Travelling abroad as a crossdresser
You are fully vaccinated, boosted and itching to travel further afield again since the lockdown in early 2020. We know the U.S. has opened up again and both conferences and holiday destinations like Provincetown are welcoming crossdressers and the LGBTQ+ community back. But what if you fancy traveling abroad? Have the protocols re: covid now been lifted? I traveled to Europe in the early spring and the online testing to get back to the U.S. within 24 hours of traveling was incredibly complex and stressful! Thankfully, that is now no longer necessary.
Whilst air fares are at an all time high this summer it’s hoped that oil prices and the global unrest driving sky-high inflation will level off in time to make summer 2023 the year to travel. If you plan on going abroad and dressing whilst on vacation, make sure you choose a destination where you will be welcomed with open arms. 4 of the 5 destinations we recommend happen to have the advantage of being in northern Europe. That means that the temperature, even in summertime is much more comfortable for crossdressing than what we are used to in the U.S..To help you, we have listed our Top 5 overseas destinations for crossdressers:
London, United Kingdom
Just a relatively short 7 hour transatlantic flight away is the diverse and accepting capital city of the U.K., London. If you plan a summer vacation to coincide with London Pride celebrations in early July you can immerse yourself in a fun and accepting atmosphere for the stay. The main LGBTQ+-friendly bars, clubs and restaurants are in the Soho and Old Compton Rd. and Earl’s Court areas. But remember, London is a major shopping center with major high end department stores like Harrods at one end and many specialist markets for all manner of clothing, food and gifts.
London and the surrounding area is also home to some of the best male to female transformation artists in the world. We have a number of clients who are fortunate enough to visit London on business and they always have a transformation when there. If you do make a trip then make sure to plan ahead as the best services like Antonia Wood or theboudoironline.com get booked up weeks in advance.
London is an exciting city with great transportation links (no car needed) and has some of the most famous sights, culture and attractions in the world. You are also a very short flight away from most of Europe and can even catch the train to Paris for the day, another accepting European city!
It’s hard to think of a destination more accepting in day to day life of transgender people than Bangkok. The predominantly Buddhist religion is often credited with the overall acceptance in society. Whilst Buddhism does not embrace transgender or gay people, they believe that for example a person may be born into the wrong gender body but that that cannot be changed in this lifetime.
Even if you choose not to fly en femme to Thailand, make sure you pack a case full of girl outfits so you can immerse yourself and dress 24/7 the whole time you are there. Given the high visibility of transgender people in Bangkok, you will have no trouble as a crossdresser making friends with trans-girls in the many LQBTQ+ friendly clubs, bars and restaurants. Whereas in many parts of the world, trans-folk are marginalized, in Bangkok you will come across many transgender people in regular jobs including service industries you frequent. There are many in the transgender community living in Bangkok who have moved from other less accepting countries and it is the biggest destination in the world for gender reassignment surgery.
Thailand has a really vibrant social scene for the LGBTQ+ community so you will really feel at home when dressed en femme. If staying in Bangkok, make tracks for the Silom district, home to the main entertainment area. Make sure to plan a visit to Playhouse Theater Cabaret, Sing Sing Theater or Calypso Cabaret for their extravaganza transgender shows.
We love Amsterdam because it has been one of the main LGBTQ+ centers in Europe for a long time where (just about) anything goes! As the largest city in Amsterdam it is very pedestrian friendly and almost has a small-town feel as you can easily get around without a car. Known as the Venice of the north, due to it’s network of canals used as a main transportation network as well as living on, it is incredibly romantic.
This vibrant and friendly city has beautiful architecture and really does have something for every vacationer’s palette. You just want to relax and slow the pace down? No problem, just stroll along the car-free streets bordering the canals and stop at many of the ‘al fresco’ restaurants and cafes lining the waterside. If you like culture there are many historical sites of interest and museums and galleries galore. For night-life, Amsterdam has some of the best LQBTQ+ clubs, restaurants and bars in the world.
One of the real stand-outs though is the accepting nature of the Dutch people to people of all lifestyles and communities. Spend days and days dressed in the capital city and you will be accepted wherever you go. The best time of the year to visit is of course summer where the pride events are all centered around the canal network and there is also the queer music festival Milkshake that draws like-minded people from all over the world.
A truly underrated vacation destination for crossdressers, the capital of Denmark is one of the hottest travel destinations on the planet right now. Copenhagen is a large city of over 1 million people in a small country of just over 5 million. It is a foodie’s mecca which currently boasts 2 of the best restaurants in the world. The architecture is a mix of traditional and modern which garners praise from around the world. It is also a laid-back place to visit, has been deemed the safest city in the world and is often voted one of the happiest places to live.
What really sets Copenhagen apart from other destinations is the fact the country has always been at the forefront of promoting LGBTQ+ rights. This makes it one of the friendliest cities to visit for anyone, of any persuasion, lifestyle or race. Being so tolerant you can express yourself however you prefer and you will be safe and accepted. Visiting with a partner and want to hold hands in public? No problem. Remember, this is one of the safest and accepting cities in the world.
Like Amsterdam, the transportation system is very user-friendly and geared more toward pedestrians and cyclists (over 50% of the population use a bicycle in their daily life). Also, similar to Amsterdam is the process of making things better for all society in all things and there is a much narrower wealth gap than in most western countries. Maybe that’s why they are so happy?
Make sure to visit Warehouse9, the famed art performance space and center of activism for all things transgender and queer. There’s nowhere quite like it anywhere else in the world.
For a stress free, safe vacation in a truly trasngender and crossdresser friendly destination, you can do no better than Berlin, Germany. In fact to may, it is the top destination for transgender folk. No matter your sexuality, gender identity or race, Berlin is a party city and anyone is welcome to play.
Acceptance for persons of all places on the gender spectrum can be traced back to the gay rights activists from the 1890’s. Indeed, there are many monuments around the city commemorating LGBTQ victims of the 2nd World War. The history of the gay community is extensively traced and recorded at the Schwules Museum and is definitely worth a visit.
The whole city has many LGBTQ restaurants, bars and stores to keep you entertained and the drag scene for trans and crossdressers is one of the very best of any city in the world. If you take in one Drag Show we strongly recommend The Club which also host art exhibitions.
We’d recommend visiting in June when over half a million visitors descend on the city for the Christopher Street Day/Berlin Pride parade and at the same time take in the Transgenialer CSD (Kreuzberg Pride). If you have never been before you will be struck by the wide assortment of people you see coexisting quite happily together. This is just one of the many reasons that Berlin is considered the LGBTQ mecca of the world for travelers
Our Top 5 recommendations have the most important considerations in place for LGBTQ travelers. First and foremost they are places that are accepting of all gender identities where you can feel safe and appreciated. They also have many bars, restaurants and shopping that actively market to LGBTQ vacationers. Now that travel is becoming easier we strongly recommend you consider traveling outside the U.S. If you do check out our article on ‘flying en femme’ before you go. Please report back with any feedback on our recommendations and send us some pictures showing you on your travels. For other articles, advice and pictures go to the Crossdressing Tips blog.