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BlogTravel buzzA conversation about our new Pride Tours and EF Go Ahead Tours’ commitment to LGBTQ+ traveler trust
Travel buzz

A conversation about our new Pride Tours and EF Go Ahead Tours’ commitment to LGBTQ+ traveler trust

Jun 13, 2024 by Steph Herron

It’s Pride Month, and our two new Pride Tours are here! To celebrate the launch of our EuroPride 2025 Lisbon: The City Experience tour and WorldPride 2026 Amsterdam: The City Experience tour, we sat down with staffer Kenzie (they/them), a Senior Market Development Specialist and proud member of the LGBTQ+ community who played a role in designing these exciting new itineraries. Read our conversation about the planning process, what travelers can look forward to on these trips, and EF Go Ahead Tours’ commitment to LGBTQ+ traveler trust and well-being.

Go Ahead: For travelers who aren’t already familiar, what is EuroPride and what makes it an exciting LGBTQ+ travel opportunity?

Kenzie: EuroPride is a Pan-European event that happens each June. It started in 1992 in London, and it’s been happening ever since. It’s a little bit like the Olympics in that cities bid to host the event and then one is selected after the bidding process. The winning city hosts this international, monthlong Pride celebration full of activities and community events, and it all culminates with one spectacular Pride Parade, which both of our tours coincide with.

Our new 2026 Amsterdam EuroPride tour coincides with WorldPride. Can you explain what this means?

While our 2025 Lisbon Pride Tour takes travelers to EuroPride, our 2026 Amsterdam Pride Tour coincides with WorldPride, the latter of which happens on a more global scale. Founded in 2000, WorldPride also takes bids from cities hoping to host the event, but it’s organized by InterPride, an international organization. The unique thing about 2026 is that Amsterdam bid to host both EuroPride and WorldPride, and it won both. So, 2026 is going to be a massive celebration where EuroPride and WorldPride come together to create one big event, and we’re going to have our tour right in the middle of the action.

How did the planning process for the two new Pride Tours differ from that for other Go Ahead Tours?

Logistically speaking, it’s a little bit tricky, because we’re planning tours around these huge international events. We wanted to strike a balance between content that would both connect people to the LGBTQ+ history of the destination and allow them to experience the Pride events happening there. And, as we do with all of our tours, we wanted to give travelers plenty of free time to experience the destination on their own. These tours really came together as a love letter to the LGBTQ+ community from our staff who are a part of it.

Experience EuroPride on tour

Beyond the EuroPride festivities, what can travelers expect on these tours?

There’s going to be something for everyone on these trips. When designing them, we wanted to challenge the stereotype that Pride is nothing but partying. There’s no one way to celebrate Pride, so we’ve created group Pride Tours that we hope reflect the depth and diversity of people and interests found within the LGBTQ+ community.

So, there’s absolutely a focus on highlighting the destinations and their LGBTQ+ history. Then, there’s also a little bit of art, a little bit of culture, some food and wine, music—truly a little bit of everything for everyone.

Who exactly are our Pride Tours for?

Regardless of the type of tour we’re designing, we believe in creating spaces where everyone feels like they can come together, and our Pride Tours are no different. They don’t have an asterisk, as if to say, “You have to be X, Y, and Z to be on this tour.” We want everyone to feel comfortable and confident joining these tours; they aren’t specifically for certain people.

We also recognize that there’s a bit of a deficit in the travel industry for travel catered toward the whole LGBTQ+ community. Sometimes, experiences are catered more toward gay or lesbian travelers, but they’re not as inclusive of the entire community—especially trans, gender nonconforming, and non-binary folks. We’ve been really intentional about ensuring that these tours are for everyone and anyone who wants to celebrate Pride.

Celebrate Pride with us

How does Go Ahead foster a positive, inclusive environment on tour for members of the LGBTQ+ community?

It starts from within. Having a culture of acceptance and belonging is built into Go Ahead’s DNA, and we strive to put that same energy in every product we create. We’ll only ever create trips that we feel can safely accommodate everyone.

We action this by asking everyone to agree to our traveler rules of the road before going on tour with us. These rules outline the behavioral expectations for traveling on a Go Ahead tour, like: “Embrace difference. Be curious. Find common ground.” Having these guidelines in place promotes a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. And that’s not just on our new Pride Tours—that’s on every one of our tours.

Why should LGBTQ+ travel groups, travelers, and allies choose Go Ahead?

Being intentional about creating spaces for people has always been a philosophy I personally live by, and I feel this philosophy echoed within Go Ahead. We believe in creating inclusive experiences where everyone feels welcome. This means making space at the table for everyone and holding space for people who haven’t always been invited to the table. We’re sending out an invitation for these people specifically and saying, “Yes, we do want to hear from you.”

I always think back to EF’s mission statement, which is about opening the world through education. That invitation can never have a disclaimer on it. Education is something that can’t have qualifiers—everyone is welcome, and we’re not doing our job if that’s not true.

What are some benefits of group travel for LGBTQ+ travelers?

It’s twofold. One, there’s community. You’re traveling with other people who are interested in seeing the same place as you, and who are interested in the same things. That’s true not just for LGBTQ+ travelers, but also for anyone who chooses Go Ahead. The other special benefit of group travel for someone in the LGBTQ+ community is the support and safety that they get. It can be incredibly freeing to know that wherever you go, you’re supported by a company that’s proactive about your safety, well-being, and comfort. Group travel is always a good idea in that regard, because it offers that sense of security and togetherness that you wouldn’t necessarily have on your own.

With Go Ahead, you have a global community supporting you and making sure you feel confident while you’re getting out there and seeing the world. This helps everyone feel like they can be their authentic selves on tour, and that’s invaluable.

Travel to EuroPride

What are some ways travelers can celebrate Pride Month and enjoy LGBTQ+ travel on our tours?

One recommendation—and this isn’t just during Pride—is finding LGBTQ+-owned businesses to visit wherever you’re going, be it a bookshop, a cafe, or something else. This isn’t just an opportunity to give back to the LGBTQ+ community, but it’s also a way to see how that community lives in a different part of the world.

Then, if you’re traveling in June on any of our tours and you want to overlap with Pride festivities, you can absolutely do that. All of our tours are curated to have a good balance of free time along with included activities and sightseeing tours, so there’ll be stretches when you can slip off to find celebrations. I once accidentally fell into a Pride Parade in Switzerland. I heard ABBA in the distance, and I just walked down the street and found myself in the Lucerne Pride Parade. Things like that can happen when you’re traveling in June—it’s incredible.

What’s an important tip for LGBTQ+ travelers?

In some ways, I think the top travel tips are the same across the board, which would include basic things, like drinking plenty of water and remembering sunscreen. After all, we’re all just people with the same basic needs. But also, it can sometimes be different traveling as someone in the LGBTQ+ community—especially for people who are trans or non-binary. Different places in the world have different levels of acceptance, so there are some destinations you might not feel as comfortable visiting independently. In those cases, if I had to give one tip, it’s to try group travel. If there are places on your bucket list that you’re unsure about traveling to on your own, it’s a great way to experience them with a built-in support system. So, in short, my top tip is give group travel a go! (That, and drink water—everyone should drink plenty of water.)

All you need is love (and a passport) to celebrate community and inclusivity with us on our Pride Tours: EuroPride in Lisbon and WorldPride in Amsterdam. Which will you take?

About the author | Steph Herron
Since moving abroad for college at the age of 18, Steph’s never doubted that travel is her passion in life. When she isn’t seeking opportunities to satisfy her wanderlust—and inspiring others to do the same—you’ll find her exploring Boston’s vegan food scene, shopping for eclectic pieces to add to her closet, or rewatching 90s romantic comedies.

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