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Experts Share The Safest (And Not So Safe) Places For Black Women To Travel

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When planning a trip, safety while visiting a destination is important for all tourists, but it’s especially important for Black ones, particularly Black women who are solo travelers. We must consider the experiences of those who have patronized a business or locale in the past to determine if any discrimination, abuse or harassment could be an isolated event or the actual vibe. For some frequent travelers, because concerns such as these, plus instances of prejudice and microaggressions, exist globally, these things have no bearing on what safety looks like or where they choose to spend their Black dollars. For others though, it’s something they keep in mind as they make the important decision of where in the world to touch down in next. We chatted with seven Black travel writers, influencers, and professionals to get some insight into what safety looks like and feels like to them, the destinations they suggest, and places where they’ve felt less than safe.
Beauty editor, travel writer and creative producer
I travel solo exclusively, so I keep my guard up as a woman. Safety for me traveling as a Black woman is a feeling. What makes me feel safe is feeling a sense of community even when I’m somewhere new.
Porto, Portugal, became an instant favorite because I saw myself everywhere. I was walking down the street wearing beaded braids, and a beautiful Portuguese Black woman told me how much she loved my hair. Even though there was a language barrier, there was still a sense of belonging, and it was so beautiful to see how embracing our roots is transcending across the diaspora.
Little things like being followed, stared at, or not helped by staff as I watch them jump hoops to assist others makes me feel unsafe. It can be a misconception that these things only exist in America, but anti-Blackness is everywhere. In Sevilla, Spain, a host told me not to speak about Christopher Columbus’ contribution to the slave trade. When attempting to patron a local salon, everyone stopped talking when I walked in, and no one helped me. My experience with not feeling safe came from all of the microaggressions.
Freelance travel writer
To me, safety means I feel comfortable in a space. I am always aware of my surroundings and trust my instincts. Although I do not identify as LGBTQIA+, when I see pride representation, it makes me feel like a place is accepting of all people.
A few places that come to mind where I felt safe are Fort Lauderdale, Fla; Havana, Cuba; New York City; Cleveland, Ohio; and Belize. The one place that sticks out where I didn’t feel comfortable as a Black woman traveling alone was on Lower Broadway in Nashville, Tenn. The amount of excessive drinking early in the day, combined with the multi-storied music venues and bars, made me feel very vulnerable as an African American.
The foundation of safety for me while traveling is awareness. I have a strong intuition. I won’t stay or continue a trip if it doesn’t feel right. I also use groups for Black women travelers, which provide suggestions, warnings, safety tips, and a great sense of community.
El Salvador was amazing. It is a very family-oriented and welcoming country. The men that I met there were very respectful. There were no feelings of being objectified or fetishized because I was a Black woman.
Unfortunately, I have felt unsafe throughout my travels in America. When I travel abroad, things like staring are because I’m a foreigner. We’re able to engage in conversation. In the U.S., something as simple as my Southern accent is often a giveaway that I’m not from the area, leaving me to be considered a target.
Attorney, journalist and content creator
To me, feeling safe is arriving in a place and feeling as though I’ve stepped into my home away from home. I typically feel safest in my home, so when I travel, I try to get as close to that feeling as possible. That feeling comes from seeing folks around me who look like me, knowing there are people in the area who would come to my rescue/help me should I be in a harmful situation, and a place that is easy to navigate no matter the time of day. I read blogs and roundups to get a general sense of other women’s global experiences. Also, social media helps, too. But I never let that be my sole factor because everyone’s experience can be different.
One of the places I felt safest was Havana, Cuba. I was there solo and never felt in danger. The people were always warm, welcoming, and willing to help me with anything. I also felt safe in Paris, Lisbon, and Grenada.
The only time I felt in immediate danger was on a train to Rome when a local man began shouting derogatory words over taking a seat on the train. It went as far as him getting in my friend’s face, and because we were foreign Black women, no one on the train came to our defense.
Travel lifestyle blogger
For me, the essence of safety is being able to freely explore and wander to various places in unfamiliar territory without the looming threat of targeted attacks due to the skin I embody. Reading about the destination’s historical background helps me paint an image of the societal dynamics and can tell me how I might be perceived. Delving into travel blogs, videos, and online forums is my go-to for obtaining personal recounts and experiences of other Black women who share similar features. However, I take it with a grain of salt, as I understand that another person’s experience may not necessarily be my own when traveling for a variety of factors.
The top destinations I have felt safe in are Bali, Indonesia; La Fortuna, Costa Rica; and Kigali, Rwanda. In all these destinations, there was never a moment where I felt unsafe. Fortunately, I have not had any safety issues so far on any of my trips. As a naturally observant individual, I aim to stay highly alert and aware when traveling in case my life is ever in danger.
Digital creator
When traveling, I exercise the same caution as when I am home. I avoid walking around with my hood on or leaving luxury goods behind. Another safety precaution I take is adding a secondary name to my hotel reservations. It prevents people from knowing I am alone. It’s also helpful for me to check travel.state.gov for travel advisories. I take into consideration the political climate and crime rates, too.
Places where I felt safe include Iceland, Curacao, and South Africa. I felt unsafe in Morocco because the men were very abrasive at the marketplaces, making me apprehensive to travel there again solo.
Travel writer and on-air host
Determining if an entire destination is deemed “safe” can be tricky. I can’t pinpoint what safety looks like, but I know when I don’t feel safe completely. It can be how the people engage with me or how the hotel staff communicates with me. I’ve loved some places while others have had horror stories. I try to stick to the combo of common sense and discernment to determine if I’m safe.
I’ve always had great experiences in Mexico, whether in Cancun or Tequila. I can’t speak for entire destinations, but I’ve had incidents in Florida and upstate New York where people were racist and had no problem making that very clear.
Wherever you choose to go, stay vigilant, alert someone of your plans, and share your experiences with other travelers to bring awareness to both pleasant parts of your trip and those that could pose potential dangers.



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