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The worst of the pandemic seems to be behind us (fingers crossed, knock on wood), and the travel boom is back and better than ever. We’re sure you’ve scrolled through Instagram and seen the pictures of Black people globetrotting everywhere from Egypt to Ghana and back again. If you’re like us then you want in on the fun!
According to a study by MMGY Global, Black leisure travelers spent a staggering $129.6 billion on international and domestic travel in 2019. That’s more than double the $63 billion Black people contributed to travel and tourism around the globe in 2018, as reported by the Mandala Research firm. The numbers are expected to keep climbing, and it seems like Black people across the globe are settling into their soft life eras and setting out across the world to take in the sights.
There are multiple families who have dropped everything to travel the world and take the children with them, new Travel Channel shows featuring Black travelers, and airlines who have finally gotten the hint, boosting their promotion of diversity and inclusion in world travel.
For those who have yet to catch the travel bug, maybe it’s just not their thing. But for those who are waiting on a group of family and friends to get their lives and finances together before they make the leap? We have one thing to say: STOP!
Life is too wondrous and long to wait on anyone. If you’re ready to travel, consider going solo. While it can be scary and no place is guaranteed to be 100% safe, there are international destinations that have been reported safer for Black travelers than others. If you’re ready to get adventurous in the new year and want some help choosing a destination, we’ve scoured the internet for you. Here are 6 places to visit this year if you’re young, Black, and traveling solo, courtesy of Essence and Travel Noire:
As a result of the tense relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, travel to Cuba is more complicated than usual. Tourism is technically not accepted, and you do need a visa. However, with a little research, it is undoubtedly one of the best places to travel. The history, art, nightlife, and culture will make you go back again and again. Go for education, or get involved in a humanitarian project. Whatever you do, just make sure you go. You won’t regret it!
While the return is happening all across Africa for people of the diaspora, we recommend skipping over the busyness of Ghana or Cape Town for a luxurious escape in Tanzania. There is so much to do and so many beautiful places to see, and it’s truly an experience like none other. You can visit Mount Kilimanjaro or one of the several national parks, take a walk on the wild side for a Serengeti safari, or go be a beach bum on the island of Zanzibar.
If you’re new to traveling, Japan may feel a world away. And that’s because it is, but that can be exciting! There’s an extreme love of Black culture, and it’s wildly affordable in comparison to the U.S. You’ll never get tired of exploring, and there is an abundance of fashion, clubs, and music to keep you entertained. Most travelers report Japan being very safe in comparison to other places, and public transportation will take you just about everywhere.
As one of the least populated countries in Europe, Iceland is a gem if you’re looking to escape it all. The people are friendly, COVID cases are low, and the natural beauty is breathtaking. Tourism is their bread and butter, and Iceland does it best. There are lots of spa-like attractions, and if you can catch the northern lights in Reykjavik, you’ll be that much closer to heaven.
If you want to find the gods, Bali is your place. It is consistently ranked one of the safest places in the world! With many young, Black digital nomads relocating to the city, it was bound to make our list. Many celebrities flock to Bali for a quick eat, pray, love mission, but the beauty of the land and its affordability are really the crème de la crème. Go get recharged, but if you think of staying, remember there’s a large Black in Bali expat group that can be easily accessed on the internet.
South of France
This is one of our absolute favorites and one we recommend again, and again, and again. From the fashion of Paris to the wineries in Bordeaux, France has a lot to offer. However, for us, the South of France is top-tier luxury, and you can avoid the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities for a more laid-back place in the South. Take some time to stroll the quiet streets of Nice, or go exploring 007 style in Monaco. When you wear yourself out, take a quick yacht Saint-Tropez and come back for dinner and a movie in Cannes. It is by far the most beautiful and absolutely filled with luxury. You’ll be mesmerized! To top it off, the dollar and euro are nearly at parity currently, meaning you can avoid the extra normal expense associated with traveling there.
We hope you’ve found our list helpful. Happy solo traveling!
6 safe places to visit this year if you’re young, Black, and traveling solo. Photo Courtesy of Black & Abroad.