Spain, Costa Rica and Mexico have been ranked among the top ten places for LGBTQ+ people to take a honeymoon. Jenny Southan reports
According to a survey of 2,000 LGBTQ+ British people by Asda Money Travel Insurance, 43 per cent of LGBTQ+ travellers say that when choosing a honeymoon destination, they would want to go somewhere they felt able to show affection in public, but over half (53 per cent) don’t feel safe kissing, while abroad and 41 per cent won’t even hold hands.
At the same time, almost 50 per cent of LGBTQ+ travellers say they feel frustrated that they must avoid certain countries, while 40 per cent feel disappointed.
Even though gay marriage is now legal in 34 countries, there are still 64 UN member states where is still illegal to be gay, making it more difficult for LGBTQ+ couples to travel safely and leaving them forced to consider different factors that heterosexual couples would not usually think about.
To make travel planning easier, the “LGBTQ+ Honeymoon Index 2023” reveals the best romantic destinations around the world for LGBTQ+ couples and has ranked countries based on factors such as marriage equality, safety, and the country’s “shareability” factor (how popular the location is on Instagram and TikTok, based on hashtag data).
The research found that Spain was the most LGBTQ+ friendly place in the world with a score of 57 out of 60, closely followed by the UK in second place and Costa Rica in third, both with a score of 55.
The top 10 LGBTQ+ honeymoon friendly destinations are:
- Costa Rica
Spain, UK, and Costa Rica are among the top picks for LGBTQ+ couples due to their high scores in marriage equality, safety and shareability. Spain stands out for its hot weather, stunning beaches, and impressive architecture, as well as its thriving LGBTQ+ community. Spanish entertainment, including film and TV, has been greatly influenced by LGBTQ+ culture, and the country has made progress in supporting LGBTQ+ rights in social and political spheres.
The UK is known for its picture-worthy landmarks, love of football, and classical literature, but also for its large LGBTQ+ communities. Birmingham, Brighton, Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester and London are known for their annual Pride festivals, and the country scored highly for marriage equality and travel safety – making it perfect for a honeymoon or romantic holiday.
Costa Rica offers a range of stunning natural features which are bound to leave every tourist in awe. In addition to its breath-taking landscapes, it is also widely considered one of the safest places for members of the LGBTQ+ community to visit. This is because same-sex relationships have been legal in Costa Rica for over 50 years, making it a welcoming destination for all couples.
However, it is worth noting that while queer culture is thriving in Costa Rica, the more rural areas tend to be home to people who have strong religious beliefs due to the country’s Catholic background. It would be wise to plan your trip around the main tourist areas to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay.
The top-scoring country for each continent:
Best country for LGBTQ+ Romantic Holidays in Africa: South Africa
Best country for LGBTQ+ Romantic Holidays in Europe: Spain
Best country for LGBTQ+ Romantic Holidays in North America: US
Best country for LGBTQ+ Romantic Holidays in South America: Costa Rica
Best country for LGBTQ+ Romantic Holidays in Oceania: Australia
As part of the research, Asda Money Travel Insurance looked at hashtag data from both TikTok and Instagram to discover each destination’s shareability, which was a factor in the overall rankings. Bali (121,981 posts), Hawaii (48,282 posts), and Paris (16,314 posts) were crowned the top three most Instagrammable and TikTok-worthy destinations.
This was further supported by a survey of 2,000 Brits which revealed how UK couples feel about getting married and honeymooning abroad, and the difficulties faced by LGBTQ+ couples specifically.
The survey found the top ten ideal honeymoon destinations for Brits were the Maldives (27 per cent), Hawaii (20 per cent) and Barbados (18 per cent), while LGBTQ+ couples specifically would rather jet off to Amsterdam (58 per cent), New York (55 per cent) or Paris (54 per cent).
When asked about the things they want the most from their honeymoon, nearly half of Brits (49 per cent) agree that great food and drink is the number one priority, while 41 per cent simply want somewhere romantic to enjoy each other’s company.
Interestingly, 59 per cent of LGBTQ+ respondents are more likely to stick to a city break rather than a tropical honeymoon, as they are concerned they might be judged.
The Asda Money Travel Insurance Honeymoon Index disputes this, as both Costa Rica and Mexico made their way into the top ten, in third place and fifth place respectively. Both countries scored full marks for marriage equality, while Costa Rica was ranked 36th in the world for LGBTQ+ travel safety, and Mexico came 28th.
Christian Suen, a LGBTQ+ travel influencer, says: “For the most part, travelling as an openly gay couple is no different to anyone else, but there are a few things we have to do differently. For instance, we always make sure the hotel we’re staying at is LGBTQ+ friendly – I actually recently found out that a lot of websites have this as a search function now.
“We also always have to stay vigilant, and we always ensure we have travel insurance in place. Not just because it covers medical expenses etc., but because it gives us that extra layer of legal protection if and when necessary.
“As an LGBTQ+ couple, the main thing I look out for with travel insurance is having clarity that same-sex couples count as “dependents” within family bundles, even if they haven’t chosen to get married officially or anything like that.
“It’s great to see a comprehensive list like this being pulled together, that focuses not just on where LGBTQ+ couples can be safe but also factoring in those romantic elements that you would be looking for from your honeymoon destination. A lot of studies don’t do that, negating all the typical aspects of a holiday to simply focus on safety (which, of course, is very important).”
Ed Doherty, Product Manager at Asda Money Travel Insurance, adds: “As a travel insurance provider, we believe that everyone deserves to explore the world without fear of discrimination or prejudice. It’s great to see that there are a range of countries, all over the world, that are safe for LGBTQ+ couples to enjoy on their honeymoon, and we’re really glad this index can go some way to helping our LGBTQ+ customers find a destination that’s right for them.
“We understand the unique challenges that LGBTQ+ travellers may face while abroad, and we are committed to providing comprehensive coverage and support. That’s why our family travel cover is inclusive of parents or guardians in same sex relationships of marriage.’’
The full index analysed the top 50 countries in the world to find the best LGBTQ+ honeymoon destination, with the complete dataset available on Asda Money Travel Insurance blog.