By Maggie Beaumier and Kelly McMahon–

For nearly five decades, Olivia’s mission has been to provide safe and celebrating spaces for lesbians and LGBTQ+ women. And today, that mission continues. Olivia is the leading travel company for lesbians and LGBTQ+ women, having produced well over 300 trips for more than 350,000 women.

From large cruises to resorts, intimate riverboats to adventure vacations, the company always charters the entire ship or resort so that guests can always feel free to be themselves. Exceptional entertainment, friendly personalized service from Team Olivia, bucket list destinations, and friendships that last a lifetime are just some of the highlights guests will find on an Olivia vacation.

Follow these tips to make the most out of your Olivia trip:

1. Talk to an Olivia Travel Consultant.

You can book online at any time, but you can also talk to an Olivia Travel Consultant who will be happy to answer any questions. They can help you select the cabin that best fits your needs and your budget. They can also set you up with a payment plan and recommend which travel insurance coverage is best for you. Not ready to book just yet? Your consultant can put a courtesy hold on a cabin so you can talk it over with your partner … or better yet, if it’s a surprise, they can make sure we keep it a secret (at least until embarkation day).

2. Buy travel insurance.

You’ve earned your vacation. Safeguard your investment, whether you buy travel insurance through Olivia or on your own. Protect yourself in case of lost baggage, missed flights, or medical emergencies while traveling. It’s worth the peace of mind.

3. Make sure your passport isn’t expired.

If you’re sailing to an international destination, it’s always a good idea to bring a passport, even if it’s not required for the ports you’ll be visiting. If you ever need an emergency flight home, it will be much easier to book if you have your passport on hand. Also make sure that it hasn’t expired and is valid for at least six months after your cruise ends.

4. Pack smart.

Olivia cruisers have all sorts of tips and tricks to share. Some favorites include bringing magnets to attach Olivia’s daily program to your cabin wall or decorations to spruce up your door with pictures and other mementos. Towel clips will stop your beach towel from flying off your lounger on a breezy day. Packing cubes are perfect for squeezing one more theme night outfit into your luggage. Hanging shoe bags store toiletries vertically and keep your bathroom clutter free.

5. Put medications in your carry-on and important documents in a folder.

Stay prepared and organized by packing your medications (including an extra week’s supply) and valuables in your carry-on and your important documents all in one folder. Keep your cruise ticket and passport close at hand as you may have to show them a few times during embarkation. Depending on your itinerary, you may also need to carry your passport or other documents with you when you go ashore.

6. Join the Olivia Facebook Group for your cruise.

Every Olivia trip has a Facebook group. Be sure to join as it’s a great way to make new friends even before you step on board. Stay connected, get insider tips from seasoned Olivia travelers, and share in the excitement of your upcoming vacation!

7. Arrive a day or two ahead of your cruise departure.

Plan to arrive at least a day ahead of the sail date, especially if you are flying. Arriving early helps ensure that you don’t miss the boat (literally). Plus, it allows you to shake off any jet lag and rest up before embarkation day. Olivia provides host hotels with preferential rates for our guests. Be sure to book early since Olivia room blocks can sell out quickly.

8. Get to know your ship.

Familiarize yourself with the deck layout and take a virtual tour. On embarkation day, walk along the decks and take yourself on a tour of the ship. Scout out some favorite spots, including any quiet corners in case you need some downtime or a private space to soak in all of the Olivia excitement around you.

9. Be prepared to celebrate.

Come as you are and indulge in the entire Olivia experience—from incredible entertainment and signature programming to community and camaraderie 24/7. Be prepared to make friendships that will last a lifetime.

10. Don’t feel like you have to do it all.

With so many exciting events happening all week—including solo traveler meet and greets, Sisters at Play mixers for BIPOC guests, Gen-O gatherings for Olivians under 40, OWL trivia (for Older Wiser Lesbians), alumni parties, nightly entertainment, theme nights with incredible DJs, and so much more—you just might need a vacation after your vacation. But remember, you can do as much or as little as you’d like. This is your time, and you’ll want to find moments just to chill, relax, and watch the world sail by.

Maggie Beaumier and Kelly McMahon are proud members of the Olivia Travel team.

Published on October 6, 2022

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