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Celebrating Pride on vacation

Celebrating Pride on vacation
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Stay safe and healthy when traveling for LGBTQ+ pride events

Traveling to a destination for a pride event is a cultural adventure as well as a great way to see a city in a new light and experience the LGBTQ community in a vibrant way.

Most cities that hold gay pride events will have them in the peak season. So whatever the time of year, there is bound to be a destination with a pride event.

What are pride events?

Pride celebrations are organized by volunteers to promote the LGBTQ community with parades, festivals and cultural activities.

The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association has a pride calendar that you can use to find out what pride events are happening around the world.

How do I learn more about the LGBTQ+ scene at my destination?

It’s natural to want to research safety concerns and local customs at your destination. The US Department of State Country Information has details about safety for LGBTQ+ travelers. Check in particular the sections on Safety & Security and Local Laws & Special Circumstances.

The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association has all the information you need to plan your trip abroad. It can also be useful to talk with other travelers on chat and message boards.

How do I protect my health while traveling to celebrate LGBT pride?

We recommend you make a travel health appointment six to eight weeks before you leave the US to celebrate pride. Our expert travel health nurses and pharmacists can help you to assess the health risks at your destination. They will give advice on the specific travel vaccines that will give protection from travelers diseases such as hepatitis A and meningococcal meningitis. They can also advise on sun safety, safer sex, avoiding insect bites and preventing accidents.

Our travel health service is confidential and non-judgmental, so it’s safe to be completely honest about your planned activities on your vacation. Travel health advisers can give advice on safer sex for travelers if that is needed. You can get vaccinated against some common sexually transmitted diseases, including hepatitis A and hepatitis B.

What health risks are there at a parade?

Parades and festivals will bring you into contact with large numbers of people. In any crowded situation, it is more likely that you’ll be exposed to airborne viruses, such as those that cause meningococcal meningitis. Outbreaks of this potentially fatal illness are often linked to weddings, funerals and festivals, but meningococcal meningitis is vaccine preventable.

You may find yourself tempted by unsafe choices around food and drinking water at a parade or festival, so it’s a good idea to learn about food safety while travelling from our article, and take a look at the CDC’s advice on safe drinking water for travelers.

Finally, in hot weather, sun safety may be an issue at daytime events, particularly if you’re used to a cooler climate. So learn the symptoms of heat illness, take a hat and use plenty of sunscreen.

Have a great Pride!

Whether you’re heading for Sydney, Australia, or Ibiza, Spain, there’s a Pride festival out there that’s perfect for you. Once your health is protected, all you have to do is relax and enjoy yourself.