Homosexual activity: Legal
Gay marriage: Legal
How comfortable we felt being openly queer here: 10/10
Acceptance of same-sex relationships: About 80% vs. 20%

Finland is great for:

Whether we were exploring the historic sites and eateries in the capital city of Helsinki or indulging in snowy excursions in the remote northern lights regions of Lapland, we felt welcome and free to be ourselves. After all, Finland has topped the happiest countries in the world list numerous times. We think progressive laws and protections, along with an abundance of liberal and inclusive views contribute to this happiness factor.

So why isn’t Finland on more traveler’s gaydars radars?

Okay, so it gets pretty cold here. And people may be more tempted to venture to the tropics…but trust us, there are plenty of ways to heat things up (even above the arctic circle). Imagine sipping on some hot blueberry tea in a traditional Finnish hut. Or slipping into your own private outdoor hot tub and then gazing up at the northern lights. We also enjoyed pouring ourselves a little rosemary gin and toasting next to the crackling fireplace. Are you starting to see why Finland made our list of best places for LGBT travelers?

Another reason Finland tends to get overlooked is likely due to the steep competition of other European Union countries. Places like Greece, Italy, and the UK offer lots of exciting LGBT events, gayborhoods, and sightseeing. But don’t sleep on this one-of-a-kind Nordic destination. After all, where else can you zoom 60 mph across a frozen lake and then take a cozy romantic reindeer-drawn sleigh ride through wintery snow-sparkling pines?

Ready to plan your Northern Lights trip? Get started with our short vacation questionnaire.

Chueca Gay District

Why is Finland perfect for LGBT travelers?

LGBT rights and happiness awards aside, we simply felt…respected. Even during small public displays of affection like holding hands and snuggling up to one another, we weren’t gawked or glared at. Even in the small ski town of Kittila, we seemed to just blend in.

We know not everyone in the world is used to seeing same-sex affections in public and have had to put up with plenty of side-eyes in some places, but in Finland, that all seemed to melt away.

Ready for that private hot tub with a side of northern lights? Start planning.


Homosexual activity: Legal
Gay marriage: Legal
How comfortable we felt being openly queer here: 9/10
Acceptance of same-sex relationships: About 75% vs. 25%

Why is East Asia still struggling to compete with Europe?

Misconceptions are still prevalent when it comes to traveling to places like South Korea, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Even if travelers are capable of looking past the grim media stories about East Asia, many still associate countries like Taiwan with being too far away, difficult to navigate, and challenging to visit due to language barriers. We’re here to debunk these common misunderstandings.

East Asian public transport is more modern and efficient than anywhere else in the world and hosts the fastest bullet trains, and the newest and cleanest metro lines, along with punctual schedules. And when it comes to speaking English, countries like Taiwan, China, and Japan all have advanced English learning curriculums built into their education systems. This results in many locals being bilingual (especially younger generations). We found that just as many people in cities like Taipei and Shanghai can speak conversational English as we found in cities like Paris and Rome. Now that we’ve settled that, let’s look at why Taiwan offers the perfect adventure for LGBTQ nomads.

Why is Taiwan a great introduction to East Asian travel?

Taiwan is progressive, and the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. On top of that, the LGBTQ scene in Taiwan’s capital city, Taipei, is vibrant and inviting. Whether you want to bar hop in the city’s popular gayborhood in Ximending (pronounced “she-mun-ding”) or check out one of the local gay spas and saunas, there is something for everyone.

Steak lunch with a view at Siete Fuegos

Taipei’s landscape and cultural history held our curiosity as we explored natural hot springs, various outdoor food vendor markets, traditional palaces, and an elevator ride to the top of Taipei 101 (a massive skyscraper in the heart of downtown named appropriately for its 101 floors).

Isn’t it time you started Venturing OUT of your comfort zone by heading east? Check out more destinations by month.


Homosexual activity: Legal
Gay marriage: Not legal yet, but foreign same-sex unions are recognized
How comfortable we felt being openly queer here: 9/10
Acceptance of same-sex relationships: About 70% vs. 30%

Why isn’t Belize the “main squeeze”? 

Belize has a highly competitive big brother just to the north…Mexico. And Mexico’s “3C’s” are mega tourist hubs; Cancun, Cozumel, and Cabo. They all offer budget-friendly luxury resorts and airfare prices, plus host various gay events throughout the year. And while Belize isn’t exactly the place you head to for huge pride parades or bouncing circuit parties, it holds its own allure.

Couples and friend groups looking to escape the crowds and get a more authentic taste of Central American island life should look about 12 miles off of Belize’s east coast to a little place called Caye Caulker.

Swim with nurse sharks (no teeth) in aqua-marine waters around the sand bars and reefs. Slurp on mojito daiquiris by your beach front pool.

Party all day long at the lively beach bar called the Split (where Hurricane Hattie quite literally split the island in half in 1961).

Why is queer travel ramping up on the islands?

Many travelers are starting to feel like Mexico is a “been there, done that” travel destination. Luckily, Belize offers comparable beaches, tropical waters, and delicious seafood. All this with a fraction of the crowds and tourist scams.

We recommend grabbing accommodations on the outskirts of town where you can enjoy uninterrupted ocean views and the peaceful quiet this unique island offers. Caye Caulker is a “pedestrian only” island so its roads are only accessible by bikes and golf carts. This makes it easy and safe to walk or pedal into town to enjoy the bustling nightlife as well.

“Belize sounds fab! Let’s get started planning!

“Nah, take me somewhere else instead.



Homosexual activity: Legal
Gay marriage: Legal
How comfortable we felt being openly queer here: 10/10
Acceptance of same-sex relationships: About 75% vs. 25%

How is Argentina not a gay Mecca yet?

Stunning landscape-framed wine country, bustling queer scenes, and just about every LGBTQ freedom you could ask for from a nation. Introducing…Argentina; your new favorite southern hemisphere destination.

Our time spent in Mendoza was so welcoming, inclusive, and decadent…when we left we were baffled that Argentina hasn’t become a gaytropolis yet. Even during our stay on a luxury ranch in the remote valleys at the base of the Andes mountains, we felt comfortable being ourselves and showing affection around locals.

For now, we are going to guess that the longer flight times from places like North America and Europe may contribute to Argentina falling off of people’s bucket lists, but come on! I mean, how many gay travelers head to the beaches in Brazil annually?

Barrier reef snorkeling near Caye Caulker

Why gay travelers should choose Mendoza over Napa?

The vast landscapes of Mendoza’s UCO Valley dwarf those of Napa and Sonoma. The world-renown quality of steak in Argentina is likely only matched by Japanese Wagyu. The simple allure of international travel (for Americans) offers new cultural experiences. All of that, mixed with Argentina’s love for LGBTQ+ folks, and you’ve got the perfect gaycation for foodies and wine lovers alike.

I’m ready to start planning my wine-lovers dream trip.



Homosexual activity: Legal
Gay marriage: Another type of partnership recognized
How comfortable we felt being openly queer here: 9/10
Acceptance of same-sex relationships: About 50% vs. 50%

With mainland China opening back up to travelers in 2023, we simply have to take some time to address the country’s negative news. Find out why cities like Shanghai offer one-of-a-kind and safe experiences for LGBTQ travelers.

Remembering what China has to offer…

China has taken quite a hit to its tourism sector due to strict pandemic shutdowns, criticism of air pollution output, and human rights accusations.

And while we encourage people to stay true to their morals when choosing destinations, we know no country is without its issues. So, here’s a reminder why China is so bucket-list worthy:

Barrier reef snorkeling near Caye Caulker

The Great Wall of China: We recommend visiting away from the major tourist site in Beijing by booking a tour with a guide on a more remote portion of the wall. This offers a unique adventure experience minus the crowds and noise.

Shanghai: This metropolis of the future is a city slicker’s dream come true. It boasts some of the tallest buildings in the world, is 3 times bigger than NYC, and has around 100,000 restaurants to choose from. Eat your heart out, New York!

Tibet: Mount Everest straddles the Nepali and Chinese border, with the region of Tibet just to the north. Experience the deep spiritual heart, unmatched landscapes, and traditional Buddhist sites by hopping on a plane or high-speed train to the capital, Lhasa.

Is it safe for LGBTQ visitors?

In short, yes. While considered a traditional (and even conservative) country, it varies greatly from Western culture. The officially recognized religion in China is Atheist, and it’s estimated that nearly 80% of Chinese nationals believe religion isn’t necessary to live a moral life. Crime in China is also incredibly low due to strict sentencing which makes travel here feel safer.

Fun fact: It’s considered a societal norm for Chinese friends (regardless of gender) to walk around holding hands or with an arm around each other. Because of this, we found that expressing small public displays of affection felt very comfortable. We never received any conflict or aggression from locals while traveling through various cities and towns.

Something to note when venturing out of major cities in China – Foreigners are not commonly seen outside large metropolitans, so locals may stare and be curious – not necessarily because you’re LGBTQ – but because you’re foreign, and non-locals are rarely seen.

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Published On: March 18, 2023Categories: Adventure, Asia