Black Women It’s Time to Travel Solo

by Sojourner

Sharing is caring!

Black women travel solo and if you’ve been wanting to as well, this post is for you! For those who don’t know, solo female travel is a growing, popular form of travel. And Black women traveling alone have also seen an increase.

However, if you Google “solo female travel,” most people who pop up are white women. Therefore, there is not as much racial nuance as there should be, even though Black women, such as myself, do travel solo. Even though our experiences can still differ, being different doesn’t always mean negative. Hopefully, this post shows you Black women travel solo.

FYI: This post may have affiliate links! This means if you buy something using my link, I get a small percentage for mentioning/recommending it. Lucky for you it doesn’t change the price for you at all and it’s a super easy and generous way to say thanks for all the work I put into writing this post!!

Things to know as a Black solo female traveler

Traveling solo as a Black woman is abundant freedom

I have never felt as free as I have traveling alone as a Black woman. There is something liberating about living on your own terms during a trip. You can wake up when you want. No one is dictating your schedule and as a Black solo female traveler you decide what to do. Coming from Black American culture where a lot is put on Black women to solve, it is refreshing.

Some people may think you’re weird or lonely

As a society, we are not taught to do things solo so it is odd for some hear others do it. In particular, traveling is fed to us as an activity to be done with other people for an epic adventure full of memories. However, do not let others opinions shape your adventure. You can have fun alone too as Black solo female traveler!

People will be curious about you

Black people are not the majority in every city or town in the world. Thus, not having many Black people means people in those countries may be interested in who you are and your country of origin. Depending on where you are, staring is common and may lead to questions or even photos.

If you are not accustomed to this as a Black female solo traveler, it can be daunting and perhaps overwhelming. Take a few deep breaths and think about how you want to respond. Sometimes those questions can lead to insightful and impactful conversations. Other times, they may lead to more discomfort. Black solo female travel means trusting your gut and deciding what is best for you at that moment.

Being fetishized or hypersexualized can happen

Sexual stereotypes about Black women come from media and assumptions people have about Black women. I experienced a little hypersexualization and fetishism when I lived in Europe. You may even hear Black women get mistaken for prostitutes in various parts of the world. These experiences can happen, however for me they have been few and far between!

There are hubs of Black people around the world

Many people assume that if you pursue solo female travel in Europe or other predominantly white destinations, you will not find Black people. But don’t forget we are everywhere! There are communities of Black people throughout the globe, from Europe to South America to Asia.

While, of course, we should travel to connect with new people of all backgrounds. It is cool to connect with Black people of different nationalities and citizenships. Those connections create dynamic conversations about being Black in your respective countries and learning about the culture you are in too.

Anti-Black racism is (unfortunately) possible

You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Yes, anti-Blackness and racism exists abroad as it is a global issue. If you have experienced discrimination in your own country, you may already have some strategies to respond. However, remember you are still in a country that is not your own. You may argue with racists back home or take things further, without consequence. That is not always the case abroad, so be mindful of that if you choose to address it.

Yet, I do not want it to deter you from traveling solo. There are Black solo female travelers around the world and anti-Blackness is not our entire experience. I have experienced some uncomfortable moments of people shoving me into a picture without asking and touching my hair. It is not fun, but we cannot control people’s behavior. So it should not stop you from exploring the world either!

Safety tips for Black solo female travelers

Lie, lie, lie

With solo female travel, safety comes first – so lie when you need to. I suggest lying because everyone you meet does not need to know that you are traveling solo. Yes, people are genuinely friendly and welcoming. I have had many great experiences traveling solo as a Black woman in Mexico and throughout Europe. Yet, some people may not have the right intentions. Be careful. Make conversations and connections to be friendly but not too familiar and tell people all of your business.

Pack what you need

Solo traveling does require some essentials! And since you are on your own you want to be prepared. A sturdy backpack and shoes, a door alarm, and a portable charger are a few. For some tips on what what to bring, keep reading to the end of this post for more details.

Do not pull all your money out at once

This tip is an absolute no-no! Never pull all of your money out at once, nor have it flying around when you do pull it out. Take what you need and leave what you don’t in various areas. You can safely put your money in a bag in your locked locker at your hostel.

Also, think of unique places such as your bra (if you wear one) or even in your shoe. Just in case of a robbery, the person would not take all of your money at once. We have to protect ourselves. 

Get your protective style

You can never go wrong with a good protective style on a trip! I love Marley twists as a Black solo female traveler myself. But you can choose whichever style works for you whether it is braids, twists, wigs, etc. So if you don’t wear your natural hair, you’ll need some Black hair tips.

Why you should become a Black solo female traveler

It boosts your confidence

Many times, and in so many ways, Black women are told to make themselves smaller for other people to thrive. Solo traveling breaks that down and shows us just how amazing we are. And we have more freedom and independence while doing so.

Being on your own boosts your confidence in ways you may have never imagined. You are your navigator and travel planner. No one is telling you what to do or where to go. You are more likely to be adventurous and meet new people. If you are on the fence about being a Black solo female traveler, it is worth it!

It encourages language learning

I had a stutter in English as a child showed up in Spanish as an adult. I became self-conscious about my language-learning abilities as a 20-year-old who was excited to learn a new language. Therefore, I tested myself! I booked a trip to Mexico for a week to travel solo. I navigated my entire journey in my second language the whole time and loved it.

Being on your own as a Black solo female traveler means navigating alone too. If you are interested in learning a language and want to be immersed, solo travel is the perfect opportunity. I felt much more confident in my language skills, and it boosted my self-esteem, knowing that I can do it on my own.

You meet more people than with group travel

When you are traveling by yourself, it is not boring and way easier to make friends. Traveling solo encourages you to be a little more friendly than if you were in a group of people you already know. I had met way more people and built stronger connections traveling solo than I had when I was traveling with friends. While there is nothing with group travel, sometimes you want to go out and adventure on your own. Solo travel makes that possible, and there is no commitment to stick with someone you just met. 

You cannot wait on your friends forever

Listen, it is time for some hard truths: your friends are not coming! Leave them! Sometimes our friends cannot get ready when we want them to book a trip. Whether they cannot get the time off or do not have their money together, solo travel may be forced into your future travel experiences. Time is of the essence, and sometimes you have to go by yourself. Sorry, but book that trip and see your friends later. You are now a Black female solo traveler.

Travel essentials for solo female travel

Portable charger

As you will be responsible for yourself on this trip, you want to make sure you have a charged phone. A portable charger is a travel essential. If you are taking photos by yourself or using GPS like Google Maps to navigate, that is a lot of charging to do. You will need a backup battery to keep all your juice. To have a portable charger is a lifesaver, literally. 

Google maps

Speaking of Google maps, it is the must-have app for solo female travelers. You can create lists of places you plan to visit in your destination. In the app, you can star these locations, and from there, you can create a list. To use Google Maps, you do not need to have wi-fi either. Just make sure you downloaded the map of where you are going beforehand, and it should pop up later.

Register with your government

Registering with your government is another helpful tip when you are traveling solo. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a program for U.S travelers. With STEP, you get alerts when there are significant travel emergencies to know about in your destination. It is completely free too! Thus, STEP is a great resource to stay informed on any emergencies that can occur abroad.

Get creative to take your photos

Where are all my photo lovers? If you are a Black woman traveling solo and want to get photos by yourself or those Instagram-worthy photos, a tripod is your friend. You can set it up as you stage your photo to get the shot you desire. You can also find somebody who has a DSLR camera that can signal they know how to take a solid picture. That trick does not always work, but it is a place to start if you do not have a tripod.

On the other hand, if you want a professional photographer, consider an Airbnb experience. I did one of these when I traveled solo in Amsterdam. I still use those photos today because the photographer did such a fantastic job. Airbnb experiences are also a great memory because most photoshoots double as a tour of the destination. Even as Black women traveling alone, it is obvious we are not always alone.

Bonus: join Black travel Facebook groups

For Black solo female travelers who want to connect with other Black travelers, do this! Join Black travel Facebook groups if you need more information on a destination from Black travelers’ perspective. There are tons of location-specific Black travel groups that are great for asking questions about what it is like being Black in various destinations. And you may even connect with other solo female travelers who are now looking for Black travel buddies. Again, if you put yourself out there, you never know what you will get.  

Travel inspiration for Black women solo travelers

Ciara Johnson of Hey Ciara. Solo female travel is the life that Ciara lives. She quit her job to travel the world and is now a full-time travel blogger and influencer.  From language learning to must-have travel essentials, you can read more in-depth information and helpful advice on her blog or her Instagram

Abena of Travelling Tuesdays. For all my Gen Z readers looking for solo female travel tips, Abena is who you need to be following. Based in the UK by way of Ghana, Abena’s Instagram captions are detailed and rich in insightful information she has acquired as a solo female traveler. She offers advice, including budget travel tips, how to take pictures traveling solo, and general destination-based advice.

Want more travel tips for Black women? Check out this post here!

Like this post? Save and share for later!

Note: This post was originally published on February 4, 2021 and updated on August 15, 2023

Sharing is caring!

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.