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Exclusives | Ask the Travel Expert, November 2007

Exclusives | Ask the Travel Expert, November 2007

Gay-friendly rental car; Scottsdale spas; adventure travel; Bermuda

Ed Salvato is Corporate Director of Travel Media at PlanetOut Inc.--responsible for Gay.com/Travel, PlanetOut.com/Travel, and the editor-in-chief of the award-winning Out Traveler magazine.

Ed speaks often as a gay-travel expert and is frequently quoted in the press. He writes a monthly syndicated travel column and appears regularly on radio and TV.

Ed knows gay travel, and he proves it by answering your questions.

Looking for the perfect romantic gay honeymoon? How about budget recommendations, gay-friendly guesthouses or the best gay nude beaches on earth? Worried about an unfriendly reception in an anti-American country, or wondering about incidents of gay-bashing or the gay- or lesbian-friendliness of a Caribbean island? Ask Ed! (Note: Depending on the volume, he may not be able to respond to every question.)

Gay-friendly car hire
I'm having difficulty figuring out which of the major car rental companies don't discriminate against gay and lesbian couples by charging for an extra driver by not recognizing same-sex spouses.

I'm not looking for a company that is willing to overlook the fee or waive it as a "courtesy" but rather one that by policy recognizes same-sex couples as a couple for rental purposes.

My husband and I are traveling to Las Vegas this November/December and are planning to visit Zion and Death Valley as well. I want to rent a car from a company that deserves my business.

Suggestions? I was looking for a simple list but couldn't find one.
Thanks,
Lane

Hi and thank you for your e-mail.
Avis has been a longtime supporter of the LGBT community and have no charge for domestic partners as additional drivers. They have a great site: www.avis.com/prouder.

A little time off
I have been reading your advice for a while and now I seek it. My partner of eight years and I have been in the dumps lately, due mostly to my work schedule. I owe him some "us time" for sure.

We live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. I would like to take a long weekend or so. Any ideas?
William

Why don't you hop on a Southwest flight and head to Scottsdale, Ariz., for some pampering?

Scottsdale, as well as neighboring Phoenix and Tempe, is a great, gay-friendly destination, with its own gay bar, thrilling restaurants, spas and scenery, and it's all within easy driving distance of Phoenix's hopping gay nightlife, if you fancy a change of pace after a day of spa sessions and shopping.

Have a look at the Scottsdale CVB's LGBT microsite, and read this recent Out Traveler article for some ideas for decadent spas to book into.

Adventure travel
Where can a single, young spiritual guy from New York who loves adventure go for a good warm time and to meet like-minded guys!?
Victor

Thanks for getting in touch. How about Machu Picchu or Argentina? And Buenos Aires has a thrilling gay scene and no shortage of adventure within a short distance.

Or get into deep water in Baja California or Costa Rica.

You should also consider Puerto Rico -- with a hopping gay scene in capital San Juan and a wealth of outdoor adventures to be found all over the island, it's the perfect place for an active gay vacation!

Wherever you travel, have a great vacation!

Gay travel to Bermuda -- how safe is it?
I have heard some very bad things about travel to Jamaica. What do you know about the safety of gay/lesbian travelers to Bermuda?
Thanks!
G.J. Brink

Bermuda's not a place recommended for its gay life. Frommer's reports, "Although many gays live in and visit Bermuda, the island is rather repressive to homosexuals. Displays of affection by same-sex couples will be frowned upon at public beaches and most hotel pools, restaurants, or attractions."

The site www.gaybermuda.com has been down for some time. I'm afraid I couldn't find any mentions of gay-friendly clubs or restaurants in Bermuda anywhere online.

If you're looking for an island getaway in that part of the world, why not consider heading further south to gay-friendly Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles, where you'll find not only a gay bar in the capital city of Willemstad, but also plenty of welcoming hotels. More info is available at www.gaycuracao.com.

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