Our ultimate LGBTQ packing list is not meant to be one-size-fits-all. We get that everyone’s different and not all queer people are into the same styles of travel. However, we’re pretty confident no matter how you identify (or how you travel) you’ll find something on one of these lists you may have forgotten.

Use the multiple vacation packing lists below as a guide. There is one for lesbians, one for gay men, and a couple of others for those living their truth outside those two groups (yes, even the heterosexuals).

10 Things Gay Men Should Pack Before Flying OUT

1. Moisturizer – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten my moisturizer and lotion when packing for a trip. Keep that skin healthy and glowing while you’re away. And if you don’t want to pack the whole bottle, grab some empty travel-size bottles. Fill them up with anything from your favorite conditioner to your nighttime eye cream.

2. Anything you may need for…”ya know” – Whether boo’d up or a lone wolf on the prowl, you’re probably looking forward to an excursion or two under the sheets. So, consider packing items like sexy underwear, PrEp, condoms, fiber supplements, cleaning “tools”, and whatever else you may desire to make your vacation romps safer and more pleasurable.

3. Charging adaptor – Heading out of the country…? Your plug may not fit in the socket holes (that’s what he said). A quick Google search will tell you if your chargers will work where you’re going. Plus, you can buy a universal travel adaptor so you’re always prepared when traveling.

4. Day bag – Something small and foldable that you can easily fit in your existing luggage. Examples: tote bag, mini backpack, fanny pack, or whatever you prefer. You’ll be glad you have it on touring or adventuring days. It’s an easier way to carry around a few things you want on-hand while away from your quarters.

5. Laundry detergent – A lot of rentals these days have washers and dryers. And even if yours doesn’t, a whirl in the sink is better than nothing. I know, I know…no one wants to do chores on vacation. But what if you sweat through your favorite tank on that hike? Or what if you spill something on the pants you planned on wearing to your reservation at that Michelin Star restaurant? Just throw a couple of Tide Pods in a ziplock bag, and you’re all set.

6. Speaking of pods…if you don’t have them yet, AirPods. Of course for music and watching HBO Max on your phone, but more importantly…? Noise cancellation. Child screaming in the row two seats behind you? Pop in your AirPods and relax. Done with the partying before everyone else is? Pop in your AirPods and drown out the unwanted noise. And no, Apple isn’t paying us, but they know where to find us if they’d like to. *wink*

7. Cash is Queen – Okay, this one may depend on where you’re going but we suggest taking at least $100 local equivalent in small bills. Even if you think all businesses will accept cards where you’re going, you still may need cash for tipping tour guides, buying random small souvenirs, and paying cover charges.

8. Mini first aid kit – This is so simple to put together. Go to your medicine cabinet and/or drug store for a few things…And remember, don’t pack the whole bottle of ibuprofen and a box of bandaids. Take a few of each item and toss them in a plastic baggie. Things you may want to include (just in case): medicines for headaches, cold symptoms, tummy issues, and allergies. Also bandages, gauze, mini alcohol wipes, and an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin.

9. Concealer – Yes, men wear makeup now. A concealer that matches your skin tone can be great for brightening up the face around the nose and eye areas. Hello to fresh-faced vacation pics even with your sunglasses off.

10. Carry-on snacks – Pack a couple of non-perishables in your carry-on in case you need an energy boost on flights, train rides, hikes, etc. Options we like: protein bars, granola bars, mixed nuts, or jerky.

The LGBTQ+ Adventurer’s Travel Packing List

1. Battery packs – Portable battery packs hold enough power for you to charge your phone 2-5 times over. This is great for longer hikes, all-day excursions, camping, and more.

2. Bug spray – *smack* This one is pretty self-explanatory. Don’t fly home feeling like you’ve got chicken pox.

3. Waterproof jacket – No one can predict the weather, not even the meteorologists. So, if you’re going to be outside for extended periods of time, pack a lightweight waterproof jacket and save getting wet for another time.

4. The right shoes – Consider the activities you’re going to be doing. Converse are cute, but are not built for the trail. A six-inch heel is fierce, but not on a jet ski. Pack accordingly.

5. The right underwear – Different folks, different strokes. Just remember certain underwear are going to be more suitable for boudoir activities and others for rainforest trekking. Pack for both.

6. Waterproof phone case w/ lanyard – A lot of phones are at least partially water resistant these days, but if you want to play it safe around the river, ocean, and lake, this one’s for you.

7. Mini first aid kit – It’s pretty easy to put together some essentials like medicines, bandages, ointment, and gauze. Especially if you’re not going to be within walking distance of a drugstore, it’s always nice to have (just in case).

8. Phone with satellite SOS option – All of the iPhone 14 models and newer have built-in SOS satellite calling. This means if you’re venturing OUT somewhere with no Wi-Fi or tower signal, you can still make an emergency call via satellite.

9. GoPro – Take videos and pictures in the rain, while snorkeling, or even in the hot tub…Anyhoo, there are also accessories that let adventurers attach the camera to their hats, helmets, harnesses, and more for hands-free recording.

10. Do you really need that…? (Pack less) – Now is probably a good time to mention that you don’t need EVERYTHING. Everyone is different and will have a few things they can’t live without, but take a few minutes to edit your luggage. Ask yourself, “Do I really need 8 tank tops if I’ve already packed 8 t-shirts?” Also, see if your accommodations have a washer and dryer so you can re-wear clothing items after a wash.

Summer Vacation Packing List for LGBTQ+ Travelers

1. Mosquito repellant – If you’re anything like me, the mosquitos flock to you like bees to the honey. Pack some bug spray so you’re not itching all vacation long.

2. Sunscreen – Protect. Your. Gorgeous. Skin. Consider using different sunscreens for your body versus your face. And remember the sun can still be brutal even if you’re fully clothed. Watch out for the areas everyone always forgets: the back of the neck, ears, calves, and feet (if you’re wearing open-toed shoes). Now that I’m done with my “Mom moment” we can move on…

3. Swimwear – Whatever your fashion preference may be, don’t forget to pack at least a couple. Swim shorts, swim briefs, thongs, bikinis, beach kimonos, etc.

4. Tote bag / Day bag – You are not going to want to lug your big backpack down to the beach. Bring a lightweight foldable bag you can use to bring things like sunscreen, bug spray, water bottles, and keys with you. You’ll be glad you did.

5. Lip balm – I will never forget the time I lathered up my entire body (head to toe) in sunscreen and then at the end of my beach day had burnt lips (the ones on my face). Get some chapstick or lip balm with SPF protection for your trip.

6. Hat – Baseball caps, floppy hats, or anything that keeps the sun’s rays off your face.

7. Aloe – Try tracking down aloe when you’re sunburned on a remote island and it’s 10 o’clock at night. You’ll be glad you packed a little. Pop it in the fridge for a bit if you have one – ahhhhh.

8. Lotion – Sun exposure, salty seas, chlorine water, drinking tropical cocktails…What do all of these things do…? They dry out your beautiful skin. Lotion is your best friend on summer vacation.

9. Cute sunglasses – If there is one accessory you’ll be wearing daily on your summer trip, it’s your shades. Bring a couple of pairs.

10. A thermos – Great for to-go cocktails, or water for hikes and beach time. They’re also environmentally friendly. Look at you doing your part!

10 Things Every Lesbian Should Pack Before Going on Vacation

1. Cap/Hat – Maybe you wear one every day and don’t need reminding. A couple of baseball caps on hand helps you get ready quickly and keeps the sunburn off your face.

2. Your favorite t-shirt – Whether you are gonna wear it or not, you know you gotta pack it. Don’t forget your favorite tank too.

3. Anything you may need for… “under the sheets” – Whether you got a girl or are hoping to meet one on vaycay, make sure you pack whatever you need to enjoy getting your freak on safely and pleasurably. If you do decide to bring toys, we recommend limiting your selection. Also, take batteries out of anything before tucking it into your checked bag.

4. Deck of cards – ’nuff said.

5. Chapstick – Jeans, check. T-shirt, check. Baseball cap, check. Chapstick, check.

6. Board shorts – Yes, board shorts are a must – and this is true even if you’re not headed to a destination with a beach or pool.

7. Sunscreen – No better way to ruin a trip you’ve been looking forward to than a nasty sunburn. Pack some of the easy-apply spay kind and call it a day.

8. Inexpensive sunglasses – According to our resident lesbian, Sam, pack some cheap sunglasses that look as good as the expensive ones.

9. Knowledge about the destination – Okay, so you’re not “packing” this one, but it’s something you’ll want to bring with you if you’re traveling to a different country. Check Out the websites www.equaldex.com and travel.state.gov for important info on international travel for LGBTQ+ people.

10. Double up on the important stuff – Put important items like medicine and cash in both your carry-on and your checked bag. If luggage gets lost or stolen, at least you have what you truly need on hand.

We know travel styles and personalities are just as fluid as sexuality, and our packing lists aren’t meant to box anyone in. Whoever you are, and whomever you love, we just want you to feel prepared to have the best trip possible. So, where to next?

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Published On: March 28, 2023Categories: Adventure, Beach, Guides