Your Travel Advocate: August 2009

By Ed Salvato

Originally published on Advocate.com July 06 2009 12:00 AM ET

The Fur Will Fly

Pet Airways launches its first routes for canines and cats

no matter how much you consider your Labradoodle part of the family, most airlines think differently: If Fido doesn't fit under the seat, he's banished to the cargo hold. Enter Pet Airways (PetAirways.com), which turns up its muzzle at the pets-as-baggage approach in favor of in-cabin accommodations. The pets-only airline-scheduled to launch in July with overnight service between Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Denver-transports cats, dogs, and other domesticated critters in individual carriers inside modified 19-passenger turbo-prop planes. Pet owners aren't allowed on board, but the airline promises that an attendant will check on "pawsengers" every 15 minutes, and nervous masters can track their pets' progress online. Flights start at $149 one way; prices are based on travel distance and pet size.

Q&A

Q: My partner and I want to leave New York's heat behind this August. Can you give us some direction for a cool East Coast road trip?

A: Chill out in the Canadian Maritimes (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island) with sunny days, refreshing nights, stunning scenery, spectacular seafood, and a laissez-faire attitude about all things gay. Drive aboard the fast ferry (CatFerry.com) from Portland or Bar Harbor, Maine, to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, then continue on to Halifax. Alternatively, fly into Halifax and rent a car. Drive northeast through picturesque Pictou to the Prince Edward Island ferry (PEIFerry.com) at Caribou. Explore the tiny, 140-mile-long province before driving to Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick. A ferry links St. John back to Nova Scotia.

Hot List

Feel the sand between your toes at these sultry summer parties

• Gay Beach Party Sitges, Spain (all summer)

Dance till dawn at Sitges's famed weekly beach shindig. Every Tuesday night (plus the Festival Beach Day Party on Sunday, August 9), a free bus shuttles partygoers from the Calipolis Hotel to open-air club L'Atlàntida for this hot seaside gathering. GayBeachParty.com

• Splash Days Austin (September 4-7)

Hot bodies deck the rocky limestone shores of Lake Travis during this annual clothing-optional beach party weekend at gay-popular Hippie Hollow, the only legal nude beach in Texas. It's a sexy spread of boys and beers on boulders and boats. SplashDays.com

• Get Wet Weekend Curaçao (September 24-27)

Basking just 40 miles off the north coast of Venezuela, gay-welcoming Curaçao offers one of the Caribbean's biggest and gayest parties, with a wide range of events. It's also the only one of these three beach parties that draws a significant number of lesbians. GayCuracao.com