Vacation Rental Options for LGBTQ + Travelers

Amber and Anondra “Kat” Williams, currently from Merida, Mexico, and the black, lesbian expatriate couple behind the queer-claiming travel blog Wandering Soup know a thing or two about prejudice and prejudice. But that’s not what they experienced on Airbnb. “When I go to book, I say that’s who we are,” says Kat, from Mississippi. “It’s me, my wife and my son, and they say okay. We have literally never seen anyone refuse us.

For example, in Singapore, where same-sex relationships are not legally recognized, and Malaysia, where there is no legal protection for LGBTQ + people, the couple’s strategy was to be transparent. “My Airbnb profile is a photo of me and my wife,” says Amber. “My bio says we’re an LGBTQ + family, and I’m clearly black,” she says.

Transparency may be the best policy for the Williams family when traveling the world, but anonymity is the antidote to discrimination at FlipKey, an Airbnb alternative owned by TripAdvisor. In addition to the terms of service prohibiting discrimination by hosts, “If you go to FlipKey, you can see that our profiles are largely anonymized,” says Brian Hoyt, communications and industry manager at TripAdvisor. People rarely put photos or personal information on their profiles, Hoyt says.

Like FlipKey, listings on Vrbo, another vacation rental platform, feature a “book now” button that minimizes contact between potential renters and landlords. Vrbo also has a Trust & Safety team that monitors content reported in their market for discrimination. Anyone found in violation of the zero tolerance policy regarding discrimination, harassment or violence, both online and offline, will be removed from the platform, a spokesperson for Vrbo said.

Orbitz, Vrbo’s parent company, is also used to championing LGBTQ + inclusion and equality in travel. Its ‘Travel As You Are’ campaign, launched in April, along with an LGBTQ + travel microsite, features travel planning guides, LGBTQ +-owned business directories and a first-person account of the reflection of a non-binary individual on traveling as a trans.

Orbitz’s website also has an LGBTQ welcome filter that users can check to view hotel rooms and rental properties that “are committed to making all guests feel safe, secure, and safe. welcome and respected, ”the company said. Customers may be better received, but their options become more limited.

A search for a Seattle vacation home for two adults in the first week of August using only the LGBTQ home search filter returned three listings. The same search, using the “Business Friendly” experience filter indicating “establishments with facilities to help you work in comfort, such as Wi-Fi and breakfast,” returned 12 results. The “Family Friendly” experience for “properties that include family essentials like in-room amenities and children’s activities” was met with 75 properties for rent.

Comments are closed.