It seems like you can’t even log onto Instagram or TikTok these days without seeing a plethora of Black women on picturesque beaches, over-the-water bungalows or exploring a beautiful foreign country. Travel offers the opportunity to experience a sense of calm, serenity or even just the ability to escape from the day-to-day hustle and bustle of our work and personal lives.
In 2019 alone, Black U.S. leisure travelers spent a whopping $129.6 billion on domestic and international travel according to “The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities, and Priorities,” a report produced by MMGY Global, and our purchasing power is likely to keep growing.
But behind the scenes, even the most well-traveled and respected women in travel face unseen hurdles. Because, like America, being Black seemingly makes other people uncomfortable just by our existence. Depending on the country, you have to worry about being racially profiled, stared at, or even worse — seeming so foreign that strangers will actually want to come up to you and touch you (or your hair).
Let’s also not forget the overall concern of crime and safety.
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Recently, many travelers have taken to Instagram to document some of the safest places they’ve traveled or felt comfortable as a Black woman. Though safety is never guaranteed at any point in time, anywhere in the world, we’ve rounded up a few destinations that you should consider when planning your next trip.
There’s a reason people consider their voyage to Ghana as a “homecoming.” For some, Ghana is a destination where worries about safety and racism are non-existent, and not to mention a place where expats have flocked to over the past couple of years. Of course, nowhere is perfect. But when it comes to culture, food, safety and overall quality of life — Ghana is pretty close.
Mexico gets an undeserved bad reputation for travel, particularly in the United States, but not all parts are created equal. Tulum in particular has been a respite for Black travelers over the past couple of years, with a growing community of Black expats in the Yucatan Peninsula. What’s even best about traveling to Mexico is that they have a booming tourism infrastructure, excellent hotels at a variety of price points, and several well-worn tourist trails, especially in the Yucatán.
Puerto Rico is an amazing island that Black women should explore. The continually tropical climate, the friendly locals and the endless amounts of coquito are just a few of the reasons, but even beyond that, Puerto Rico has a combination of rich Black history and colorful culture that should pique everyone’s interest.
Bali isn’t called the “Island of the Gods” for no reason. Considered one of the safest places in the world, Bali is also known for its beautiful natural landscape, captivating cultural scene and affordability. Because of this, Bali attracts digital nomads all around the world, including a Black expat group called ‘Black In Bali.’
Colombia elected its first Black women Vice President this year, so it’s no surprise that it would be a haven for Black women. Safer than ever and brimming with incredible things to see and experience, Colombia belongs at the top of your travel bucket list. Amazing street art, incredible sites, unparalleled nightlife, gorgeous beaches, delicious food—the list goes on and on. Also, Colombia is the only country in South America with coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea so you get the best of both worlds.
Iceland couldn’t be an easier place to travel. The country is built on tourism, and therefore the travel infrastructure is spectacular. Also, as the least-populated country in Europe, you will find wide-open spaces and vast areas of untouched wilderness in Iceland. For Black women who desire peace, Iceland’s abundant natural beauty is around every corner with unparalleled scenery unlike anywhere else.