As black travelers, there are a lot of things to consider when traveling solo. In addition to safety, we want to travel to destinations where we will feel comfortable and welcome. Now more than ever, black travelers are sharing their travel stories and insights through blogs, vlogs and podcasts – if you haven’t already, check out my affordable travel finance podcast The Thought Card. To help you decide where to go this winter, I’ve enlisted the help of my two travel blogger friends who travel solo often. Stephanie Perry of Vaycarious.com spends a lot of time house sitting in Jalisco, Mexico. On her blog and YouTube channel she shares how to take a grownup gap year and house sit for free accommodation around the world. Tiffany Heard of Tiffany Travels loves exploring new destinations. She plans group trips and shares how to affordably volunteer abroad. Most recently she spent a week volunteering and teaching English in Spain. As promised, here’s a list of our favorite winter destinations for black female solo travelers.
Black Women Solo Travel Destinations
Our Top Picks Winter Edition
Iceland is at the top of my list for solo travel destinations for black female travelers. I’ve traveled to Iceland three times and two of those trips were solo.
I felt safe exploring Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital, on my own (even at night). Reykjavík is a very walkable city and you don’t need a car to get around.
Want to get social? Locals are friendly and most people speak English fluently in Iceland. There are plenty of affordable hostels in town like HI Loft Hostel and Kex Hostel where you can meet a lot of other solo travelers from all over the world.
While an expensive country, don’t let that deter you from visiting. There are plenty of ways to save money in Iceland. Since there are a lot of bus tours to choose from, as a solo traveler, you don’t have to worry about renting a car if you don’t want to. Instead, join a half-day or full-day bus tour to the Golden Circle or the South Coast of Iceland.
Press play to listen to this episode where my best friend and I share tips for visiting the Golden Circle. We also share our thoughts on visiting Iceland for the first and third time.
Want to learn more about Icelandic culture and why it’s a great destination for black female solo travelers, grab a copy of my Iceland travel guide Iceland: Nature, Nurture & Adventure.
by Stephanie Perry of Vaycarious.com
Maybe you’re a pro at solo travel looking to fill up your calendar. Or maybe you’re taking your first trip alone. Either way, you’ll love the vibrant city of Guadalajara.
Why should you visit Guadalajara?
Guadalajara is in Jalisco, one of Mexico’s most historically significant states. And just like their slogan says “Jalisco es Mexico”. Since tequila and mariachi music were born here, I recommend taking a tour of a tequila distillery in the town of Tequila (of course), just outside of the city. Shop till your heart’s content in the arts and crafts neighborhood of Tlaquepaque. Also eat every taco, churro and torta ahogada (i.e. drowned sandwich) that comes your way.
Other times to visit Guadalajara
Mexico’s Independence Day is September 16 and it’s a fantastic time to come to Guadalajara. Mariachi music fills the Plaza de Armas the evening of the 15th until midnight, when thousands of people gather to reenact the Grito or cry of freedom that jump-started the revolution against Spain.
Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations are two days of parades and cemetery visits on November 1st and 2nd. Mexicans honor loved ones (including pets) who have passed away by decorating altars for them. Don’t worry, it’s not depressing. Dia de Muertos is a lively time.
Is it safe to travel to Guadalajara solo?
There’s crime in Guadalajara, like in any city in Mexico. But the areas that are most popular with tourists are safe and well-guarded by police. Guadalajara is a very walkable city, plus the hop on/hop off Tapatio bus takes you to the area’s most important sites. Uber is very inexpensive in Guadalajara too. Come solo and leave with amazing memories.
With plenty of things to see and do, Lisbon is a great travel destination for those who enjoy gastronomy. Mingle with the locals at the colorful food markets, drink Ginjinha, a typical Portuguese liquor and satisfy your sweet tooth with pastel de Nata, Portuguese custard tarts. When the weather is nice, eat outside on the patio and enjoy the view without interruption (or catcalling). Knowing very little Portuguese, I found it easy to get around and communicate. Also your U.S. Dollar goes further in Portugal than other Western European countries, so feel free indulge a little.
Read Next: Cost of a Vacation to Lisbon
by Tiffany Heard of Tiffany Travels
I love celebrating my birthday, so during my birthday month in November, I often try to plan a vacation. For my 30th birthday, I decided to visit Thailand located in South East Asia. Thailand is a great place to visit because the country is very cost-effective and there are so many things to do.
In Bangkok, I recommend staying at the Lebua Tower where they filmed the famous Hangover 2. If you love to shop, make sure to visit the floating market. You get to shop and try different food while taking a boat ride in a canoe. If you enjoy taking cooking classes, book a cooking class with Poo where you will visit the market and then head to the studio where you learn how to make traditional dishes such as Pad Thai.
Things to do in Thailand
In Chaing Mai, there is a large community of Black expats. If you are a solo traveler this is a great way to meet other remote travelers. If you want to take a road trip, I recommend traveling to Chaing Rai to see Wat Rong Khan a.k.a “The White Temple”.
If you love the beach and sand, you will love Phuket. Head over to James Bond Island for gorgeous views and clear water. If you are adventurous, visit the Red Light District but beware it gets crazy out there.
At the last minute, I decided to book a day with John Gray Sea Canoe where they served fresh seafood, canoed to private caves, and made floating Loi Kratongs.
Don’t forget to get multiple massages while in Thailand, they are super cheap!
Other times to visit Thailand
Make sure you attend the largest Loi Krathong (Lantern Festival) which occurs in November. Flame powered Chinese Laterns are lit and released in the air lighting up the sky for spectacular views.
Last but certainly not least, Stockholm is another city I enjoyed visiting as a solo traveler. During winter, flights to Stockholm are cheap if you’re flying with Norwegian.
While it was cold in February, with a heavy coat, hat and gloves I was good to go as I explored the city on my own. It was very easy to get around by foot and public transportation, and I felt safe as a black woman traveling alone. English is widely spoken.
In Stockholm, don’t miss the free city walking tours to get a lay of the land. This is a great way to learn more about Swedish history and sightsee. At the end of the tour, tip what you like.
Looking for places to stay in Stockholm?
Read Next: Best Things to Do in Stockholm in Winter
What are you favorite travel destinations for solo black female travelers?
Danielle is a travel finance strategist, author, speaker and podcaster. She paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27 and has traveled to 27 countries and 4 continents. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from living life on her own terms.