tea-like drink that packs quite punch.

The facts our guide Sebastian Becker shared about the city were fascinating and surprising, like that Chancellor Angela Merkel just lives in a regular apartment with neighbors above and below her, not a fancy government building. But what really made the tour special were the personal stories he shared. When he was a child, Sebastian’s parents were taking the family into the GDR (communist East Germany) to visit relatives, which you were allowed to do on special occasions and they snuck in a Monopoly game as a gift. When they got to the checkpoint, the GDR guards searched their car and found the game. Not only was it confiscated, but Sebastian’s parents had to be interrogated and body searched for hours in a private office while the children waited outside. I guess when you consider how Monopoly is all about American-style capitalism, it’s so surprise the GDR authorities didn’t want their citizens exposed to it. But you can bet the enjoyed playing it themselves.

The tour I took costs 21 Euros, 17 with the tourism board’s Welcome Card, which I highly recommend as it allows you to take public transportation and has many discounts for museums and so forth.

After the tour, Sebastian agreed to let me interview him for my Dennis Anyone podcast over lunch at a nearby sidewalk café, Pane e Vino, where you can get a delicious pizza or pasta dish for under 4 Euros.

You can listen to the podcast here.

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By @ 04/25/17 in Gay travel, Hawaii, Kauai, ManAboutWorld, Travel

May Day is Lei Day in KauaiYep, you read that right! May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii. But stop thinking what you’re thinking. Not that kind of lay. Sheesh. A lei is a Polynesian garland of flowers but it’s so much more than that. It symbolizes welcome, peace, love and much more (like the multifaceted word aloha).

Every May 1 the 50th state celebrates the lei with contests and events. The haku (a lei for the head) above sported by Raymond was created by Elvrine Chow, owner of Heavenly Hakus and the model’s mom.  Check out the many varieties of leis she produces on her Facebook page. She’s competing in the upcoming May Day Lei contest on Monday, May 1 at the Kauai Marriott Lihue (if you happen to be around!). If you visit Kauai, you can even book a lei-making lesson with the lovely Elvrine. Check out the Kauai Visitors Bureau for more trip-planning information about Kauai.

Tap here for more information about Lei Day in Kauai.  Lei day in the state of Hawaii has a very rich and May Day is Lei Day in Kauaicolorful history. Each island in Hawaii has a special flower that represents that specific island. The island of Hawaii, more commonly known as The Big Island, has the beautiful red blossom of the ohia tree, called the lehua blossom, for its flower. The island of Maui‘s flower is called the Lokelani and is pink. The island of Oahu‘s flower is called the Ilima. The Ilima’s color is golden and can be seen all across the island. Molokai uses a flower named the Kukui which has a green color to it. A smaller island named Lanai has a grassy flower called Kaunaoa which is a yellow color. The island of Kahoolawe and its flower Hinahina has a silver-gray color across the top. The final two islands have unique sets of flowers. The color for Kauai is purple and the unique flower for Kauai is the Mokihana berry which is green. The island of Niihau‘s “flower” is actually a shell called Pupu.

MORE ABOUT MANABOUTWORLD  

Download ManAboutWorld, our free digital/mobile-only gay travel magazine app covering destinations, themes and events around the globe including a FREE Guide to Ft. Lauderdale. Find the ManAboutWorldApp on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, Android tablets, iPhones and Android phones. There are a few other free publications in the app. Register here for a FREE three-month subscription.

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By @ 04/05/17 in Gay travel, Jason Paul, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Palace of VersaillesThe Palace of Versailles is an hour away and yet very far from the streets of Paris. Once the massive gilded gates come into view it’s like Oh, that’s why there was a revolution. 

We walked and walked and walked. The “Palace” of Versailleis really several huge buildings and many gardens across many acres, so it just goes on and on. From one opulent room to another intricate hedge. But my favorite example of decadence and whimsy of the ridiculously rich was the Queen’s Hamlet.

Bored from all the other palaces and gardens she could go to, Marie-Antoinette decided she wanted something quainter, rustic even. So, like you do pre-revolution, she had a village built in Norman style around a big lake. Before there was Real Housewives to join or being able to buy an island, I guess you just built your own theme park.

And I loved it. There’s a windmill and farm and fields full of animals. It does give the sense of stumbling into a lovely village from far from all the grandeur. Which of course was completely manufactured for that effect. But if you make it to Versailles and want a break from all the gold and marble (and your feet haven’t fallen off yet), walk on over and try out the Hamlet. It is a lovely little getaway from the getaway.

Story and photo by ManAboutWorld correspondents Jason Paul.

Subscribe to ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine here.



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By @ 03/20/17 in Athens, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Simon Vasiliadis, Travel
Athens, Greece in gay travel magazine ManAboutWorld

Acropolis Museum

ManAboutWorld correspondent Simon Vasiliadis tell us this is a great time to visit his hometown Athens, Greece. Here’s his report.

Here is my look at the self-styled Greek city of sex appeal and what you can expect from your time here. If you enjoy Prides, let Athens take you in for 2017. Held the second Saturday of June in Klafthmonos Square Athens Pride is just a couple of month away. It’s a fun time to see the more typically restrained and closeted Greeks flying their rainbow freak flags. (ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine offers information on Athens, Greece and numerous other destinations around the world.)

Don’t miss

The classics still stand tall in Athens, but there are modern touches that will make you see the city in a whole new light. There are two places in the city I enjoy the sunset most. The Acropolis site & Acropolis Museum, and the Galaxy Bar & Restaurant at the Hilton Athens.

The best way to see the Acropolis is in tandem with the stunning new Acropolis Museum. The museum is beautifully designed and curated. The footprint of the interior reproduction of the Parthenon mirrors the actual Parthenon which you can see through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls.

Having stood at the foot of this breath-taking wonder of the world it’s not difficult to see why one could never have enough selfies with the great cradle of Democracy in the background.

Alternatively, the sunset from Galaxy Bar & Restaurant is gobsmacking. You get a 180o degree view of the city skyline, including the Acropolis. This legendary bar lies on the iconic 13th floor of Hilton Athens and serves signature cocktails – Giannis’ favourite is the Galaxy Negroni.

Make it to one of the two for the sunset and you will fall so hard for Athens that I promise you won’t want to leave .

Where we hang out

Before you start pounding the streets of modern Athens, sample the city as it used to be. Stroll through Anafiotika toward Agia Eirini Square where you can enjoy your late-morning iced coffee. Rooster is a popular gay venue on the square with a groove there that you can’t get enough of. Sit out, sip a coffee, enjoy a cocktail, chat with friends, see, be seen and enjoy all of those handsome locals walking by.

Rooster

Lunch is never just another meal at Cookoovaya. Delicious food prepared with expertise, passion and experience will tease your senses. Cookoovaya doesn’t come with instructions: indulge any way you please from an extensive menu that even the fussiest eater or strictest gym bunny will find enjoyable.

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By @ 03/17/17 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Miles Mitchinson, Philadelphia, Travel, Travel Show

ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine at the Philadelphia Travel & Adventure ShowMeet the ManAboutWorld team at the Philadelphia Travel & Adventure Show March 25-26 at the Philadelphia Convention Center in the heart of downtown Philly.

ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato will moderate a fun, information-packed LGBT travel panel at the Show on Saturday, March 25 3:00 to 3:45pm.

Register here for a free ticket but hurry we only have a limited supply.

All are welcome! Our booth provides information (and free guides) for all travelers (gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and our straight ally friends). The panel is designed for LGBT travelers as well as travel professionals interested in learning about trends, destinations, tours, cruises and events. All you need is an open mind and the passion to travel. Join this interactive and informative panel with leading experts in gay, lesbian and LGBT family travel.

Our moderator, ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato leads a very well-traveled group in a lively discussion touching on new cruises and tours, not-to-miss events and up-and-coming hot spots around the world. Come with your travel questions. This is a session you won’t want to miss!

We’ll be covering the world of LGBT travel, which is big! But among the many takeaways, here are three:

  • Destinations to put on your must-go list in 2017 and beyond
  • Events around the globe that are popular with LGBT travelers
  • Travel opportunities for LGBT families
  • Cruises, tours and how best to work with a travel agent or tour operator
THE LGBT TRAVEL DREAM TEAM AT THE PHILADELPHIA TRAVEL SHOW!

Travel experts include:

  • Jody Cole, owner Wild Rainbow African Safaris
  • Kelsy Chauvin, freelance travel writer
  • Miles Mitchinson, owner Detours Travel

Meet ManAboutWorld's Ed Salvato at the Travel & Adventure Show, Philadelphia, March 25-26

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By @ 02/27/17 in Adelaide, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Adelaide Fringe Festival in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinePanti Bliss at the Adelaide Fringe FestivalThe Queen of Ireland, Panti, invites you into her gender-discombobulating, stiletto-shaped world, exposing the stories behind the make-up. Story by Michael Siebert; photos courtesy of artists.

A one-woman show detailing how a drag queen from Ballinrobe, Ireland, has become a  national f*cking treasure.  In a series of self-appreciative and self-deprecating comments, this ‘not so average’ girl describes how her life story dragged her into becoming a national celebrity for openly speaking her mind … on national television!

Go spend a fast and furious hour with Panti and be seduced by her personal narrative of the facts and fictions of being a self-proclaimed – and nationally recognised – star. From her sex life to activism, from family stories to stage moments, Panti puts it all on the table and serves you a story that is certain to keep you turned on.

After Adelaide Fringe, Panti will be in Perth on February 23, at the Astor Theatre, and in Sydney on March 1, at the Enmore Theatre.

If you cannot make her shows in Australia, her story is told in her memoir, Woman in the Making.

  • 10 March 2017, Glasgow Tramway, Take Me Somewhere Festival
  • 12 March 2017, Draiocht, Blanchardstown
  • 25 March 2017, Ballymaloe House, Cork
  • 1 April, Cardiff, Sherman Cymru
  • 5 Wed – 8 Sat April, London, Soho Theatre
  • 20 April, The Source Arts Centre, Thurles
  • 25 April 2017, Home, Manchester

Adelaide Fringe Festival in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineDragapella! Starring the Kinsey Sicks

Four drag queens, from the USA, penetrated the borders of Australia and descended upon Adelaide for Adelaide Fringe Festival from February 17 to March 19.  They will have you laughing at songs about Isis, Donald Trump and even smuggling dildos.  These “girls” are witty, sharp, creative and have a set of pipes that will make any man, woman or transgender yearn for more.  If you cannot catch them in Australia they will return to the heartland of their homeland.  This F5 twister of wigs, gloves, eyelashes and sashes touches down in Kansas City, in April, and will be bringing their healing power to the Midwest.  This quartet can cure any “sicksness.”

  • 28 April 2017, Kansas City, MO, Arts Asylum
  • 29 April 2017, St. Louis, MO, TBA
  • 2-3 June 2017, Palm Springs, CA, The Purple Room
  • 9-11 June 2017, Sacramento, CA, Elks Tower
  • 16-17 June 2017, San Francisco, CA, Nourse Theatre
  • 18 June 2017, Seattle, WA, Triple Door
  • 19-23 June 2017, South Lake Tahoe, CA, The Loft Theatre and Lounge
  • 29 June 2017, Pleasanton, CA, Firehouse Arts Center

Adelaide Fringe Festival in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineHANS:  Mein Camp. Fantastisch! Fabelhaft!  

Hans, the Boy Wonder of Berlin, Accordion Master and Leg Split Artist, returns to Adelaide Fringe for 23 shows this year.  In the first week, Hans secured the title of Best Cabaret show at Adelaide Fringe 2017.  Hans’ current show, Mein Camp, details Hans’ journey towards world domination.  One highlight of the show is Hans on the keyboards with his political singing essay and twist on the ABBA single “Money, Money, Money.”

There are many reasons to love Hans from his spontaneous German-style critique of audience members fashion choices to his world record of playing non-stop Madonna songs on the accordion for 29.5 hours.  This Mein Camp, not only pitching in Adelaide, is heading to Edinburgh in August 2017.  

This Boy’s in Love by Adriano Cappelletta

Fall in love with Adriano on his personal quest for true love.  An hour-long narrative detailing intimate moments of pashing, ectasy and despair, which may or may not lead to a fairytale ending.

 

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By @ 02/14/17 in Gay tours, Gay travel, Kenny Porpora, LA/West Hollywood, ManAboutWorld, Travel, Travel Show

LGBT travel show at the LA Convention Center Feb 18-19Meet the ManAboutWorld team at an LA travel show and pick up free stuff(!) at the Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show February 18-19 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown LA.

ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato will moderate a fun, information-packed LGBT travel panel at the Show on Sunday, February 19 at 2:45pm.

Register here for a free ticket but hurry we only have a limited supply.

All are welcome! Our booth provides information (and free guides) for all travelers (gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and our straight ally friends). The panel is designed for LGBT travelers as well as travel professionals interested in learning about trends, destinations, tours, cruises and events. All you need is an open mind and the passion to travel. Join this interactive and informative panel with leading experts in gay, lesbian and LGBT family travel.

Our moderator, ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato leads a very well-traveled group in a lively discussion touching on new cruises and tours, not-to-miss events and up-and-coming hot spots around the world. Come with your travel questions. This is a session you won’t want to miss!

We’ll be covering the world of LGBT travel, which is big! But among the many takeaways, here are three:

• Destinations to put on your must-go list in 2017 and beyond
• Events around the globe that are popular with LGBT travelers
• Travel opportunities for gay families

THE LGBT TRAVEL DREAM TEAM AT THE LA TRAVEL SHOW!

Travel experts include:

Meet ManAboutWorld's Ed Salvato at the Travel & Adventure Show, San Francisco, Feb 11-12

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By @ 02/10/17 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Massimo Iacoboni, Palm Springs, Travel
The Albert Frey-designed former tramway gas station is now home to the Palm Springs Visitor Center. Photo credit: Gregg Felsen.

The Albert Frey-designed former tramway gas station is now home to the Palm Springs Visitor Center. Photo credit: Gregg Felsen.

Fancy a design-driven winter getaway? Then head to Palm Springs Modernism Week, Feb. 16 – 26

You are ready to leave those winter blues behind… but sitting idly on the beach is not your thing? Head to Palm Springs for its 12th annual Modernism Week, a cool, iconic, annual celebration of mid-century modern design and architecture that takes place each February in Southern California’s hot gay destination. Story by Massimo Iacoboni.

Modernism Week offers a compelling combination of tours and film screenings, lectures and activities throughout the Coachella Valley, and with over 20 gay men-only resorts to chose from (ranging from swanky to modest and pricey to moderate), you’ll be able to combine that self-indulgent vacay you’ve been dreaming of with the glamorous pool-side shindigs and red-carpet affairs that have become the hallmark of this celebrated design celebration.

Abernathy House is but one of the many architectural gems featured in dozens of home tours held during Modernism Week. Photo credit: Jake Holt.

Abernathy House is but one of the many architectural gems featured in dozens of home tours held during Modernism Week. Photo credit: Jake Holt.al

You will have over 300 events to chose from, ranging from all day excursions to nearby architectural hubs (Palm Desert, Claremont) and bohemian havens such as Joshua Tree (now home to dozens of Los Angeles’s most progressive art and design refugees), to dozens of celebrity house tours and lectures featuring some of the country’s foremost design and architecture glitterati.

Among the highlights: ’Modernism Week Opening Night Party,’ a chic red carpet affair with a 60s-era spy-movie theme, an homage to the James Bond film “Diamonds Are Forever,” which features a famous scene filmed at the Elrod House in Palm Springs, designed by John Lautner in 1968; a visit to nearby Bannon for cocktails at the beautifully restored, pristine vintage arcade at The Museum of Pinball., which features over 700 different pinball machines; and an homage to the art of travel itself, gay and not, at the amazing Vintage Trailer Show 

WHERE WE STAY

Gay-owned and operated, Escape Palm Springs is a lovely1950’s property welcoming all but catering primarily to the gay male traveler. With a pool surrounded by spectacular views and tropical grounds, this intimate resort offers affordable and spacious rooms with small kitchenettes and an authentic mid-century modern vibe.

WHERE WE EAT

Re-awaken the carnivore in you at Mr. Lyons, a luxurious steak-house with a menu that puts small local farms first. Renovated in 2015 as a reimagining of the old Lyons English Grille (which had operated since 1938) the dining salon is pure old Hollywood glamour. If you’re looking for a more casual experience, but still want to experience the allure of days gone by, just head to the lounge for a cocktail (or two).

WHERE WE PLAY

The Amigo Room at the Ace Hotel hosts nightly themed events featuring experimental DJs and bands, drag entertainers and dance parties, such as the evocatively titled Soft Leather, a Pansexual dress to sweat event, on February 24 at 10 pm.



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By @ 02/01/17 in Gay travel, Kenny Porpora, ManAboutWorld, San Francisco, Travel, Travel Show

Meet the LGBT travel dream team at the San Francisco/Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show, Feb 11-12Meet the ManAboutWorld team and pick up free stuff(!) at the San Francisco/Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show February 11-12 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato will moderate a fun, information-packed LGBT travel panel at the Show on Sunday, February 12 at 2:30pm.

Register here for a free ticket but hurry we only have a limited supply.

All are welcome! Our booth provides information for all travelers (gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and our straight ally friends). The panel is designed for LGBT travelers as well as travel professionals interested in learning about trends, destinations, tours, cruises and events. All you need is an open mind and the passion to travel. Join this interactive and informative panel with leading experts in gay, lesbian and LGBT family travel.

Our moderator, ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato leads a very well-traveled group in a lively discussion touching on new cruises and tours, not-to-miss events and up-and-coming hot spots around the world. Come with your travel questions. This is a session you won’t want to miss!

We’ll be covering the world of LGBT travel, which is big! But among the many takeaways, here are three:

• Destinations to put on your must-go list in 2017 and beyond
• Events around the globe that are popular with LGBT travelers
• Travel opportunities for gay families

THE LGBT TRAVEL DREAM TEAM!

Travel experts include:

 

Meet ManAboutWorld's Ed Salvato at the Travel & Adventure Show, San Francisco, Feb 11-12

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By @ 01/25/17 in Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, Jeff Guaracino, ManAboutWorld, New York, Travel, Travel Show

 This is the LGBT travel panel dream team appearing at the New York Times Travel Show on on Saturday, January 28 at 12:15pmManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato will moderate a fun, information-packed LGBT travel panel at the New York Times Travel Show on Saturday, January 28 at 12:15pm. (More information here.)

All are welcome! This session is designed for LGBT travelers as well as travel professionals interested in learning about trends, destinations, tours, cruises and events. All you need is an open mind and the passion to travel. Join this interactive and informative panel with leading experts in gay, lesbian and LGBT family travel. Our moderator, ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato leads a very well-traveled group in a lively discussion touching on new cruises and tours, not-to-miss events and up-and-coming hot spots around the world. Come with your travel questions. This is a session you won’t want to miss!

Register here for a ticket and use promo code LGBT for FREE entrance!

We’ll be covering the world of LGBT travel, which is big! But among the many takeaways, here are three:
• Destinations to put on your must-go list in 2017 and beyond
• Events around the globe that are popular with LGBT travelers
• Travel opportunities for gay families

The LGBT travel dream team!

Travel experts include: Kelli Carpenter, co-founder, R Family Vacations; Merryn Johns, editor in chief, Curve Magazine; Jeff Guaracino, columnist, Windy City Times and Philly Gay news and Michael Rizzi, YouTube Content Creator.

*Ed Salvato and Jeff Guaracino book-signing to follow at the onsite Bookstore. They are authors of the forthcoming Handbook of LGBT Tourism and Hospitality Marketing

This is the LGBT travel panel dream team appearing at the New York Times Travel Show on on Saturday, January 28 at 12:15pm

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By @ 12/05/16 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel, Twitter chat
LGBT Travel Safety Twitter Chat Tuesday, Dec 6 at 1pm ET via #LGBTTravel

Photo: Out Adventures

As we wrote last week, we will host an important Twitter Chat on LGBT Travel Safety Tuesday, Dec 6 starting at 1pm ET. Just log into Twitter and follow #LGBTTravel. Co-hosts and partners include:

LGBT travel safety is among the most important concerns of this large and growing travel segment. Gay travelers tend to travel more than their heterosexual counterparts and travel throughout the entire world, even in the 76+ countries where homosexuality is criminalized. Lesbian travelers are also often concerned about travel safety much like their heterosexual counterparts. Transgender travelers often have concerns that their gender expression may not align with their travel documentation which may cause issues among officials at customs and immigrations.

LGBT people proudly travel the globe but how should we navigate anti-LGBT sentiment at home or around the world? Join experts and fellow travelers for a lively, timely and important discussion about LGBT travel safety, with ManAboutWorld, U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs, the CDC and more!

Follow #LGBTtravel, Tuesday, December 6 1pm ET (12pm CT; 10am PT)

MORE ABOUT MANABOUTWORLD  

ManAboutWorld is a digital/mobile-only gay travel magazine covering destinations, themes and events around the globe. Find the ManAboutWorldApp on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, Android tablets, iPhones and Android phones. There are a few free publications in all of the apps. Register here for a FREE three-month subscription.

Photo courtesy Out Adventures.

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By @ 11/28/16 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel, Twitter chat
LGBT Travel Safety Twitter Chat Tuesday, Dec 6 at 1pm ET via #LGBTTravel

Photo: Out Adventures

LGBT travel safety is among the most important concerns of this large and growing travel segment. Gay travelers tend to travel more than their heterosexual counterparts and travel throughout the entire world, even in the 76+ countries where homosexuality is criminalized. Lesbian travelers are also often concerned about travel safety much like their heterosexual counterparts. Transgender travelers often have concerns that their gender expression may not align with their travel documentation which may cause issues among officials at customs and immigrations.

LGBT people proudly travel the globe but how should we navigate anti-LGBT sentiment at home or around the world? Join experts and fellow travelers for a lively, timely and important discussion about LGBT travel safety, with ManAboutWorld, U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs, the CDC and more!

Follow #LGBTtravel, Tuesday, December 6 1pm ET (12pm CT; 10am PT)

More About MANABOUTWORLD  

ManAboutWorld is a digital/mobile-only gay travel magazine covering destinations, themes and events around the globe. Find the ManAboutWorldApp on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, Android tablets, iPhones and Android phones. There are a few free publications in all of the apps. Register here for a FREE three-month subscription.

Photo courtesy Out Adventures.

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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.

# # #

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 @ 11/02/16 in David Rubin, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Thailand, Travel

Thailand travel expert David Rubin in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine
Now is a terrific time to book a trip to gay Thailand … with Thailand travel expert David Rubin. You can make your own arrangements easily enough but you may be surprised at the amazing opportunities you may miss out on. And who wouldn’t want their travel dollar to go further? The best Thailand travel booking agents will find you great deals and also get you perks, upgrades and amenities that you thought would be reserved for the 1%.

Book your next trip to Thailand with ManAboutWorld-recommended travel booking expert David Rubin, who offers special deals and authentic experiences for the Land of Smiles. (The image above is from our Thailand guide.)

In addition to Thailand here are his specialities:

  • Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
  • Milestone Celebrations
  • Customized Luxury Worldwide
  • Customized Travel for Foodies
  • Luxury Villas & Yachts Worldwide
  • Private Jet Travel
USE YOUR MILES TO GET TO THAILAND

ManAboutWorld published this ‘points whisperer’-style piece recently packed with tips for how to use your frequent flyer miles (on Delta, American, United and other airlines as well as via Starwood, American Express and other loyalty affiliations) to fly in unbelievable comfort (think apartments and suites in the air!), Start planning your (nearly) free getaway to Thailand.

DAVID RUBIN

David, pictured above, founded and runs DavidTravel customized travel.

MORE THAILAND

ManAboutWorld published a free guide to Thailand available via their app (on App Store or in Google Play) or via this PDF.

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By @ 10/07/16 in Bangkok, Dane Steele, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Thailand, Travel

Dane Steele, ManAboutWorld recommended gay Thailand booking agent
This is a great time to book a trip to gay Thailand. You can make your own arrangements easily enough but you’d be surprised at how many opportunities you may miss out on. And who doesn’t want their travel dollar to go further? The best Thailand travel booking agents will find you great deals and also get you perks and upgrades. Book your next trip to Thailand with ManAboutWorld-recommended travel booking expert Dane Steele, who offers special deals and authentic experiences for the Land of Smiles. (The image above is from our Thailand guide.)

USE MILES TO GET TO THE LAND OF SMILES

ManAboutWorld published this miles-expert piece packed with tips for how to use your frequent flyer miles (on Delta, American, United and other airlines as well as via Starwood, American Express and other loyalty affiliations) to fly in unbelievable comfort (think apartments and suites in the air!), Start planning your (nearly) free getaway to Thailand.

DANE STEELE

Dane, pictured above, founded and runs Steele Travel, a gay-owned travel agency, which encourages its clients to live their indulgence.

MORE THAILAND

ManAboutWorld published a free guide to Thailand available via their app (on App Store or in Google Play) or via this PDF.

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By @ 09/30/16 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Paul Bachant, Thailand, Travel

Paul Bachant, ManAboutWorld gay Thailand travel expert

This is a great time to book a trip to gay Thailand. You can make your own arrangements easily enough but you’d be surprised at how many opportunities you may miss out on. And who doesn’t want their travel dollar to go further? The best Thailand travel booking agents will find you great deals and also get you perks and upgrades.

Book your next trip to Thailand with ManAboutWorld-recommended travel booking expert Paul Bachant, who offers special deals and authentic experiences for the Land of Smiles. (The image above is from our Thailand guide.)

Use your miles to get to Thailand

ManAboutWorld published this ‘points whisperer’-style piece recently packed with tips for how to use your frequent flyer miles (on Delta, American, United and other airlines as well as via Starwood, American Express and other loyalty affiliations) to fly in unbelievable comfort (think apartments and suites in the air!), Start planning your (nearly) free getaway to Thailand.

Paul Bachant

Paul, pictured above, founded and runs Insider Voyagers, a gay-owned travel agency.

More Thailand

ManAboutWorld published a free guide to Thailand available via their app (on App Store or in Google Play) or via this PDF.

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By @ 09/28/16 in Billy Kolber, Hotels, Marriott, Starwood

Marriott/Starwood loyalty merger

When the Marriott/Starwood merger closed last Friday, the frequent traveler world was surprised with a same-day linkage of the two loyalty programs, immediate reciprocal elite memberships, and the ability to shift points between the two programs freely, at a 1 Starpoint = 3 Marriott Rewards point ratio.

Starwood Gold Elite members (who only needed 10 stays or 25 nights to qualify) got the biggest bonus, since Marriott Rewards Gold (which requires 50 nights) offers benefits more closely aligned with SPG platinum, notably free breakfast and lounge access at most Marriott hotels. Elite qualification nights are not shared or transferable currently, so you’ll need to be careful not to split your nights in a way that jeopardizes your status.

The combination of the Marriott/Starwood programs created some unexpected bonuses for elite members. And some newly minted ways to instantly become Marriott Rewards Gold — like spending $30,000 on the SPG Amex card in a year.  Even better, are these seven sneaky clever ways to get or leverage your new status for significant travel benefits.

1. If you have an American Express Platinum Card, you’re now gold with Marriott.

Platinum Amex Cardholders get awesome benefits, including SPG Gold Elite membership. Which gives you Marriott Rewards Gold, which is even more valuable: it includes free breakfast and lounge access at most Marriott hotels — a benefit you only get at the Platinum level with SPG.

2. If you’re a Delta Skymiles Diamond or Platinum Member, you’re now gold with Marriott.

Like American Express Platinum card holders, you’re also entitled to automatic SPG Gold Elite through the Crossover Rewards program. Once you register, your SPG Gold status gets you Marriott Rewards Gold.

3. If you’re a Platinum SPG member, you’re now silver with United MileagePlus

RewardsPlus, a Marriott/United Airlines partnership offers Marriott Platinum Elites a United MileagePlus silver elite. Once your SPG and MR accounts are linked, you can apply for the benefit with United based on your Marriott Platinum status.

4. If you’re a Marriott Rewards Platinum Member, you’re now silver on Delta

SPG Crossover Rewards grants Delta Skymiles Silver membership, Once your Marriott Rewards and SPG accounts are linked, you can link your SPG and Delta accounts.

5. If you’re United Mileage Plus Gold Elite member, you’re gold with Starwood.

RewardsPlus grants Marriott Rewards Gold to United MileagePlus Gold members. And that of course, gets you SPG Gold once your Marriott and Starwood accounts are linked.

6. Transfer 90,000 Starpoints into 132,000 United Mileage Plus points.

Almost every SPG airline partner offers a 1:1 point transfer ratio. But the united ratio was 1:2, requiring twice as many starpoints. But transfer 90,000 Starpoints into 270,000 Marriott Rewards points, and redeem for a RewardsPlus vacation package. Those 90,000 Starpoints become 132,000 MileagePlus miles, and a free 7-night Marriott Category 1-5 hotel stay. (Same offer with 7 nights at a Category 9 hotel is 130,000 Starpoints; 180,000 Starpoints at Tier 5 Ritz-Carlton).

A similar Travel Package offer is available for 60,000-120,000 miles on the following carriers: Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Alaska Airlines, AirBerlin, Air Canada, Air China, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, American Airlines, ANA, Asia Miles, Asiana Airlines, Avianca-TACA, British Airways, China Eastern, China Southern, Copa Airlines, Delta Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig,  Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Jet Blue, Korean Air, LAN, Lufthansa, Multiplus, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Saudia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways Voyager, Southwest Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Turkish Airlines,Virgin America. Virgin Atlantic

7. Double Your Credit Card Enrollment Bonuses

You likely already have one or the other. But you should have both, earn the enrollment bonuses, and freely transfer points between the programs. Currently, you can earn 25,000 Starpoints for getting the Amex Card, and 87,500 Marriott Rewards points for their visa card. Once you’ve earned the Marriott bonus, switch your everyday, non-Marriott spending to the SPG American Express card, since the 1 Starpoint per $1 is worth three times as much as the 1 MR point per $1 from the Marriott Rewards card.

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By @ 09/20/16 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Michael Siebert, Photo du jour, Travel

Bryce Canyon by Michael Siebert in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineMichael snapped these pictures while hiking the Navajo Trail of Bryce Canyon. The Navajo Trail is the most scenic and popular section to hike. It’s easy and gorgeous; however, going in the off season (September, after Labor Day) is ideal.

Bryce Canyon Travel tip:
  • U.S. Highway 89 links several national parks from Canada/USA border all the way to Arizona. Take two weeks to drive this route and spend as much time in the parks as you wish.

Bryce Canyon by Michael Siebert in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineBesides visiting Bryce. ManAboutWorld correspondent Michael Siebert lives and works in Australia, as an independent traveling optometrist

Michael Siebert in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Michael Siebert

throughout Australia and New Zealand, where he merges all his passions, patient care, photography, philanthropy and travel into one.

Connect with Michael on Instagram, at www.drmichaelsiebert.com or via Facebook.

ManAboutWorld has information on many more destinations around the world! Download our very cool digital gay travel magazine for destinations around the globe. Find the ManAboutWorldApp on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, Android tablets, iPhones and Android phones. There are a few free publications in all of the apps. Register here for a FREE three-month subscription. Go on, what are you waiting for!



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