Black people travel…a lot. There’s so many travel sites and social media accounts started by and targeting Black people. That’s exactly what Black Travel Snob is–an online platform for travel junkies and culture fanatics to share their personal travel experiences. The site highlights frequent and knowledgeable travelers in their community who inspire and encourage others to explore the world through their experiences. They focus on people who have careers, but also take fabulous vacations to exotic destinations. They don’t discriminate as they encourage backpackers and budget travelers.
Black Travel Snob produces and curates edgy and entertaining travel stories with plot twists, useful tips and creative messages that engage but also inform readers on the joys and perils of international and domestic travel. The entire way they gain a following is word of mouth. In fact, it’s one of the most influential ways to impact Black travel decisions–reading amazing stories about far-off locations.
“Stories from people we can relate to are important and helps us plan our trip with more confidence. A major component of success in life and career comes from learning from the experiences of those that came before us, and travel is no different. The art of storytelling consists of passing along useful information that also entertains and inspires. BTSnob.com gives experienced travelers the opportunity to vent, or gush about destinations when they return,” Black Travel Snob’s creator Subira Willock said.
We just had to meet the woman in charge of this awesome site. She got her first stamp in her passport in 1988 in New York City. She’s originally from Trinidad & Tobago and her mother (as the owner of a boutique), she would always make international shopping trips and bring Subira along. Traveling was always her family’s favorite pastime.
When Subira went to the Middle East, she said it was one of the most luxurious destinations in the world. “We rented a mini mansion on Palm Jumierah, had a maid and driver, our own pool and private beach. The bar was set extremely high and ignited a fire in me to see as much of the world as possible and share the roadmap with others through BTSnob.com,” Subira said. We chatted with the wanderlusting beauty about the edgy side of Black travel, what makes their site different from any other Black travel site and more.
HelloBeautiful: What makes your site unique?
Subira Willock: Our site is unique for its openness and inclusiveness. Anyone can share their story or get information about a destination, we don’t require membership. We encourage as many reviews as possible on various destinations around the world. Our main difference is the story format and entertainment factor–we don’t do generic travel posts.
For example, a typical travel story like “I went to Thailand and it was amazing” won’t be published. Informative and entertaining are the key ingredients of every story on BTSnob.com. The more exciting, dramatic or controversial the better.
HB: What is the “edgy” side of minority travel?
SW: The edgy side of minority travel has everything to do with taking risks, maintaining a sense of adventure and jumping all the way out of your comfort zone. Forget the sightseeing list for a minute and go climb an active volcano or zip-line 100 feet above the forest. Try at least one thing you’ve never done before that gets your blood pumping and conquers a fear – then tell us about it on BTSnob.com
HB: HOW do you travel? We want this broken DOWN! Most people feel they can’t afford to travel.
SW: Champagne taste on a wine budget is how I maximize value without breaking the bank. Trips costing more than $2,000 are planned six months or more in advance, while spontaneous, short trips have more flexibility. I don’t believe in travel debt, or using credit cards to finance expensive trips. If you can’t afford it, you should not go until you have saved enough.
In December of each year I make a list of countries to visit in the New Year. Then, I separate each country into time frames avoiding peak travel periods for each destination. During peak season, airfare and accommodations tend to be more expensive than off-peak. If there is a specific event that I want to experience during peak season, I budget for it on the front-end. Using those time frames, I sign up for airfare alerts that predict when the best time to purchase would be or try to find deals, then book accordingly.
Travel is like any other financial decision we make in life. You can be responsible and put money aside over time in a savings account, or you can charge it and deal with the cost plus interest later. Anyone can afford to travel well, it just takes a bit of thought and long-term financial planning.
HB: Are there specific areas that seem very popular with Black travelers?
SW: Latin America is the African-American traveler comfort zone because it is closer to North America and more affordable than traveling east. You get more luxury for your money. This is why Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and parts of Central America are such popular destinations. Cultural familiarity there also appeases more risk-averse travelers.
HB: How have Black people benefited, or will benefit from traveling nowadays?
SW: Cultural exchange is the biggest benefit of all. When you get out into the world, you realize how similar we are as human beings despite cultural and economic differences. Another major benefit of Black travel is self-awareness and gaining the confidence to go anywhere and feel comfortable in your skin. Travel opens us up to a variety of experiences that enrich our lives and broaden our perspectives. We get to experience how other cultures and races “see” us – good, bad or indifferent – and also have the opportunity to learn about ourselves and others.
HB: The best part about traveling while Black?
SW: Pure freedom. Growing up in a predominantly Black country, I never really thought about my skin color or what it meant to walk this earth as a Black woman. It was only after visiting countries where there were few people who looked like me, did I feel a sense of pride in my blackness. In Japan, I felt like a representative of everything that is true and good about Black people and I wanted everyone I came into contact with to have a positive impression of us.
Follow Black Travel Snob on social media!
IG & Twitter: @blacktravelsnob
Facebook: Black Travel Snob