By: Bryan Herb

Much of what I write about comes from conversations I have with my friends or people in the travel industry. This month’s article came about through a conversation with friends, many of whom were drinking.

Qualifier: This article is meant to be incredibly lighthearted. There are going to be so many stereotypes presented as fact in what you read below that it will make your head spin. Even the whole concept of top or bottom can be pretty triggering, so if you don’t like these terms, or really hate stereotypes, I suggest that you do not read on. Oh, also don’t read on if you do not like sexual innuendos. This is peppered with them.

So, we were sitting there talking about travel, innocently enough, and my one friends says “yeah, I am a total travel bottom.”

This was his comical way of saying that he really does not like to take charge when he’s traveling. He has a much more passive role, if you will. He tends to get a little bit anxious, so he likes nothing more than to put his travel in the hands of a traveling buddy and just go along for the ride, so to speak. The best submissive travel bottoms are the ones who truly will go with the flow and just take whatever you throw at them really good. Many can take a lot, but just don’t take them for granted. A really good dom travel top knows how to take care of their needs. The worst kind of submissive travel bottoms are the ones who don’t really want to do any of the planning and just kind of go through the experience like a dead fish, but then suddenly have all these opinions and restrictions about what was planned. Traveling is kind of like preparing a meal: if you refuse to help cook, then no one wants to hear you complain about the food.

I have realized that for the most part I am an epic dom travel top. I love planning, researching, finding cool things to do, and I love being in charge of the adventure. So, since I own a gay group travel company (, I am in the right line of work. I am also a big people pleaser so when I am travel topping, nothing makes me happier than planning activities that I know the people around me will be “into”. Honestly, I could bang out fun travel experiences all day.

As any good dom travel top can tell you, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Not everyone understands this, and if you don’t and you visit a destination that requires reservations weeks ahead for restaurants, excursions, hotels etc., your vacation may turn out to be a little flaccid. Now, a dom travel top is going to make sure that you get into that fantastic restaurant that just opened.

Now, the only problem with dom travel tops is that sometimes traveling with them can feel a little bit like “their way or the highway”. And, they may not realize that any submissive travel bottoms on their trip may start to see their needs going unmet. Doms will notoriously take for granted anything that a travel bottom has to do to get ready, and expect them to be ready for anything at all times. Sometimes a submissive travel bottom would be just as happy taking a bubble bath as seeing every sight that there is, and that is perfectly fine.

Even though I am usually a dom travel top, there are times when I get to be a totally submissive passive travel bottom, and I love it. Usually this is when I am on a research trip, and a local tour company or hotel is showing me what they’ve got. I love nothing more than being in someone’s capable hands as he plays my travel interests like a violin. It turns out that I can take a lot of pampering on vacation. I can take it all. And while I’m on the topic of taking great things, I just want to say that for sure size does not matter on vacation. That being said, I would much rather have an eight day trip in the Maldives rather than, say, a five or six day trip. But I digress.

So who has the right idea? Is it better to be a travel top or bottom? Truly, the answer is that it really doesn’t matter as long as you’re traveling with the right person. Two travel tops may have a lot of friction, but two travel bottoms may not explore to the fullest.

Last month I wrote about how vacations can be a time to explore hidden aspects of yourself, and to portray a different version of yourself, and see how you feel. Taking this idea to the concept of travel tops or bottoms, if you normally find yourself more in the passive role on your trips, maybe you can try getting involved in a lot more of the research and planning, and see if it changes your travel experience for the better or worse. Or, if you are always the one planning everything and keeping everyone on a schedule, maybe on your next trip you can see what happens if you absolutely let loose, kick your heals up, and just take it (the trip).

Because truly, the best thing is to be versatile (able to adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities). Especially while traveling, versatility can really help you have a better experience. As anyone who travels a lot can tell you, there are times when you need to plan ahead, and there are times when it is best to go with the flow. You can also have much of your trip planned ahead of time, and still have moments and time for spontaneity. Both are essential components of a great vacation.

Travel Versatility is sexy, and being “travel positive” is definitely having a moment.

Bryan Herb is co-owner of Zoom Vacations®, a US company that creates stylish international private events and gay group vacations to the world’s hottest destinations. Learn more about them at or call 773.772.9666.
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