Handy Mobile Apps for Traveling

mobile_apps_for_travel_shutterstockFrom translating a language to translating a currency; or getting yourself from A to B; or even just simple but essential things like weather and time — here are a handful of handy mobile apps for your smartphone or tablet to help you along during your travels. There are many, many more travel apps than what you’ll see here — but these are the basics. Happy travels!

More Airlines Beefing Up Their Premium Economy Seating

On those long trans-oceanic flights more and more airlines are giving attention to Premium Economy seating — an experience somewhere between Business and Economy classes. These airlines have done a pretty good job with this. Even a little bit more “cush” goes a long way — when you’re flying a long way! Check out this slideshow from Conde Nast Traveler.

Our Gay Group Tour of Bhutan Just Added

Gay group tour of BhutanWe’ve now the set the dates for our new trip to Bhutan: October 10-19, 2015. You can read about this wonderful and exotic adventure here and learn more about this unique, tucked-away destination! This will be our second group tour to this fascinating, remote land. Bhutan is truly out of the ordinary with its beautiful, warm people; intriguing culture; and stunning scenery. Our tour leader is gay, has led some 20 trips to Bhutan over the past decade, and he will introduce us to some members of the Bhutanese gay community along the way.

Our Gay African Safari Tour Is Half Full

Gay African safari tour including Cape Town and Victoria FallsOur gay African safari tour running in July/August this year is half full now — which means we have 6 spaces remaining. If 2015 is your year for doing an amazing wildlife safari in Africa then don’t delay . . . Our safari trips always go out full.

This incredible adventure begins in Cape Town, South Africa before venturing up into Botswana for the deluxe safari component. We finish off at stunning Victoria Falls. Visit our Africa page for more information and/or download the detailed itinerary.

This is a trip of a lifetime!

Last Week for Promotional Pricing on our Gay Japan Tour

gay Japan tour groupJanuary 15 is the deadline to enroll on our gay Japan tour at the current promotional pricing. In recent weeks the value of the Japanese Yen has fallen significantly against the U.S. dollar so we’ve passed along our reduced costs to the price of the tour itself.

In order to take advantage of the greatly reduced pricing (a reduction of $400 to $500 per person) your trip enrollment form has to be received by Friday, January 16, and both the first and second deposits must be made at that time (a total deposit of $1,419 per person).

If you’re thinking of doing this fascinating trip this is the time to act to lock in the savings! If you’d like references we can put you in touch with previous travelers who’ve done this very tour.

Cape Town, South Africa on the “15 Places You Must Visit” List

gay travel tours Cape Town South AfricaNice to see Cape Town, South Africa make it onto the list of Conde Nast Traveler‘s 15 Places You Must Visit in 2015. We’ve long been an admirer of this beautiful — and gay-friendly — city at the bottom of the African continent. When we started running tours in 1998 Cape Town was in our first batch of gay tours. And we’ve been back with several more groups since then. This year we’ll be there yet again as we kick off our ever-popular Southern Africa Trifecta tour from July 27 to August 6. This trip is a splendid combination of the Cape Town environs; a superb wildlife safari in Botswana; and stunning Victoria Falls.

In Italy a Gay Twist on Vatican Tours

04qa-articleLargeHere’s a new twist for seeing the world-renowned art of the Vatican in Rome: guided tours with a gay angle. A company called Quiiky offers tours of the Vatican Museums from a gay perspective.

After experiencing the wonders of Rome you can experience the wonders of lesser-known gems in north-central Italy on our own tour Italy: the Places in Between.

Buying experiences (like travel!) rather than material possessions makes you happier

new-years-resolution-proven-by-scienceHappy New Year!

The start of a new year tends to be a time when we take stock of our lives and perhaps make resolutions pertaining to the betterment of them. This article on the Becoming Minimalist site cites 11 terrific suggestions. And we couldn’t agree with Number Seven more: “Buy Less Stuff and More Experiences.” Scientific studies suggest that buying life experiences rather than material possessions leads to greater happiness.

Helping people to travel the world is what we do at Venture Out. And it’s not uncommon for us to hear — even years after a trip — how much the experience affected them for the better. Find your place in the world!

Should gay travelers visit “hostile” destinations?

African wildlife safari for gay group travelersWe’re re-posting this article from mid-2014 as it’s got a lot of food for thought as the gay travel population considers its international options. We at Venture Out, not surprisingly, are of the opinion that it’s better — in general — not to shut out so many countries just because they haven’t progressed as much as the U.S. and other Western and developed nations. If you simply go by the laws on the books you’ll be missing much of the world. We think it’s better to be visible, to be representatives, a diplomatic corps of sorts to help progress happen across the world. Gay travelers staying out of sight and out of mind in these places does nothing to make advances.

Obviously we need to be careful about the specific destination (if it’s particularly hostile for example), and there’s always a manner of comportment that is called for in these places (whether you’re gay or not gay). For instance, open displays of affection, regardless of your sexual orientation, are just a no-no in so many places across the globe.

So get out there — and happy travels in 2015!

African country of Botswana makes progress on gay rights front


African country of Botswana makes progress on gay rights frontWe’re pleased that the African country of Botswana has taken a step forward in gay rights, allowing a gay rights lobbying group to have legal status. Venture Out has run numerous wildlife safaris in Africa for small groups of gay travelers, and Botswana has always been one of our favorite destinations for a safari. Unfortunately, most countries in Africa lag on gay rights, but this is a recent positive step that could have implications continent-wide.

You can read more about the court’s decision here.