5 tips for a great trip to celebrate Pride this year

(BPT) - How badly do LGBTQ travelers want to attend Pride this year? A recent survey by Orbitz found that 80 percent of LGBTQ travelers would give up their cell phone during Pride in exchange for free tickets, meals and hotel accommodations for the weekend. And nearly half (42 percent) of respondents said they plan to travel more than 50 miles to Pride events this year.

Vacationers planning a trip to celebrate Pride with friends and family in 2019, which marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, are in luck. It’s easy to research and book travel this summer to pride hotspots across the U.S. For help deciding where to go for the best Pride celebration ever, here are some tips:

Pick a trending hot spot

Well-known LGBTQ-friendly cities include San Francisco, New York City and Chicago. However, based on hotel inventory, recent flight prices and travel searches, Orbitz finds that the top 10 Pride-friendly destinations for 2019 are:

1. Provincetown, Massachusetts

2. St. Petersburg, Florida

3. Atlanta, Georgia

4. Long Beach, California

5. New York City, New York

6. Minneapolis, Minnesota

7. Columbus, Ohio

8. Miami, Florida

9. Houston, Texas

10. San Francisco, California

Some of these may come as a surprise, but not to those who know them well.

“My summers in Provincetown are always the highlight of my year, so naturally I love that P-Town is ranked as the number one Pride-friendly place to travel!” said Miss Richfield 1981, a drag personality for Orbitz. “I encourage my fans and queer community to get out and plan a weekend getaway to celebrate Pride with friends, loved ones and fellow LGBTQ travelers.”

Find Pride-friendly accommodations

Locating a top hotel for your trip is even better when you know it’s certified LGBTQ-friendly by the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA). Nearly three out of four Pride travelers say that knowing whether a place is LGBTQ-friendly impacts their decision to travel there.

Go where the celebrities go

Ellen DeGeneres topped the list of celebrities that travelers would most like to see (31 percent) at Pride events, followed by Lady Gaga (24 percent). The cast of Netflix’s "Queer Eye" and the Obamas tied at 15 percent. When asked who they want as Grand Marshal of this year’s Pride Parade, Ellen DeGeneres, Ru Paul, Barack Obama and Janelle Monae were selected by nearly half the respondents. Top cities for celebrity sightings in years past include New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Travel together

Nearly 80 percent of LGBTQ travelers will attend this year’s Pride with a group, with slightly more wanting to attend with their best friend (81 percent). Perhaps not surprisingly, nearly half (47 percent) of LGBTQ travelers expressed that their ex is the companion they would least want to go with to Pride!

Book now for more rewards

More than half of LGBTQ travelers have already heard about Pride events on social media, and searches for Pride travel and events are up 50 percent in 2019 on Orbitz.com. Booking an LGBTQ-friendly hotel on Orbitz is easy with their new Pride Travel Guide, and you can earn perks like room upgrades, free checked bags or Orbucks — aka travel dollars — every time you travel via their rewards program.

Orbitz was the first online travel company to launch a microsite dedicated to gay and lesbian travel and has been a proponent of LGBTQ+ travel for more than a decade. Travel experts with the company say now is the perfect time to book hotels, flights and vacation packages around Pride festivities, which are recognized internationally throughout June.

“More travelers than ever before will be celebrating love and equality in some of the most gay-friendly cities across the country this year,” said Carey Malloy, director of brand marketing for Orbitz. “With this being a milestone year for Pride, our message to travelers is now is the time to plan your trip.”

Browse hotels, booking tips and itineraries using the new Orbitz Pride Travel Guide at Orbitz.com/pride.

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