30-something Black travelistas that will give you your entire life and then some.
The world is experiencing a major moment of social change right now in the fight against racial injustice, and many industries are realizing that there’s much more work to be done to amplify Black voices. Historically, the travel industry has been dominated by the perspectives of white males. In March 2018, National Geographic issued an apology for the way they had covered people of color in the United States and abroad since the publication’s founding, titled, “For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It.” But with more people turning to the digital world and away from the printed one, apps like Instagram have given us a platform to share our voices and reflect our travel styles.
Women’s solo travel is one niche that we’ve seen greatly empowered by social media. But while Black travelers generate over $63 billion yearly for the travel industry, their voices are hardly reflected in marketing campaigns, press trips, bylines, or even social feeds. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you love travel content, you should be diversifying your feeds with more Black content creators, and if you’re not sure where to start, here are some brilliant writers, poets, entrepreneurs, marketing gurus, and more who are changing the travel industry one country at a time.
Cabin fever has set in for travelistas and homebodies alike, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that getting fly out is at the top of our post-quarantine to-do list. Just when we thought our wanderlust couldn’t get any worse, our good sister and fashion entrepreneur Teanna Wiley inspired a thread of Black women traveling in luxury that is everything you didn’t know you needed to see today. Hit follow and let these ladies show you the world.
@TWILEYTM was created in 2016 by Teanna Wiley, born & raised in San Diego. Teanna Wiley started designing clothes because shopping was always dreadful for her, being petite & pretty tall, it was hard for her to find clothes that really flattered her shape & height, but could also make Twiley stand out in a crowd. What started off as a hobby, quickly turned into an amazing business opportunity for her. Spoiler alert: her images are beautiful and breathtaking. Her fashion is even more beautiful and well made.
Follow Teanna Wiley on Instagram: @teannalw
First up is Nneya Richards, the writer of POPSUGAR content. Nneya is a travel writer, influencer, and on-air talent. She started her own blog, ‘N A Perfect World, in 2014 as a curated intersection of travel, food, fashion, and geopolitics inspired by the global-citizen lifestyle of the millennial. Like many of the ladies listed here, Nneya Richards is a cultural exchange advocate of a West Indian-American background. Follow her as she goes off the beaten path around the world giving you hot takes on everything from what it’s like to be Black while traveling to why it’s harder than you’d think to get a good gel manicure in Milan. When Nneya is not on the road, she live between her hometown of New York City and #nydolcevita in Italy.
Follow Nneya on Instagram: @nneya
Bria Celest is a full-time photographer, part-time traveler, author, and all-around foodie. Join Bria Celest on her adventures around the world. Her Instagram will give you serious vacation envy while educating EVERYONE on Black Lives Matter and other serious injustice issues. Bria Celest the Queen of Vacay, turned her ability to capture beautiful moments into a career in photography. Her work as a sought-after photographer afforded her the opportunity to travel the world while doing what she loved. Now, she’s sharing that love for travel and photography in two helpful e-books geared towards making globetrotting easier for others.
Follow Bria Celest on Instagram: @queenofvacay
Francesca Murray of @onegrloneworld will give you serious vacation envy. This Cali girl has traveled to many countries throughout the world but has extensively focused on the Caribbean in the past few years, with her home base being the island of Martinique. After seeing a lack of Black faces in many Caribbean island promo videos, Francesca and her partner produced and shot their own! Francesca gives you island-living inspiration as well as secrets to her beautiful hair and glowing skin.
Follow Francesca on Instagram: @onegrloneworld
Folahan [fuh-lah-huhn] is a YouTuber who catered to helping her supporters flourish with natural hair care, traveling, and fashion. On Fola YouTube channel, her content consists of how-to’s, tips and tricks, hauls, reviews, vlogs, etc. Fola is determined to make sure her viewers all get this good ol’ info about understanding and caring for kinky/curly hair types, budget traveling, study abroad trips, traveling while black, bridging the African Diaspora, all while being….you guessed it, stylish.
Follow FOLA on Instagram: @folahontas
Cinelli has traveled to over 40 countries and 10 individual carnivals all over the world, she shares her lifestyle and experiences through vlogs, photographs, and microblogging. Cinelliverse vlogs and blogs will delve into everything from style and beauty, to travel and carnival. Cinelli shares all her amazing travel, carnival, and lifestyle tips while still capturing the natural beauty of every destination.
Follow Cinelli on Instagram: @themaneater_
Explore the world through the beautiful earth-tone-filtered lens of writer, photographer, and podcast host Nneka Julia. Her beautiful portraits of her travels are often accompanied by descriptive prose. Nneka also brings a lot of humor, relationship advice, and the art of reclaiming a woman’s wasted time with her signature “Waste His Time Wednesday” segments.
Follow Nneka on Instagram: @nnekaj
Marketing in the travel industry is often not size-inclusive, but award-winning writer and body-positive activist Annette Richmond is here to change that. She’s the creator of @fatgirlstraveling, an account that focuses on “Fat Activism through the Travel lens.” Follow Annette for some beautiful travel wanderlust and travel tips.
Follow Annette on Instagram: @fromannettewithlove
You may have seen TV host Oneika Raymond on the Travel Channel’s Big City, Little Budget and One Bag, and You’re Out. This multilingual globetrotter can teach you how to explore your favorite places on a shoestring budget and with solely one bag packed. Follow Oneika around the world with her growing family and special appearances by her adorable infant daughter, Kira.
Follow Oneika on Instagram: @oneikatraveller
Fashionable attorney Cynthia Andrew manages to find the most colorful backdrops in every place she visits. She also has an enviable wardrobe, and with major home renovations and twin boys on the way, Cynthia is a great follow for how to navigate major life moments while still on the go and looking fabulous!
Follow Cynthia on Instagram: @simplycyn
Houston-based solo female travel blogger Ciara Johnson of @hey_ciara has been collecting stamps in her passport and inspiring other women to travel solo for years. Ciara has a refreshing candidness and shares her vulnerabilities while traveling with her followers. From how to save money for travel to the best apps to use for booking, she makes sure to not just show you where you want to go but also how to get there.
Follow Ciara on Instagram: @hey_ciara
There’s something about the notion of a traveling poet that’s so romantic, and Bri Ari, the award-winning poet of @briyoumetravel, does not disappoint. Sometimes we even get a beautiful calligraphed glimpse into her notebook! Bri is also the creator of @buoyant.travel, a digital homage to Black travel with beautiful photos of Black people jet-setting since the advent of the commercial flight.
Follow Bri on Instagram: @briyoumetravel
Travel writer Imani Bashir is a full-time ex-pat with her husband and adorable toddler son. (She actually lived in Wuhan at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.) A global diversity advocate, Imani shares her perspective on being a Muslim Black woman abroad, pregnancy risk, and other women’s issues. Already teaching the next generation, Imani is also the author of Follow the Takeoff Toddler, a children’s book series that helps cement a love of travel in kids from an early age.
Follow Imani on Instagram: @sheisimanib
It’s hard to talk Black travel without talking about Travel Noire, the travel site, community, and app that was started by Zim Flores as an Instagram account highlighting Black people traveling. Zim sold Travel Noire in 2017, but you can still follow her adventures around the world and the new phase of her life via Instagram.
Follow Zim on Instagram: @zimism
TEDx speaker Gabby Beckford took her first solo trip to Iceland at age 17 and never looked back. She mentors young travelers aid them in study-abroad opportunities, and of course, packs light, which, to Gabby, also means not bringing the baggage of your past on your journey ahead!
Follow Gabby on Instagram: @packslight
Lifestyle blogger and photographer Paola Mathé resides in Texas with her husband and child and is a frequent globetrotter. Her ability to see the beauty in every day and wanderlust vibes make her feed a constant source of inspiration for both destinations and decor.
Follow Paola on Instagram: @findingpaola
London-based content creator Ashlee Major Moss’s beautiful images will leave you jonesing for faraway shores and beautiful sun-drenched girls’ trips.
Follow Ashlee on Instagram: @ashleemajormoss
Solo female travel creative and life coach Gloria Atanmo is even on Oprah’s radar! Yes, that’s right, she’s been featured in O magazine and has inspired countless women to make the leap out of their comfort zones, whatever that may be in life. Gloria also graces us with her amazing humor with a regular Nigerian comedy feature on her feed.
Follow Gloria on Instagram: @glographics
As a social strategist for The Creative Collective NYC, an agency that produces impactful multicultural storytelling, Skylar Marshai knows how to tell a memorable story through a photo. Her Instagram feed is a perfect curation of Skylar’s journey around the world that blends her loves of design and travel in a really soothing and visually stunning space.
Follow Skylar on Instagram: @skylarmarshai
When creating the blog and agency Black Travel Journey, Sidney Walker set out to make the face of travel more inclusive and diverse by curating some of the most beautiful images of Black travelers on the brand’s Instagram account. Black Travel Journey has expanded, and she’s done just that and more.
Follow Sidney on Instagram: @sidneydaniellle
Travel breakouts are a real thing, so traveler Bianca Maxwell created the Skinary app, a health-tracking app for your skin that tracks your lifestyle, diet, and cleansing habits with daily selfies to figure out the cause of your breakouts. Bianca is definitely one to watch in the tech and travel spaces, and her skin happens to always look radiant as she shares her adventures.
Follow Bianca on Instagram: @biancamaxwell
Are you ever amazed with how perfectly some people can match their outfits to their surroundings? You’ll fall in love with stylist, traveler, and Amsterdam-based mom Maureen Powel’s feed. With frequent appearances from her daughter, you’ll have constant fodder for mom-and-me outfit inspo!
Follow Maureen on Instagram: @maureenpowel
Alicia Tenise creates lifestyle content for the every-girl millennial traveling the world in search of the best food and drink. She also shares colorful fashion finds and her honest struggles with mental health. Wine enthusiasts: Alicia is with you and has recently started her WSET classes to be a certified wine enthusiast and a better wine writer!
Follow Alicia on Instagram: @aliciatenise
After finishing her studies in graphics and marketing, Racheal wanted to make sure everyone had the most amount of information to incorporate travel into everyday life. Check out her feed for vlogs, tips, and simple hacks on packing, booking trips, saving money, and more to make traveling become more of a lifestyle rather than a luxury.
Follow Racheal on Instagram: @racheal.x
n 2018, Maryjane Byarm challenged herself to visit 100 countries in 365 days. Today, she’s surpassed 100 with no signs of stopping. Her love of travel stems from facing a dark period in her life in the US and wanting to leave. After going to visit her sister, a model living in China, Maryjane hit the road and didn’t stop.
Follow Maryjane on Instagram: @maryjanebyarm
Founder and CEO of Black travel group The Roaming Republic, Cassy Isabella has a knack for beautifully curated group trips that make everyone feel like an Instagram star. Follow her for her adventures with her travel collective and sign up for a trip!
Follow Cassy on Instagram: @bellaworldwide
Danasia lets us in on travel through her appreciation for urban landscapes and city architecture. Follow her feed for beautiful city snaps, wonderful restaurant recommendations, and Insta-worthy cafés.
Follow Danasia on Instagram: @theurbanrealist
Having traveled to over 49 countries solo, Keem teaches online courses on how to plan amazing getaways while getting the best value for your dollar.
Follow Keem on Instagram: @thepassportabuser
Jessica Ufuoma couldn’t find much of a space for someone like her when googling travel tips, so she created one herself! She creates content for people who look like her, may need visas to travel, and have full-time jobs. She’s helping people travel better and smarter — think responsibly, ethically, sustainably, and with intention.
Follow Jessica on Instagram: @theufuoma
After leaving the United Kingdom, Angela set her sights on sunnier isles and made her home in Morocco, where she now works as a holistic therapist. She also creates holistic travel experiences for creatives. Follow Angela’s journey as she lives her best life in Morocco with newfound serenity.
Follow Angela on Instagram: @gela_moiks
Stephanie “She” Ifendu is a traveling photographer and creative director. Her passion for creating timeless images is only matched by her zest for exploring.
Follow Stephanie on Instagram: @stephxshe
After living with lupus for over 15 years, former New Yorker Olivia’s curiosity led her to explore the outdoors and the wellness travel space. Incredibly, travel and her lifestyle brought her lupus into remission. It’s Olivia’s goal to normalize diversity in the outdoor and adventure spaces.
Follow Olivia on Instagram: @ochristine
Barely have a budget to travel with? Mally has you covered. A “broke ass girl who loves to travel,” Mally shares with you how to travel and not wind up in debt or drain your savings. And you’ll laugh a lot along the way.
Follow Mally on Instagram: @brokeassgirltravel
Fitness and nutrition guru Tameika Gentles loved exploring so much she created a separate account for it! On her travel account, she shares tips about eating right while on the road as well as health retreats.
Follow Tameika on Instagram: @tameikagtravels
Lọlá is an award-winning Nigerian photographer and travel writer based in Stockholm, Sweden. She’s the editor-in-chief for Slow Travel Stockholm and is a frequent contributor to National Geographic. Lola’s lens is unparalleled, with incredible portraits that render vivid portrayals of her subjects.
Follow Lọlá on Instagram: @lolaakinmade
Every photo on British-born Onyi Moss’s feed is beautifully curated and editorialized. Follow her for beautiful travel images straight out of the pages of a high-fashion shoot that exude romantic luxurious glamour. And in true English rose form, lots and lots of florals.
Follow Onyi on Instagram: @mossonyi
Megan Milan captures the world in a elegant memerizing way. Megan is a professional model who is known for her print, commercial, and catalogue work. She has worked with several high profile clients such as Hennessy, Chevy, L’Oréal, Pantene, and WildnOut. She was also featured in Jet Mag. Megan Milan has created her own traveling agency called luxe.travelagency. Prior to moving to New York to pursue modeling, she attended Michigan State University for two years to study business marketing. She was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She would later split her time between there and New York.
Follow Megan Milan on Instagram: @megan.milan
We know at BeautyLeeBar that they are more incredible BLACK TRAVELERS that are doing amazing things in the world. However, the people on this list are the ones we do follow and get inspired by. If you think they are more beautiful black travellers that we should be following for even more black luxury inspiration, please comment down below.
WARNING: FOR THE NONE BLACK PEOPLE, TRY NOT TO GET OFFENDED BY THIS POST OR ANY OTHER POST THAT IS CELEBRATING AND UPLIFTING BLACK AND BROWN PEOPLE ESPECIALLY CELEBRATING BLACK WOMEN.