Now into our third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the important benefits that travel has on health and wellbeing are now being acknowledged. According to recent Booking.com research, travel is an essential part of self care for most travelers, with over three-quarters (79%)* reporting that travel helps their mental and emotional wellbeing more than other forms of rest and relaxation. With Pride festivities returning to many places around the world this year, travelers from the LGBTQ+ community are excited to get out and explore new places in celebration of LGBTQ+ culture. Booking.com looked at endorsement data shared by global travelers for various travel activities to present six inspiring destinations that will help travelers feel rejuvenated**, and a couple great options for where to visit this Pride Month.
Nashville, United States
Over the years, Nashville has been ranked by multiple research as one the friendliest destinations across the world. Don’t be shy asking local Nashvillians for recommendations, as they love showing visitors around and are extremely helpful with offering travel advice. And with many music venues scattered throughout the city, to have a drink and enjoy live music, it’s easy to get in touch with them. Join a Pub Crawl Walking Tour and visit Nashville’s most popular downtown bars with entertainment and meet the locals in their favorite local venues. Nashville is largely considered to be the most liberal and LGBTQ+-friendly place in Tennessee, particularly East Nashville, home of Church Street, commonly known as “the center of gay life in Nashville.” Nashville would make a refreshing and undeniably fun destination this Pride Month.
Where to stay: Graduate Nashville, a Booking.com Proud Certified property, is a perfect stay to meet people. This fancy, bright colored hotel is situated in the heart of Midtown, just a four minute drive or twenty minute from Church Street. The property is playfully decorated, channeling Nashville’s innate charm. Graduate features an amazing, Instagrammable rooftop bar with skyline views overlooking the entire city. A perfect way to meet and chat with people. Or take it to the next level, by visiting the property’s karaoke bar and have a fun, music filled evening with other guests. More Proud Certified properties all over the world can be found using Booking.com’s simple search resource Booking.com/proud.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
As one of Europe’s most picturesque capital cities, there is no shortage of scenic spots in Edinburgh and not surprisingly highly recommended for its scenery by Booking.com travelers. Wander around the cobblestone streets and enjoy the medieval buildings and monuments scattered around the city. Visit one of the many castles, including the iconic Edinburgh Castle which is located on Castle Rock offering incredible views of the entire city. Or learn how Scotland’s national drink is made during a Guided Whisky Tour with Tasting. 85% of LGBTQ+ travelers reporting that the majority of their travel experiences so far have been welcoming – with gay and lesbian travelers most likely to agree (90%) – and Edinburgh is sure to extend the same welcoming nature. Edinburgh’s thriving gay scene “the Pink Triangle,” centred around the top of Leith walk, just off Edinburgh’s main thoroughfare has a rich mixture of bars, clubs, pubs, and cafes.
Where to stay: Booking.com Proud Certified property Marine & Spa North Berwick is less than a ten minute walk to the beach and has free parking, a spa and an award-winning restaurant. With elegant and stately rooms in a Victorian property, Marine & Spa North Berwick is in the heart of East Lothian’s famous golfing coast. The hotel is a 40-minute drive from Edinburgh’s lively centre, or you can hop on the North Berwick Railway Station to get there which is only a five minute away.
Airlie Beach, Australia
In the heart of Australia’s Whitsundays region, and the gateway to the iconic Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach is a perfect place for relaxation. Four in 10 (41%)* of global travelers say that doing an activity that isn’t as accessible for them at home, like surfing and sailing, helps them disconnect from the day-to-day routine to help them feel rejuvenated. With many sailing options available, and many incredible sights to explore on the water, it’s not surprising that this coastal town is one of the top recommended destinations for sailing by Booking.com travelers. Travelers can jump aboard a Whitsunday Islands Boat Tour with Lunch, Sunset Cruise with Champagne or private charter and explore the 74 Whitsunday Islands nearby or explore the crystal-clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef by boat, which is the best way to do so.
Where to stay: Situated on the absolute waterfront and just a short walk from Airlie Beach village, Coral Sea Marina Resort offers a relaxed stay to totally reset and recharge yourself. Most rooms offer stunning ocean views, for guests to wake up every morning with seeing the beautiful blue colored water and a fair number of sailing boats anchored. For guests looking to experience sailing themselves and explore the beautiful surrounding area, Coral Sea Marina provides the perfect port for Superyachts as well as a range of tours and activities, providing access to the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef.
Mũi Né, Vietnam
Another destination for travelers to feel rejuvenated because of doing an activity that isn’t as accessible for them is Mũi Né. Highly recommended by Booking.com for kitesurfing, this fishing village is a perfect spot to hit the waves thanks to its rock-free waters and perfectly windy conditions. There are two main kitesurfing seasons in Mũi Né, the South West Summer Season (May – October) and the North East Monsoon Season (October – March). Both come with pretty good wind conditions, with on average, 230 windy days in a year. Multiple kitesurfing spots are scattered throughout the area, with many kitesurfing schools available for those excited to learn how to hit the waves on a board.
Where to stay: Just a few steps away from the beach, Bamboo Village Beach Resort & Spa is a tropical getaway to fully recharge after spending the day(s) hitting the waves. Surrounded by gardens and greenery, each room features wooden and bamboo furnishings, and views of either the green garden or the blue ocean. For those looking forward to practicing kitesurfing, multiple kitesurfing schools are just a short walk away from the property. And above it all, the property has received the Booking.com Travel Sustainable badge for its effort of implementing a combination of sustainable practices to make sustainable travel more possible.
Búzios, a resort town set on an ocean peninsula east of Rio de Janeiro, is highly recommended for tranquility by Booking.com travelers. With over 20 beaches, there are enough spots for travelers to spend their days unwinding in the sand and reading a book, while soaking up the sun. Búzios also known as the ‘Saint-Tropez of Brazil’, with narrow cobblestone streets and a picturesque waterfront, many fancy restaurants and terraces, boutique shops, and villas.
Where to stay: Located just a short walk from the beach, Vila d’este Handmade Hospitality Hotel is all about tranquility and relaxation. This charming, sustainable hotel with cozy Mediterranean-themed rooms and surrounded by lush tropical gardens in trendy Búzios is a perfect hideaway to escape all the hustle and bustle of the city. Sit back and relax at the pool, and clear your mind while enjoying the breathtaking ocean views. For even more relaxation, guests can book a well deserved wellness treatment at the property’s spa. End the day with a tasty meal or drinks at the onsite restaurant and bar while enjoying the beautiful sunset peacefully.
According to Booking.com travelers, Bologna is one of the top recommended destinations to visit for traditional food. While the Italian cuisine may not be new to many, Bologna is famed as a foodie’s paradise and some of Italy’s well-known pasta dishes, meats, cheeses and wines, are originated from this city, including the famous Tagliatelle al ragù alla Bolognese (hence the name!). Discover traditional cuisine by joining a Traditional Home Cooking Class with a Meal where you’ll meet a chef at a typical Bolognese home and spend three hours learning how to prepare typical dishes from scratch.
Where to stay: Villa Savioli Room & Breakfast is a perfect place to stay for the ultimate Bologna experience. Set in a historical, traditional building, this sustainable property offers luxurious rooms with a home feeling. Guests can enjoy traditional Italian breakfast each morning, including home-made biscotti, croissants and of course a tasty cappuccino. With just a short walk away from the city centre, guests can choose from plenty of restaurants that offer amazing traditional cuisine.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total 24,055 respondents across 31 countries and territories were polled (including 501 from Argentina, 1003 from Australia, 500 from Belgium, 1001 from Brazil, 500 from Canada, 1000 from China, 1007 from Colombia, 1001 from Croatia, 508 from Denmark, 1002 from France, 1000 from Germany, 1005 from Hong Kong, 1000 from India, 502 from Israel, 1003 from Italy, 1002 from Japan, 500 from Mexico, 501 from The Netherlands, 501 from New Zealand, 500 from Peru, 1000 from Russia, 1005 from Sing apore, 1002 from South Korea, 1002 from Spain, 501 from Sweden, 501 from Switzerland, 504 from Taiwan, 500 from Thailand, 1000 from the UK, 1002 from the US and 501 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in August 2021.
**Endorsement data from Booking.com based on the most recommended and relevant destinations by global travelers for scenery, sailing, tranquility, traditional food, kite-surfing, friendly-people.