Founded by black women, these Instagram accounts will inspire your next vacation

Gabby Beckford/@packslight/Instagram

The black travel movement is gaining momentum. According to Mandala Research, African American travelers contributed as much as $63 billion to the U.S. tourism economy in 2018, but that reality is not always represented. For decades, black people have been sidelined by the mainstream tourism industry. We rarely see black women lounging on the side of infinity pools in front of hotel and airline advertisements. Travel agents and tour guides often also do not comment on whether people of color would feel welcome, or whether black women can travel safely in certain destinations.

However, that doesn’t stop black women from using their social media feeds to tell the world that travel is for everyone. Black women are in charge with content that entices audiences to get behind our scenes and embark on exciting adventures. Here are 15 travel accounts founded by black women who energize you about globetrotting, and believe that no matter what you look like or where you come from, travel can help you find your happy place.

This widow and travel enthusiast is the epitome of wanderlust. When her 31-year-old husband passed away, she could have hung her wings, but she did the exact opposite. She travels alone and meets her daughter every now and then, showing women over 60 that age is nothing but a number. While many of us can’t even imagine visiting 80 countries alone, Simpson has already done it – and her journey continues.

From the coastal backdrops to the glamorous outfits, Holder’s content gives us so much inspiration. Her stylish fashion makes us look at caftans or sundresses in the dead of winter. After all, her feed focuses on the Caribbean and the sun-drenched environment.

Located in Senegal, Litumbe highlights the beauty of Africa. As a content creator, her photos balance between modelesque and bae-cation (she recently got married). She is also a resource for other content creators and has guidebooks for traveling to Zanzibar and Dakar.

This travel agency has built a community for black women interested in traveling to Africa. This award-winning resource, led by Ashley N. Company, has organized dozens of trips to African countries such as Ghana, South Africa, Egypt and Kenya. The content focuses on cultural heritage and shares the service aspect of each curated journey.

If Black Girl Magic was a travel feed, BGTT would be it. With over 129,000 followers on IG, this page is a beacon for black female representation in travel. From photos of influencers to travel tips, this group contributes significantly to the Black Travel movement by helping black women feel safe and seen.

Gabby Beckford is the young, entrepreneurial soul behind Packslight. Her digital storytelling skills and vibrant photos are breathtaking, but we love her most for her personal financial tips and travel hacks. Beckford often shares ways to win free travel, grants, or paid travel opportunities, so her content is the gift that keeps on giving.

Budapest lacks Black girl content. But this American expat, wife and mother shares her own experience of moving to Budapest and creating a community for other travelers and expats. On her blog she proposes restaurants, organizes meetings and much more.

Thithi Nteta, aka travelgirlboss, radiates joy. She’s from Johannesburg, South Africa, but can show up anywhere. While she often looks like she’s dressed for a photo shoot, her feed also tells us she knows how to find a great adventure. She is always on trend and makes travel elegance look effortless.

Moxima Gama’s feed is all about self-love and discovery, encouraging women to think about and heal their inner selves. Based in South Africa, Gama gives us beautiful landscapes of locations such as Tanzania and Mozambique that will make you want to put down your phone, align your chakras and hug your inner child.

On a quest to be the first black woman to visit every country on Earth, Nabongo lets viewers witness this ambitious dream come true. Those of us who have followed her progress remember that her handle was “catch me if you can”. Now she’s been verified on Instagram giving us Black Carmen Sandiego looks, with oversized sun hats and hints of where she might be going next.

Shakeemah Smith regularly gives tips on traveling the world as a solo and female luxury traveler. Seen in glitter and dresses, her photos are well staged to make everyone stop scrolling. She has explored about 50 countries on her own and is teaching other women to do the same.

Traveling with children seems like a hassle. But somehow the Hambrick family has sorted it out. Monet Hambrick, the woman behind the account ‘The Traveling Child’, makes our mother jealous. She and her two girls, Jordyn and Kennedy, explore cities, towns and deserts around the world. (They let Dad, James, come along). Hambrick inspires mothers to reshape the daily grind and create geographic freedom for their families.

Founder of the travel companies Up in the Air Life, Scalinup and Caviar in the Air, Claire Soares is an influential travel consultant. One of her company’s recent trips was to Antarctica, a place most of us only dream of exploring. On her main account, she shares bits of her brilliant travels and motivates other black women to join the corporate side of the travel industry.

Kay Akpan is a mother, wife and the driving force behind ‘The Mom Trotter’. She is homeschooling her son while traveling worldwide. When in the United States, they keep it moving by living in an RV. Her social media focuses on the experience of being a digital nomad, with children, and she curates a spin-off site, Black Kids Do Travel.

Candace Salters is a London-based blogger and travel writer who shares fun photos and tips about living in London with her Insta family and readers. Being such a popular travel destination, its content focused on the city, and Britain more generally, is very helpful. If you’re ever in town, get in touch with Salters’ Women in London Collective, which (pandemic permitting) will be hosting meetings in February 2022.

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