Women of color can have different needs and challenges while traveling — especially while traveling solo.
Bearing the twin burdens of misogyny and racism, women of color might need to do some additional research or take a few more things into consideration before selecting a destination or traveling in certain regions. Whether here in the states or around the globe, there are certain customs and practices to be aware of to ensure a safe, fun, memorable adventure.
That’s where this video from On She Goes — a new digital magazine written by and for women of color seeking travel advice and inspiration — comes in.
It’s a two-minute must-see for any would-be jet-setter, chock-full of tips for solo traveling as a woman of color.
As a frequent traveler, some of the tips resonated with me, including these:
Tip #3: “Know the Code”
When you’re a guest in someone’s country, it’s important to follow their lead regarding cultural or religious customs and traditions, especially when it comes to attire or gestures.
For example, “In countries around the Middle East, it’s mostly appropriate to keep your hair covered all the time,” host Lindsey Murphy says. “While in Asian countries, shorts and short sleeves are inappropriate.”
When in doubt, be respectful.
Tip #5: “Take a Tour”
Taking a guided bus or walking tour on your first day in a new spot will give you some great background and history, plus it might help you learn the lay of the land. “[Guided tours] are so great for seeing easily missed historical landmarks, food and drink, and they just kind of give your trip a little bit more direction,” Murphy advises.
And don’t worry, they won’t sully your solo traveler street cred.
My favorite is Tip #10: “Love your differences!”
Traveling as a woman of color might come with some unwanted attention, but don’t let that stop you from stepping out and exploring.
“Wherever you go, you’re probably going to be a bit different,” Murphy notes. “But you’re magical and people will love that.”
This video only includes 10 tips, but there’s a lot of other resources and advice out there.
If you’re a woman of color interested in traveling solo, bookmark sites like On She Goes, Brown Girls Fly, Outdoor Afro, and Travel Noire for great insight into new destinations and experiences to add to your travel bucket list.
Do your research, stay safe, and bon voyage!