Traveling While Black: How to Stay Safe

Since the Summer of 2012, the risk of being harmed as an African American person has been heightened. In many cases, we have seen unarmed men and women being killed in the most merciless ways when doing regular day-to-day things like being out late with friends, shopping, and unfortunately, TRAVELING!

 

Leaving your home for vacation only to discover that that was the last time you would ever be home is undeniably crushing and scary. While we cannot take the hate and malice out of people’s hearts, there are some key ways to feel more comfortable and stay safe while traveling.

 

#1. Don’t travel alone 

While it is liberating to travel independently, you should do your best to travel with someone when you are able. If you bring a friend or family member, you'll have help in the event of a dangerous situation or at least a witness. If you truly cannot decide whether or not to travel with someone, be sure to let people know where you are going and when you have arrived at your destination. This doubles the amount of protection that you have. If something were to occur, someone will know where you are and can keep in contact you, search for you, send help, etc. 

 

#2. Research your destination 

While this may seem like a no-brainer, many people simply do surface-level Google searches on the places they want to go to.  By doing in-depth research, you’ll find out what areas of a location to avoid and what places can enhance your experience. Travel Noire is a great resource that helps African Americans find places that are safe to go to. They provide travel guides for each continent. You should also try to utilize Black travel agents. Yes, they can be tough to find but since the majority of the world is still remote right now, it is much easier to find the perfect agent for you! 

 

#3. Pay attention when and before you travel 

Dangerous situations often happen when you’re not paying attention. That is why it is important to trust your instincts. You can tell the difference between good and bad vibes so don't ignore that inner knowing. Even when you travel (the specific days and times) can make a difference. Traveling when it’s crowded can be a safer option. In the event that something goes wrong, there are more witnesses. However, try to avoid the holidays if you can because there are too many distractions. You also want to be thoughtful when booking flights. Pick times at which you can be alert and aware. Choosing a 4 AM flight may not be best course of action if you know that you’re a sleepy-head. 

 

With these tips, you will be able to travel with a calmer mind, knowing that you made a conscious effort to protect yourself. Though these 3 methods don’t always prevent disaster, they are good safety precautions that can be helpful to you in the future.