London Pride is coming up and who better to tell us about how to get ready to celebrate than The Globetrotter Guys! Here are their tops tips on how to prepare for London Pride!
You might have noticed a lot more rainbows on your newsfeed recently and there is a good reason why! June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month and you can’t travel far without coming across one of the many pride events all over the world. June was chosen because this is the month when the 1969 Stonewall riots happened. These were pivotal to the Gay Liberation Movement and June honors those who were part of this.
Most recently we have celebrated Pride at Sea onboard Celebrity Cruises, Rome Pride, Sitges Pride, Barcelona Pride and now London Pride is coming up! This is exciting for us as we are both originally from the UK.
There have been many pre-pride events going on throughout June in London leading up to the main event, the Pride Parade and free Trafalgar Square performances which will be held on July 7th 2018.
If you haven’t been to Pride before then it’s time to get prepared! Here are our top tips to make sure you are ready to celebrate when London Pride kicks off!
1. Rainbow Flags
It may sound obvious, but after many prides we have only just bought one ourselves!
Without fail, every pride parade we have been to has been filled with explosions of colour and rainbows! London is no different.
We have seen people wearing flags as capes, incorporated onto t-shirts, hats, socks, scarfs, face paints you name it! Or quite simply, just get an actual flag to wave!
2. What to wear for London Pride?
Anything, everything and nothing. But mind the weather!
This is something we really love about pride all around the world and don’t always see at other events. You really do get to be yourself, wear what you want and no one bats an eyelid.
We see people in jeans and a t-shirt, dresses, short shorts, speedos, full on drag, fancy dress and even less if you dare (let’s hope for sun!). No one really cares and it’s a very liberating experience! Just be yourself.
3. What to do with your valuables?
This is an important one.
London is a big city and with crowds comes pickpockets. It’s a shame, but that is the reality. We really get frustrated when we see phones and wallets sticking out of peoples back pockets so don’t be that person!
How to avoid losing your valuables? Here are our ideas:
- Don’t bring them – sometimes we just want to relax and enjoy the parade without worrying. We just bring cash and nothing else.
- Tight jeans (no loose pockets) – keeping your phone/wallet in the front pocket of tight jeans is a pretty safe option. Sometimes we struggle to pull our phones out of our pockets ourselves, let alone someone trying to discreetly pickpocket you.
- Drawstring bags – have your valuables in one of those bags on your back that you have to physically take off to open. Don’t have a backpack on your back which has easy zips or clips, and if you do, wear it on your front.
- Bum bag (or Fanny pack if you are from the US) – maybe not the most stylish accessory but having your valuable in one of these around your waist, inside your trousers or across your chest is also a safer option.
4. Sunglasses, Sun Screen and an Umbrella?
It’s fair to say that along with pride comes many fun parties, events and a few drinks. Attending a parade after a late night? Put on a pair of big sunglasses and no one will ever know how tired you might look!
Next you have to have your sun screen and an umbrella. This may sound like a strange combination if you aren’t from the UK but don’t forget, in the UK the weather can go from rain to sun and back to rain again. That ‘red lobster look’ or ‘drowned rat look’ does not work for anyone and the parades can go on for hours. Make sure you are covered up either way!
5. Glitter and paints
Pride is the perfect excuse to go crazy on the glitter and paints (if that’s your thing!) Our opinion is the brighter the better!
Be prepared to have rainbows drawn across you face and find glitter for days after! Even if you’re not the one wearing it!
6. Know your hashtags
We all love social media, and while likes and comments are great, the real purpose is about connecting people, hence the name ‘social’.
Get some hashtags ready in your notes to copy and paste onto your posts and add your experience for others to see. Many a time we have added our posts and other travellers have commented saying ‘We are here too! Let’s meet up!’. It’s been a great way to meet like-minded people.
As a starter, we recommend going with #londonpride #pridelondon #gaypride #gaypridelondon #lgbtqpride. Of course, you can edit these for any pride you attend!
7. Check out the parade route
We have fallen foul to this many a time. At just 5’4’’ we need a good view of the parade and you should never underestimate how busy the pride parade will be!
We recommend checking out the route and starting time and planning accordingly. We tend to avoid the starting point and walk further down the route where it is typically quieter, with a better view!
If you are really savvy, you might want to book a hotel with a balcony overlooking the parade route (or make friends with someone who has)! That’s one for the mega organised and you will be rewarded with the best view of all!
The parade route has not been released yet, keep an eye here for the announcement.
8. Book in advance!
London is an expensive city, even for those who live and work there. Once all the reasonable hotels are booked up you might struggle.
Being a city, it does offer everything from hostels to 5 star hotels. If you are definitely going, decide on your budget and get it booked, some people even book a year in advance!
Whatever you do, make sure you check on TripAdvisor before you book. We have found some great ‘deals’ in London before, only to find that the reviews are terrible.
9. Learn to use the underground
It can be overwhelming when you first look at the London Underground but its really not that hard, and will save you a lot of money on black cabs (if you really need a cab we recommend Uber).
All lines run North to South or East to West, are colour coded and very frequent. There are always plenty of staff to help direct you and you will pick it up in no time.
It’s pretty fast paced and sometimes you might have to shove your way on, but it’s definitely the cheapest and quickest way round London. In the past, you needed a Metro Card, however now you can just use your contactless debit/credit card to swipe in and out.
10. Do you need tickets?
No! Unlike some other prides around the world you do not need to get tickets.
Everything is open to the public including the main stage where you can watch all the performances. This year the line up includes Sophie Ellis-Bextor, George Shelley, SuRie, Alyssa Edwards and Courtney Act.
We hope you find our top tips useful and have the best pride yet! Let us know any other tips you have!
This is a guest post by gay travel bloggers Sion and Ben of The Globetrotter Guys. Sion and Ben are a married couple from the UK. In January 2018 they booked a one-way flight to go long term travelling and never looked back. They have recently travelled through Central America and are now back in Europe for Pride Month.