Travel Tips from First Black Woman to Travel the World

Woni Spotts in Tanzania// Image provided by Spotts

Woni Spotts in Tanzania// Image provided by Spotts

If you're also an avid traveller or looking to start, we've got you. We asked Woni Spotts, the first black woman to travel to every country on this planet, for her tips to help you start planning your next trip. From travelling as a black woman, and how to stay under the radar at airports on busy city streets, Spotts shares her experiences as a world-traveler.

 What are some solo travelling tips you have for fellow black women?

When I enter the airport, I do what is asked. I don't expect airport personnel to be fair or polite. I don't argue or feel singled out. I assure you every one of every race is abused at the airport at some point. If they are visiting a location where the language is an issue, I would hope that they arrange a "meet and greet" at the airport and a ride to the hotel. I use neck pouches to keep my passport and phone safe; I photograph my passport and travel documents, and I travel light to avoid checking bags and looking vulnerable.

 When is the most cost-effective time to travel, in your opinion?

Just before or after peak season– depending on the activities, I sometimes travel offseason.

 When is the best time to travel for people looking to relax and not be overcrowded?

It depends on the location. Again, I would say before and after peak season. 

 When is the best time to travel for travellers looking to meet new people on their adventures?

Anytime! As a solo traveller, I meet other solo travellers, couples, and even tour groups.

How have you found travelling while black? 

If we are speaking of Europe, I have not had any obvious issues regarding race. Racism is REAL, but tourists are not perceived as a threat or an invasion. In Asia, especially "The Stans," there is always curiosity because the area has few black visitors. 

 Sometimes travelling solo can seem daunting, how would you suggest someone start planning for their trip alone?

If it's overwhelming to use a tour company for your maiden journey, once you feel comfortable, you can book a flight, a hotel and some activities on your own. Because I like to see various sights that require local knowledge, I need a guide.

I always overpack for my trips, how do you make sure you don't do the same?

Over time I have purchased the lightest gear and clothing possible. All of my outfits are interchangeable, and everything dries quickly. 

Is there any specific luggage you would recommend that is lightweight and works for longer trips? 

No, none of my luggage survived past five trips.

What tips would you have for people who work full time but also want to travel the world? 

 If you have two weeks a year, you can visit one or two countries during each vacation. Each year choose a different region. If you love to travel, look into a career in the travel industry. 

Are there some places you wouldn't encourage black women to travel alone?

I hope to see black women and men visiting any country they wish to see. Blacks have no limitations.