By Leah Waldron
If you’ve ever booked a vacation stay at an unfamiliar hotel or resort, you probably have experienced gay travel anxiety. As an avid traveler to places off the beaten (and often on the straight-and-narrow) path, I tend to read a book-length list of hotel reviews before I book, always searching for that elusive gay-friendly nod. But what about remote resorts, or new hotels without reviews? And let’s not forget those motels with last-minute ownership changes.
Luckily, for the time being, my gay travel anxiety has a new cure: the just-launched OutEscapes.com. Like Groupon (for gays), OutEscapes is a flash-sale (or “deal of the day”) site that offers weekly LGBT travel deals that are guaranteed gay-friendly and, just as importantly, heavily discounted. The site, which launched this year, is the first of its kind for last-minute travel deals on gay-friendly accommodations. With two upcoming trips this summer to Michigan and Toronto, I decided to give the new site a test spin.
First, a plus: there was no membership fee to join, but I did need a legitimate email. With a few basic details provided, I was in. The homepage was pretty sparse, but the imagery did the trick… I wanted to book one of the site’s seven international vacation deals, even if it meant changing my plans. The deals were arranged by the amount of time remaining on the sale and the destination. There was not a huge selection (points off), but I did respect the comprehensive description for each deal, which was obviously written by a legitimate LGBT writer. The writing was completely casual (“hey girl, hey” caught my attention), and specifically geared toward a gay traveler looking for an affordable, gay-friendly vacay. Read more →