Things to Remember When Travelling Abroad
Bring all legal documentation. Bring everything you have that states that you are the legal guardian(s) or parent(s) of your child(ren). Include your child’s long-form birth certificate and any legal documentation for your adoption. It is also advised that, if travelling without one parents, you have a signed letter from your spouse with permission to travel (an example can be found here). Passport control can be sticky so less is NOT more in this case. Have a file folder full of any and all legal documentation of the child’s parentage. If you’re travelling to a country with archaic views on LGBTQ+ families, consult with a lawyer and/or contact your country’s foreign services/consulate for advice. And don’t forget to make photocopies of all important legal documents.
Book LGBTQ+ friendly accommodation. Most major chains have inclusive LGBTQ+ policies so, if staying at a hotel, it is best to book with one of them. If not, do your research and contact the hotel directly to ask if there will be any issues. You don’t want any surprises. If you are booking a privately-owned residence, you might want to try booking through companies like Pink Vacation Rentals, MisterB&B or FabStayz (launching soon) to ensure a friendly and welcoming host. If you’re not sure about a specific hotel, check review sites, like TripAdvisor, for reviews from LGBTQ+ travellers. There are also a number of travel companies that organize LGBTQ+ friendly tours if the thought of organizing your adventure feels overwhelming.
Avoid intolerant destinations. I would recommend avoiding countries like Jamaica, Russia and Saudi Arabia if you want a stress-free vacation. There are a number of websites that provide lists of unfriendly (or blatantly intolerant) destinations for LGBTQ+ travellers. If you do choose to visit one of these places, be prepared and be vigilant. It would also be advised to contact your country’s consulate to let them know your travel plans. Take down their contact information just in case you find yourself in a sticky situation.
Keep up-to-date of LGBTQ+ news from around the world. There is an incredible website called EqualDex that provides frequently updated information about the status of LGBTQ+ rights around the world. It includes news stories that may provide insights for you and your family as you plan your travel. You can also consult 76Crimes which tracks the 76 countries where homosexuality is still illegal.
EGALE Canada also provides travel tips for LGBTQ+ families. Click here for more information.