Trips to get excited about—so plan now!

Trips to get excited about—so plan now!

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It’s time to stop complaining about the hassle of travel and start traveling with pride. Security is never going to get easier (should it, really?). Travel is an investment in you and not something that should always be bought with a coupon or discount code. That is not to say that you shouldn’t travel smartly to maximize your enjoyment. Fans of this column will find many tips to make your travel more fabulous at a great value.

I am all about saving for retirement but, as my Aunt Theresa always told me, “These are the golden years! So let’s go!” Here are a few of my upcoming trips that I am excited about. Where are you going? Or why are you staying home?

Asbury Park, N.J.

Let’s go now. This weekend is Sand Blast in Asbury Park. What is great about this weekend is that you can find something that will suit every interest.

Great music by world-class DJs. Check. Women’s events. Check. Drag events. Check. Art crawl. Check. Burlesque. Check. Yoga on the beach. Check. Easier to get to than Rehoboth Beach and Fire Island. Check and check!

Hotel rooms and events might have limited availability or be sold out, so it is best to check for more information.

Gay camping

Travel is about trying something new. Gay camping at Pennsylvania’s Hillside Campgrounds is my no-frills, back-to-nature trip of the year. I have dreams of luxury camping but I am told that this campground comes with, well, a tent.

Now, when I think of a tent, I am thinking of the Oberoi Hotel and Resorts “tents” in India. They come with LCD television, DVD player, satellite television, wireless broadband Internet, and personal bar. (Writer’s note: Words cannot justify these tents, so check out to better understand.)

I am told that my tent will be much simpler than the Oberoi tents and that I will be expected to literally pitch a tent. Where is a Boy Scout, or better yet a Girl Scout, when you need her? Hilliside is a 235-acre, clothing-optional campground. There are a series of themed weekends, and reservations are a must. Check out

Luxury Hawaii

For those with a little time to plan and with money to invest in themselves, I say book Hawaii now. And go off-season to get the best deals. There is nothing like a little Hawaiian tan right before the holidays to make you look refreshed and ready for the New Year.

Starwood Hawaii has been celebrating all things LGBT for some time now. (Check out my Hawaii Picture-Perfect Honeymoon column from two years ago on

This year, Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa is celebrating the resort’s 50th anniversary. After a $6.8-million renovation, the secluded luxury resort is still the best place to swim, with sea turtles right on Ka’anapali Beach. Want to establish good karma for 2014? Try a leap off the famous Black Rock before sunset.

To celebrate the resort’s 50th anniversary, on Aug. 11, there will be a classic-car show with gems from the ’60s, a performing trio who are descendants of a famous performing trio who used to play in the famed Discovery Room restaurant and Lounge — Danny Kapoi Trio at the Sheraton Maui.

In December, there will be a ceremony to seal a time capsule. (We need a rainbow flag in it, don’t you think?) Past guests are invited to mail photos, postcards and their stories about what Sheraton Maui has meant to them.

Jeff Guaracino is the author of “Gay and Lesbian Tourism: The Essential Guide for Marketing.”

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