How to Pack For The Best Gaycation

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As a gay man, I often take trips with the specific intent of being around lots of other gay people. It’s not that I have a problem traveling and being around heterosexual people but sometimes it’s nice being surrounded by people who are like me and don’t judge me for it. I like to call these types of trips gaycations. A gaycation is different than normal travel because it’s a trip  planed out for maximum gayness. This probably all sounds pretty silly but it’s true. There are also a few things you should remember for your own gaycation.

When you head out on a gaycation, you know you’re about to dive head first into very liberal, openminded atmosphere where everyone is ready to party and just have fun. Get ready for themed parties (costumes encouraged), scantily clad men, and great music. If you’ve never taken a gaycation then you should really consider planning one! There is something liberating about feeling accepted during your holiday that you can’t get from normal everyday travel.

Where To Go For Your Gaycation
How to Pack For The Best Gaycation | J Harvey in Ptown | My Normal Gay Life Blog
Hanging out in Ptown

Most gaycations take place in specific destinations around the world. You’ve probably heard of many of the popular places where LGBT people enjoy spending there holiday time at. There are many places around the world known for being liberal places that welcome all people including the LGBT community. These types of places are where gay people flock for a little rest and relaxation plus a good dose of partying. There are many destinations in the US and around the world where you might choose to spend a gaycation. But here are a few places I recommend you consider for your first or next gaycation.  I’ve chosen these places because you can get your fair share of parties and relaxation or adventure.

Provincetown, Massachusetts: Ptown is magical and definitely should be at the top of every LGBT person’s list of potential gaycation destinations. The whole town is extremely liberal and accepting of anyone regardless of identity or sexual orientation. We go every year and it always feels like the stress melts away the second we step off the fairy. The town is filled with cute shops, delicious restaurants, and great gay bars. You’re bound to have a great time if you choose Ptown as your gaycation destination.

Want to plan a trip to Ptown? Well, use my Ptown Gay Guide to help you plan it all out!

Palm Springs, California: Palm Spring is one of the historic gaycation destinations of the US as it has played host to the LGBT Community for decades. Located on the west coast, this town is a very sunny place and excellent for laying out by a pool or exploring the desert. The town is one of the few places in the US wioth a city government predominantly made up of LGBT people which is pretty cool. It’s also home to a number of gay hotels, some of which are clothing optional. There are a number of gay bars and the town hosts a number of events throughout the year.

For more information, check out my Palm Springs Gay Guide!

J Harvey in Key West | How to pack for the best gaycation
Sailing in Key West

Key West, Florida: Key West is another one of the historic gaycation destinations in the US and it is one of our few tropical climate destinations as well. Home to a thriving LGBT population, Key West offers up a come as you are attitude with a very laid back atmosphere. When I am in Key West, I can’t really get any work done because I simply want to relax. The town offers a ton of gay-oriented events throughout the year and plenty of gay bars and great restaurants. You’ll also find plenty of gay hotels…some of which are clothing optional such as Island House.

Plan your trip using my Key West Gay Guide!

Gran Canaria, Spain: If leaving the country is more your speed then maybe you should give Gran Canaria a shot. This island, technically located on the African continent but part of Spain, is one of Europe’s gaycation capitals. There are more than enough bars and exciting adventures to keep you entertained on this island. Additionally, you’ll find plenty of gay and gay-friendly hotels to suit your needs. I stayed in Paso Chico and really enjoyed the experience.

Check out this article about my adventures in Gran Canaria for inspiration!

Barcelona, Spain: Barcelona is a great place for your next gaycation adventure as it is another one of those cities where gay people flock. The city has a super liberal attitude and is one of the few cities in the world with monuments dedicated to LGBT people including one specifically dedicated to a trans person. There is plenty to see and do with the architecture of Gaudí, tons of restauants, and centuries of history. The city’s Eixample district is known as the gay district and is filled with plenty of gay bars, bathhouses, and restaurants for your enjoyment. You can also venture just outside of Barcelona to explore the uber gay town of Sitges.

Check out my 48 hour itinerary for Barcelona to help you get started planning your gaycation.

What to Pack For You Gaycation 
how to pack for the best gaycation | My normal gay life blog
Free-Photos / Pixabay

Now, one of the most important things you can do for any trip is to pack appropriately. When you’re packing for a gaycation, you pack just a little different than a normal vacation. There are a lot of things to consider from outfits to supplies for naughty fun. It’s important to pack smart and not overpack. Trust me, it makes travel a lot less stressful. It can be a bit overwhelming and annoying to pack for any trip but fear not, I’ve listed everything you need to take on your gaycation. Just go through it below and follow these tips to make sure your bags are packed perfectly for you gaycation.

Documentation…The Boring Stuff
Gay beach in havanna Cuba | how to pack for the best gaycation
Gay beach in Havana, Cuba

Before you even walk out the door, you need to make sure you have your documentation in order. Yes, this is the boring stuff but every gaycation will benefit from a little pre-planning. Things to remember to bring with you are your passport and flight information (including booking confirmations). You might want to pack your driver’s license because you never know when you need another form of identification, plus you might decide to rent a car an be adventurous. Whatever your plans are, be sure to make copies of all your documents and identification. Carry hard copies with you and keep a copy in the cloud so that you can easily access it with WiFi should you need it. Trust me…you’ll be so glad you have copies if you ever lose your passport.

But if you do lose your passport, don’t worry. Here is everything you need to know if you lose your passport.

Gadgets and Devices for your Gaycation
How to pack for the best gaycation
Free-Photos / Pixabay

Living in a connected world, most of us cannot function without our beloved electronic devices. Make sure to pack your camera, phone, laptop, tablet, and other essential electronics. These will help keep you entertained during travel time and capture those memories once you are at your destination. They can also provide a number of useful services while you travel such as maps and staying connected with friends and family back home.

Remember that all your electronic devices will need to be charged so pack all your charging cables and maybe a power bank as backup for your phone. If you want a nice way to organize all your cables then check out this cable organizer on Amazon. It’s definitely a game changer. Lastly, don’t forget to pack a converter if you’re heading to a country that uses a different plug than you home country. There are a number of options to choose from but they all basically do the same thing.

Hygiene and Medicine
How to pack for the best gaycation | My Normal Gay Life Blog
stevepb / Pixabay

We all have different hygiene regimens and I know, as a gay man, my own is rather intricate. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the things you need and are accustomed to where you’re headed so be sure to pack everything you need. Some major things to consider are deodorant, bath wash, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizers, cologne, suncreen, and anything else that makes you feel clean and pretty.

On top of this, remember to pack common medicines you might need should you suddenly find yourself sick including cold medicines, anti-diahrreal medicines, and ibuprofen. When you need these, you’ll be happy you have them readily available with you instead of having to go out, find a pharmacy, navigating the language barrier, and hoping the brand you bought is correct since you aren’t familiar with medicines in the country you’re visiting. Finally, make sure to take all prescription medicines with you including Truvada as well as any other medicines you’re required to take. Your prescription medicines include that emergency Ciprofloxacine and anti-Malaria pills your doctor may have prescribed to you. All your prescription medicines need to actually be prescribed to you and transport them in their bottle clearly labeled by a pharmacy with your name and the name of the medicine. Some places you visit might not look too kindly on prescription medicines that aren’t labeled as it may appear you are trafficking drugs.

Naughty Essentials
Enjoying the sun in Puerto Vallarta | My Normal Gay Life Blog
Enjoying the sun in Puerto Vallarta

Let’s face it, if you’re heading on a gaycation, you’re probably going to meet quite a few other gay men. This is especially trie if you’re heading to a destination such as Ptown, Fire Island, Puerto Vallarta, Gran Canaria, or Barcelona (typical gay destinations). You want to be prepared with the essentials for safe sex including condoms and lube. Also, don’t forget your Truvada if you take it. The combination of these will reduce your risks of contracting a disease. Of course, we are all adults here and you can have sex anyway you want. No judgement from me!

Aside from those essentials, make sure you bring along along a cock ring, any toys you enjoy, and anything else that gets your rocks off when you’re getting off. However, the one thing you want to be careful transporting are poppers. If you don’t know what poppers are, it’s a liquid consisting of amyl nitrate which when sniffed causes a sense euphoria to come over a person’s body. The effects are short lived lasting only a couple minutes but it is a commonly used by gay men when having sex. Poppers are legal in the United States but check to be sure they are legal in your destination if your gaycation is outside the US. Additionally, poppers are flammable and, depending on the chemical you are using, can be illegal to transport on a plane. So be weary of that little tidbit. If you’re heading to a gay destination and need poppers then you likely will have no trouble finding them if you’d prefer to avoid the risk of trouble.

How to pack for the best gaycation | My Normal Gay Life Blog
Enjoying the pool at Almar Resort

You’ll want to plan your outfits appropriate for the weather of the place your visiting. Do a little research and find out what the temps are like when you plan to visit. Then make your choices based on that. When you’re packing for a gaycation, less is definitely more. Pack and coordinate your outfits around color themes so that you have multiple combinations with fewer things to take with you. This will help lower the weight of your bag which you’ll have to drag around everywhere you go. Make your life easier by simplifying.

Generally, during a gaycation you’re going to be wearing as few clothes as possible anyway since most gaycations happen in warm places and you’ll likely be by the water. So make sure you pack a number of swimsuits. I typically pack a different swimsuit for each day of my trip. Even if it is warm where you are going, pack a good pair of jeans and a light sweater. Nights can get chilly plus you’ll want something to go out in.

Think: simple outfits. Don’t overpack.

Comfy shoes are a must for walking around | My Normal Gay Life Blog
Comfy shoes are a must for walking around.

I know it’s easy to pack a pair shoes to match every outfit but you really don’t need that. I suggest packing a pair that are super comfortable to walk around in and look nice. Trust me, comfort is key when it comes to your feet and you’ll regret taking those cute shoes with no padding in the soles. You can also take a nice pair of shoes for going out and a pair of flip flops for the beach. Other than that, you likely will have no need for multiple pairs of shoes. They will simply take up precious weight in your bag and add to the burden of carrying around your luggage as you travel.

Yet again, simplicity is the name of the game.

Costumes and Gay Essentials
Beach time in Ptown | My Normal Gay Life Blog
Enjoying the beach in Ptown

When you head out on a gaycation, it’ll be totally flamboyant and you’ll be surrounded by a lot of other gay men. We love a good themed party so plan out your costumes appropriately. Check the parties you will be attending so you can decide what to wear. Also, maybe include a jockstrap or two, a harness, a mesh shirt, and even a fun floaty. Who doesn’t love a giant peacock floaty for the pool?

Be creative and have fun!

What do you think…are you ready for your first gaycation?

J Harvey

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J. Harvey

J Harvey is a travel writer based in North Carolina. With two masters degrees, he decided to forget working a normal 9-5 job and instead create a travel blog focusing on travel for a more inclusive community. He hopes to increase LGBT representation within the travel industry while inspiring others to travel in whatever capacity.

J. Harvey has 185 posts and counting. See all posts by J. Harvey

2 thoughts on “How to Pack For The Best Gaycation

  • November 17, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    Your point about poppers makes perfect sense.
    In Palm Springs works with local gay resorts to have your poppers waiting for you when you check-in.
    Fresh poppers, plenty of hot guys and fun await.


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