Most people dream about travelling the globe: seeing the natural wonders our shared world has to offer, experiencing new cultures, dining on unfamiliar delicacies, and having adventures with old friends and new acquaintances. Most people can start planning their next adventure with the use of booklets available from travel agents, Google, Pinterest and a few maps. For minorities like the LGBTQ+ community, it’s not that easy. Some countries regard homosexual or transgender people as “subhuman”, and thus they are not protected by the laws of these countries.

While most people will generally avoid certain countries due to war or political unrest, even some tourist hotspots are no-go zones for LGBTQ+ people. A country like Tanzania, for example, is a very popular travel destination, but also arrests people who are not heterosexual.

Besides the safety aspect of travelling to a homophobic country, there is also the ethical question of whether one should even consider supporting a country which openly discriminates. Some people might argue that exposure to diversity through tourism might convince citizens of these countries to change their ways. This is, however, a risk that might put people’s lives in danger. On the other hand, is it not best to support countries that support equality by exclusively spending our pink money in those countries?

Most people are lucky if they get to travel once or maybe twice in their lifetime. Whether you are gay or not, isn’t it best to spend the limited opportunity you have to visit a country that welcomes everyone?

Every Thursday on Rainbow Talk, GaySA Radio takes a look at countries across the globe and scores them, based on their acceptance of and laws protecting the LGBTQ+ community, as well as their openness to LGBTQ+ tourists. Here is a list of countries you could easily visit as an LGBTQ+ individual or ally.

1. Canada – It is no surprise that Canada tops our list of best LGBTQ+ travel destinations. This North American country is at the forefront of fighting for equality.

2. Iceland

3. New Zealand

4. Sweden

5. Belgium

6. Denmark

7. Finland

8. France

9. Netherlands

10. Norway

11. Greenland

12. Ireland

13. Spain

14. Germany

15. Portugal

16. Austria

17. Australia

18. UK

19. USA – The US is very broad and diverse, and like most countries, LGBTQ acceptance is stronger in some areas than it is in others. It is best to do proper research about the specific state that you intent to visit.

20. South Africa – While South Africa does currently struggle with high crime rates and hate crimes do occur, the country does have legal protection for minority groups. Cape Town, especially, is a very popular LGBTQ+ tourist destination.

Make sure to listen to Rainbow Talk every Thursday for #TravelThursday, and also follow us on Facebook for the latest in gay travel news.