Button and Bly’s top LGBT travel tips
We grilled two of our fave YouTubers about the world's best destigaytions.
Button and Bly’s travel vlogs are inspiring, entertaining and never fail to leave me with itchy feet and a major case of wanderlust. As well as their joint channel, Bly has her own venture, Life Of Bly, dedicated to all things travel and vegan. Meanwhile Button runs This Colorful World with her lovely wife Lisa, which focusses on building conscious relationships, luxury travel and music. Whether exploring the world together or working on their individual projects, we officially heart B&B. So who better to ask for travel tips than these awesome women?
DIVA: What’s your favourite city in the world? How would you spend your perfect queer 24 hours there.
BUTTON: I honestly don't have a favourite city. So many are special for different reasons, but my ideal day in a city is to wake up early and walk around quiet parts taking photos and video. During the day, I like to explore a bit, stopping a lot for snacks and drinks. If it's possible, we try to meet up with friends that we know there and see what they suggest. When I'm traveling, I want to do what I would imagine locals would do on their days off. Going to local food markets, maybe a little shopping, watching the sun set, picnic in the park. You know, stuff like that.
BLY: As Button says it, it's so hard to pick just one favourite city. They all have such different unique qualities to them. However if I was going to suggest a city with a great queer scene, Los Angeles California might just be one of the top. They have a fantastic gay neighborhood called West Hollywood. You will find rainbows everywhere, restaurants, coffee shops, bars, you name it. And with a whole street full of gay bars on Santa Monica Blvd, you can find just the right spot for you.
What’s the most LGBT friendly place you’ve visited?
BLY: Provincetown, Massachusetts. It's as if this whole little beachy town caters to the queer community. Many of the bed and breakfasts are queer owned and operated, as well as many of the local shops and restaurants. They also hold different parties throughout the summer months that you can find here.
BUTTON: I haven't been to P-Town with Bly, but I've heard stories. It seems pretty much like paradise. This day and age, most places we've experienced in Europe and the States are pretty LGBT friendly. My recommendation is to do research ahead of time. There are two different types of LGBT friendly: Type one. The location caters to LGBT community, usually with a specific "gay" neighbourhood and events that are specific to the community. Type two. Being LGBT is such a non issue in these locations that we are completely incorporated into the society. It's harder to find specific LGBT events or parties in places like this so it depends on the traveling that you want to do. Are you looking to meet and party with queer peeps or are you just wanting to NOT be stared at while walking down the street holding hands with your partner?
What’s the best girl bar or queer party you’ve been to in the world and what was it like?
BLY: The best girl bar party I have been to would probably be the Velvet69 party in Brussels, Belgium. This party happens once every two months so you know the girls are lined up waiting to party.
As for the best women's event I have been to, I will give this to the Dinah Shore party located in Palm Springs, California. This is a party with multiple events, day/night parties, and great sunny weather.
BUTTON: My major coming out happened in LA, so I will always have a special place in my heart for those weekly parties. Milk Milk Lemonade is the new hot party in LA and Fantasy Friday is still going strong.
San Francisco is of course a queer mecca. Jolene Linsangan's Uhaul SF is a must attend. Now Whitney Mixter is throwing two parties in San Francisco called Kool-Aid and Hot Toddy and her parties are always a riot.
There are so many awesome things happening around the world though. HER is taking over the event scene across Europe and North America by throwing unique, well thought out parties and by collaborating with cities' pre-existing LGBT event gurus. Stockholm's Moxy throws great parties, anything that begins with a "Velvet" is going to be incredible. Multiple cities in Germany throw great parties, and I've heard amazing things about Tel Aviv.
My favourite event is hands-down Velvet Ibiza, run by Carine. It's got the best mix of diversity, exciting surprises, the friendliest people, and since it's small in comparison to things like Dinah, you get to know everyone (which is a big plus for introverted me who is easily overwhelmed in huge groups). It's a place where anyone can talk to anyone, the DJs mingle with the attendees, and no one is too cool. I've met some of my dearest international queer friends at Velvet Ibiza and it is one of the only events I would go back to year after year. Also, it's in Ibiza... so... how could you not?
What are your three top travel tips for DIVA readers?
1) If you are traveling and looking for women's event's or hey even just women in the area you are traveling check out the HER app.
2) Give yourself enough time to get from place to place. Being in a rush is never fun.
3) Wear sunscreen... trust me on this one.
1) Travel in the off-season if at all possible to avoid crowds, extreme heat and higher prices.
2) Plan in some down time. Don't try to pack every minute with activities. Your head will explode.
3) Talk to people. The best stories we have from traveling all started with a conversation with a local.
My wife and I just released a video on our channel This Colorful World called "Traveling with your Love - How to NOT Kill Each Other." Check it out!
What’s the most romantic place you’ve been?
BLY: There was something about the east side of Oahu (Hawaii) that just did it for me. It's so lush and tropical and the beaches and water is to die for. Getting lost on amazing hikes, or watching the surfers take on the giant waves up at North Shore. Also the cute little fruit stands with the best tropical fruit along the roads while you just cruise with the windows down and your favourite jams blasting, with the ocean breeze flowing all around you.
BUTTON: In Paris, Restaurant Les Ombres... the food was incredible and you are smacked in the face by the Eiffel Tower... Seriously, look it up. It's incredible. Also in Paris, Le Chalet des Iles. You have to take a little boat to the island that the restaurant is on. I mean, really just Paris in general. I also find the Scottish Highlands really romantic. It's beautiful and exhilarating at the same time, which equals romantic to me. Lastly, the Swedish Archipelago gives a similar feeling. Check out the island Möja in the Stockholm Archipelago if this sounds like your style.
What’s the best meal you’ve had on your travels and where did you get it?
BLY: The best meal I have had on my travels would be a restaurant in Helsinki, Finland called EMO. It is a pre fixed menu with several courses, all of which are paired with a drink as well. The attention to detail was beyond amazing as well as the pairings they did. They also were able to cater to my dietary restrictions as well being a vegan.
BUTTON: One of the great things about being a travel vlogger is all the great food you get to experience. We have had so many memorable meals but I think I have to give this one to Chamarré Montmarte. My wife Lisa and I were recently in Paris and our first meal was an eight course lunch personally prepared by the Michelin star rated chef Antoine Heerah. Every dish was excellent. The cuisine is French with global influence, and I'm not kidding when I say I'm still thinking about this meal.
For more LGBT travel advice and ideas, get your hands on the August issue of DIVA, available via at the links below.
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