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Travel: Road trip tips from Atlanta’s queer music darlings

Girlyman performs at Eddie's Attic

If anyone is an expert in road traveling, it’s Doris Muramatsu.

On the road for two weeks at the time with her band Girlyman since early 2001, Muramatsu has seen hundred of thousands of miles of America’s asphalt maze — with bandmates Ty Greenstein, Nate Borofsky and newest member JJ Jones in tow.

“We certainly know how to find the best route, how to find good food, and how to Priceline 3.5- to 4-star hotels for $35,” Muramatsu says. “When you travel as much as we do, you learn how to make the road work for you in a more streamlined fashion.”

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GA Voice and Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau debut ‘Destination: Gay Atlanta’ today

Destination: Gay Atlanta coverThe city of Atlanta's first official LGBT travel guide, “Destination: Gay Atlanta,” debuts today in distribution locations across the city and online at www.gay-atlanta.com. The guide is a joint partnership of GA Voice and the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

LGBT visitors to Atlanta now have a complete travel resource featuring neighborhood descriptions, major LGBT events, nightlife and bar listings, and friendly hotels, shops and restaurants to plan their vacations and trips to our city. “Destination: Gay Atlanta” will be published annually.

Also included in the guide are welcome letters from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and William Pete, president and CEO of the ACVB.The ACVB is in the process of revamping the city's gay travel website, www.gay-atlanta.com, which will soon feature entertainment, nightlife and community content provided by GA Voice. The digital version of “Destination: Gay Atlanta” resides on the site now in flip-book form and can be downloaded (or you can view it below).

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Travel: Gay traditions beckon in Florida

The start of the summer season means an annual tradition for many LGBT people around Georgia and the South – making a road trip to Florida for a weekend (or longer) full of sun, beaches and parties.

While Pensacola remains the unofficial gay Memorial Day mecca, in recent years the LGBT celebrations have spread throughout Florida to include Miami and Orlando as well, with Gay Days beginning just after the holiday weekend. These days, events are geared strategically for both men and women and days and nights are loaded with activities.

Owners of My Sister’s Room, the Atlanta lesbian bar, are involved in Pensacola events again this year. According to Patryce Yeiser, co-owner of the bar, last year was their maiden year sponsoring Memorial Day weekend events. She had been going to Florida on and off for the last 15 years and realized that there was only one big women’s event.

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Travel: Hit the road for big LGBT events this summer

Ready to get out of town?

Whether you prefer beach or mountains, cruising or camping, check out these big LGBT events to get you on the road this summer.

FLORIDA OR BUST

Head south for hot LGBT fun this summer. More Florida events listed under other specific categories.

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Travel: 10 tips for better trips

Get your passport in order before your trip

COMPARE FARES
Buy your air tickets on Tuesday afternoons. Fly during the middle of the week. Sign up for airfare alerts at FareCompare.com.  In the current world travel climate ticket prices are going up daily. Do not wait for a sale. There will be none.

BE PRO-CHOICE
Pick what view you want from your seat on the plane; it could be left side land or right side water. And choose port or starboard for your ship cabin.  A cabin facing west in the afternoon will be warmer due to all day sun, but it might be the land view.

HOTEL HAPPINESS
When you enter your hotel room, walk around each room and look at the view. If everything is not just as you want it, go back to the front desk and politely request a different room to make your stay more enjoyable. It is your right, your money, and even your obligation to get exactly what you expected when you made your reservation. Hotels are eager to make you happy; upgrades are often given as an apology for your initial dissatisfaction.

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Gay traditions beckon in Florida

From Memorial Day Weekend in Pensacola to Gay Days in Orlando, Florida offers plenty of options this summer for LGBT vacationers

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Come fly away

The GLBT Travel Expo comes to Atlanta's Four Seasons Hotel

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Travel: Are you addicted?

It’s a New Year, and the perfect time to admit that I am powerless. I think I have hit rock bottom.

But I have given it a lot of thought and decided I don’t want any help. I want to keep on chasing the intoxicating traveler’s high. I can make a three-night trip into a month-long binge of trip preparation pleasure. And there is absolutely nothing I want to do about it.

There is something very captivating and alluring that happens when you move from occasional to frequent traveler. You start getting into predictable and intensely enjoyable patterns of vacation preparation. I can’t stop with the almost continual, methodical planning and daydreaming that get me closer to the pay off of finally walking out my door and beginning the trip.

First I get immense satisfaction during the packing ritual. I binge for a week. Every day at work I fantasize about getting home and looking at my stuff. Do I want to take this, do I want to take that? I put all my possible travel companions in their own area and mull them all over for the next few days. I then start weeding out. I have some favorite things that every time I pack I include because they are my really favorite things. But they always end up staying home.

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LGBT ski weeks offer winter sports plus plenty of parties

There are several options for gay ski trips this winter

Try heading to the snow-covered mountains between now and April if you want to let your inner rugged self come out. The ski season is when Western, Northern and Canadian mountain towns really come to life. All of the best snow towns have learned that the LGBT community loves to ski and party, and annual Ski Weeks have blossomed everywhere from major ski resorts to nearby North Carolina.

Even non-skiers or snow boarders go to these annual white parties and join in the fun. If you want to keep your rugged self on flat ground there are plenty of dances, costume parties, entertainers, and people watching at these ski weeks to get your adrenaline flowing.