Okay. Drop the excuses. Drop the stigma that Black people don’t travel. I’m a Black person. I travel. We do this!!!! And we love it. We thrive in this traveling life. When I was younger, my family used to take road trip family vacations to different cities in the southeastern part of the U.S. I believe my father wanted us to experience life outside of my hometown of Peoria, Illinois. He doesn’t know it because I thank him for these opportunities.
In my adult life, I feel as if I’m now always on the move. Always on a trip somewhere. I’m jumping from airport to airport or I’m in the car driving to go somewhere. Because I’ve been bitten by the travel bug, being complacent gives me anxiety. I’m scared that if I don’t travel, I will lose motivation for other aspects of my life. I’m probably one of the busiest people I know, I work two jobs and am in a PhD program, so finding time for self-care is 100% important to me.
As a Black person, I believe it is important to travel and experience things outside of your norm for two reasons. Reason number one being that society thinks we are lazy and don’t do anything. Push back against those negative connotations about us as a people and get out there. I’ll admit, it’s scary at first. Especially if you want to go somewhere and know you don’t have a solid friend group who are willing to go with you. Trust me, I’ve been in situations where I plan a trip and 20 people say they want to go and only end up going with 5 people. Stop waiting on others to go get your fun on. To be honest, that’s advice for any aspect of your life, not just traveling. Find a friend who lives in a different state and go visit them by yourself. Take a road trip to a new city by yourself and explore what that place has to offer. Immerse yourself in a new environment, try new foods, go exploring the city, go to a club. I take solo road trips by myself all of the time and have had an amazing time. You don’t need other people to validate your fun.
The second reason Black people need to travel more is because in my opinion, we are one of the hardest working racial groups in this country. We constantly have to work 3 times as hard as everyone else on our jobs, in classes, in life just to prove to other people that we are worthy. Having to always be all we can be is exhausting. Why not take a vacation for yourself?
“Oh but it’s easy for you to say just go travel, Tristen, because you have money.”
Okay, first of all…no. I greatly dislike when people assume that I am made of money just because I like to go places. It may seem like it because of the places I’ve gone. Traveling does not need to be as expensive as people make it out to be. Below are some tips that I’ve found to be successful in my traveling adventures.
Proper Planning: So, you got your 3-4 besties and you all decide on a location. For simplicity, I’ll choose Miami, Florida (Miami is my second favorite city in the U.S.). You and the team want to go to Miami in October for Halloween weekend because you heard of a fun costume party and Drake and his beard will be hosting the party. Here are the main things to solidify in your planning process ahead of time.
- Flights. Designate a person to be in charge of tracking flights and in that process, everyone should start putting aside $50 per paycheck. This is help eliminate the conversation of “Oh I can’t book my ticket right now because I don’t have the money.” When that one person finds a good flight, you need to book immediately before those prices go back up. When I want to go somewhere, I typically ask my father to take the money out of my account and put it somewhere safe until I need it.
- A place to stay. I personally, love AirBnb versus hotels. Designate a person to be in charge of figuring out where you all are going to stay. I prefer Airbnbs over hotels because there is usually more space and it is easier to navigate. Most times, they are more cost effective than hotels anyway…I’ve saved a bunch of money booking Airbnbs. Anyway, once that person finds a few different locations, team members need to choose, fairly quickly, where they want to stay. If you choose an Airbnb, set a deadline to when the money is going to be due so you all can book the house. The dates may go fast. If you go the hotel route, it is still beneficial to get your money in.
- Activities: Lastly, designate a person to find you all things to do while you are there. You already planned to go Drake and his beard’s costume party while in Miami, now what? Ensure that you are planning some free activities in your trip as well as things that are going to cost. You don’t want to be spending money on everything that you do because that will leave people feeling as if they don’t have a lot left. Balance out the process.
So, you found flights and paid for them, you found a place to stay and paid for it, and your itinerary is poppin! Now what?
Save. SAVE! SAVE!
You know that you now have five months until your big Halloween trip. It is time to start putting money aside, again, for spending money and miscellaneous expenses that you may not know you will need. Again, I try to use my dad to help take the money away from me. I recommend having your parents or a trusted loved one to help you not spend your money. Or, if you have the willpower to save without touching your money, do that then! As you are saving, look on clearance racks and thrift stores for outfits that aren’t going to cost you too much. Everyone wants new clothes for trips-I am one of those people. Just be frugal about what you buy.
These quick and easy steps can be applied even if you are travelling internationally. Geez, international travel is the best. Just be smart and remember that money is going to be in that country’s currency. You will need to talk to your bank to open up your credit or debit card for those countries so you can book flights and your place to stay.
Black people, I hope this gave you a little motivation to plan a vacation in 2018. If you decide to plan one, I would love to hear about it. You can comment right on this post, go to the contact me section, follow me on twitter @adjustyocrown and like me on Facebook Adjust Yo Crown. Let me know what worked or what didn’t work or anything new you want to share with me.
Also, support Black and Abroad. You can follow them on IG and shop their website for shirts to wear while you are overseas!
Head over to my next post about my recent trip to London, England and Paris, France from January 17-24, 2018! Be a Black traveler!
❤ Queen T