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Travel Inspiration | International
3 Destinations Where I Felt Safe As A Black Traveler


Travel can be an amazing experience. However, feeling on guard can ruin a perfect travel experience quickly. As a Black traveler, there have been numerous times I have felt out place while visiting a new destination and it affected my travel experience. Whether it is blatant staring or pointing, not being shown respect, poor customer service, or pictures taken without your consent, there is no denying that racism is still present globally. This should be the last thing you have to worry about during your vacations.

According to Travel Agent Central, Black travelers consider safety and representation when choosing a destination and research prior to making destination choices. Additionally, a report by The Black Traveler shared that Black U.S. leisure travelers spent $109.4 billion in tourism. This spend was generated by 458.2 million Black U.S. traveler stays, which represents 13.1% of the U.S. leisure travel market.

We all seek positive travel experiences, so here are three places I personally felt safe as a Black traveler.

French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana; Photo by f11photo/

New Orleans, a city rich in Black history, has always been a wonderful destination for me as a Black traveler. According to EMSI population data, New Orleans is more racially diverse than the U.S. as a whole. In 2021, an estimated 59% of the population in New Orleans was Black.

New Orleans is known for its abundant cultural heritage, vibrant music scene, and diverse population. It has a reputation for being welcoming to visitors of all backgrounds. Stepping into New Orleans—affectionately known as “NOLA”—visitors are greeted with Southern hospitality.

I can assure you that you will fall in love with the food immediately. For fans of oysters, I highly recommend trying chargrilled oysters and washing them down with a Hurricane, which is a strong rum cocktail. As you wander the “NOLA” streets, you may stumble upon some street music or a parade. The culture is infectious, and the locals encourage you to join in the fun.

New Orleans is also home to the ultimate “for the culture” festival—the Essence Festival. Officially known as the Essence Festival of Culture, the event is an annual music and cultural event that takes place in New Orleans. It is organized by Essence Communications, a media company that focuses on African American women and their interests. The festival is one of the largest gatherings of African American artists, musicians, speakers, and celebrities in the United States.

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Toronto, Canada skylineSkyline of Toronto, Canada at dusk; Photo by mandritoiu/

Specifically, Toronto—a diverse city with multiple minority groups, where Black travelers can’t help but feel at home. The top three visible minority groups in Toronto are: South Asian (14% of total 2021 Toronto population), Chinese (10.7%), and Black (9.6%).

In general, Canada is known for its multiculturalism and diversity, and Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. The city prides itself on its inclusivity and tolerance. Toronto has a low crime rate compared to many other major cities, and violent crime is relatively rare. I’ve traveled and stayed long periods of time in Toronto and I’ve never felt unsafe. The city has plenty of big-city features with a welcoming, small town community feel. It has a lot to offer, including various multi-ethnic restaurants, professional sporting teams, a robust art and culture scene, and plenty of nature. Toronto has something for everyone to feel included.

St John`s Harbour, AntiguaSt. John Harbor, Antigua; Photo by Doug Gordon/

As soon as I stepped foot off the plane to Antigua, I knew I made a great decision to visit. According to World Population Review, Antigua's population is made up primarily of people of West African, British, and Madeiran descent. The population is 91% Black.

Representation matters, and I saw this demonstrated in the food, culture, music, and more. Even though I stayed at an all-inclusive resort, my friends and I felt very comfortable stepping off the resort and partying with the locals. There is no Uber or Lyft service in Antigua, so visitors must rely on the local taxis to get around. While this would have been an immediate red flag to me traveling in other destinations, my travel party felt very comfortable riding with local drivers. We were even able to have conversations with the cab drivers about crime and tourism. The drivers explained they like to make travelers and foreigners feel safe, specifically because they heavily rely on tourism dollars to support local businesses and workers. Not only did Antigua feel safe, it was the perfect place to relax and unplug due to its 365 pristine beaches, warm temperatures, and lush nature.

Everyone’s experience can be different. It’s important that you do your own research and stay informed about your destination and the activities you plan. The perception of safety also varies from person to person. The destinations where I felt safe were based on my personal safety concerns and how comfortable I felt while visiting these destinations as a person of color and a solo traveler. Regardless of your destination, always remember to be aware of your surroundings and common safety practices to ensure your personal security.