Spring and summer are approaching, two popular times for travel and leisure. After two years of being stuck inside due to the pandemic, millions of Black families are booking up flights and trains to destinations around the world for some good old R&R.
Some Black travelers are opting to jet set abroad for an exciting getaway and they will spend big bucks to have an unforgettable experience. The Mandala Research found that African American travelers increased in 2018 from $48 billion to a whopping $68 billion. Those in search of cultural experiences were among the highest spenders, shelling out an average of “$2,078 versus $1,345 for all African American travelers.”
Prior to the pandemic, Black explorers purchased a whopping $109.4 billion on travel in 2019, signaling another huge thirst for adventure among the community. But when researching popular destinations, Black jet setters are often weary of booking travel to places where they may face discrimination or racism. Trust and safety are always at top of their list.
So, if you’re a Black person planning your next vacation, where should you go for a fun and safe time? Try St. Lucia. Black travelers have been raving about the island’s lush greenery and scenic hills.
“In Saint Lucia, they want to experience the Black Caribbean Culture, the return of the jazz festival [and] gaze at spectacular views of the Pitons and enjoy those “Frish-Fry” Fridays,” travel agent Belvin Baldwin II told Travel Plus.
With warm weather and incredible nature and oceans left and right, Saint Lucia will make for the perfect getaway.
Here are a few more international and local destinations that Black jet setters have been itching to travel to this vacation season.
Panama, Panama City
Panama City has become a bustling go-to designation for Black folks. You’ll find a little bit of everything packed in this Latin American country. Many Black travelers opt to go around January for the city’s exciting Panama Jazz Festival, but there is still so much to do and enjoy this season. Try visiting Casco Viejo to take a look at the cool 17th-century Spanish Colonial architecture. Don’t forget to visit the Panama Canal, too. The popular tourist site gets busy, so make sure to head out early in the morning for the best views.
Church Creek, Maryland
Don’t want to break the bank on travel? Church Creek, Maryland could be a great option. In the quaint city, you’ll find the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park. Visitors who step foot into the museum will get to see the freedom fighter’s childhood home and pay homage to her heroic efforts with Underground Railroad. Tubman helped to free about 70 people during her time as the conductor.
“What makes her so incredibly striking is that she went back several times after her own escape to freedom to help others,” Debra Michals, Ph.D. and director of women and gender studies at Merrimack College told Travel + Leisure during an interview. “I don’t think most people today could comprehend what kind of inner fortitude and dedication to the larger cause of freedom that that must have taken.”
Looking to travel to Europe for a fun vacation? Add Lisbon to your list. This time of year is perfect and you just might beat the rush of the busy tourist season. There are a bevy of historical sites to visit in the bustling city from São Jorge Castle to the Belém Tower.
Lisbon is a cultural melting pot. Home to many Brazilian, Angolan and Cape Verdean migrants, you’ll get to experience a burst of vibrant foods, nightlife and Instagram-worthy views walking around this magical city.
Black folks are flocking to Ghana this travel season. The rich city is home to tasty dishes like Banku and grilled tilapia fish or the famous Red-red, a bean and fish stew mixed together with fried plantain. Beyond food, Ghana is packed with unforgettable historical and cultural experiences, and many Black travelers are going to the West African hot spot to retrace their roots.
Popular landmarks include Elmina Castle, Black Star Square and Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is another stateside destination that won’t break the bank if you are on a budget. The buzzing vacation spot is relaxing and perfect for families who enjoy the great outdoors. Be sure to check out First Landing State Park, located on Cape Henry in Virginia Beach. It is the most-visited state park in Virginia.
The buzzing historical site was built by an all-African American regiment, Company 1371, in the 1930s and is now a registered National Natural Landmark. Travelers can visit the booming site to hike, camp, bird watch and take in all of the site’s lush views.
Brazil will feel like home to many Black travelers passing through. Mainly because the South American mainstay has a large Black population, the largest outside of Africa. You’ll get to see, feel and taste a little bit of the African diaspora wherever you go in the country. From breathtaking beaches to epic scenery like the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain, Brazil is a must-see for Black folks in search of adventure.
The city of lights is also a must-see this travel season. Paris is hot and rife with Black culture from the arts to the incredible food. Visit popular spots like the Montmartre to relive the iconic journey of Black artists like James Baldwin and the legendary Josephine Baker. You can also sign up for a guided tour via Walking the Spirit, a company that offers comprehensive tours of Black historical sites throughout the city.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai is becoming a hot travel destination for Black explorers. They’re curious about the culture and country’s affinity for luxury and opulence. Shop till you drop at The Dubai Mall or head out to the desert for a fun day of dune bashing, a popular attraction where you can drive over bumpy sand dunes at high speed. Visitors also love the Burj Khalifa, one of the city’s tallest skyscrapers.
San Francisco, California
Need the warm weather without the expensive travel tab? Head on down to San Francisco for a good time. Filled with wineries, thriving nightlife and historical sites, San Fran will make for the perfect getaway. Don’t forget to check out the Museum of the African Diaspora while you’re there. The contemporary museum holds exhibitions and presents artists exclusively of the African diaspora, one of only a few museums of its kind in the United States.
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