Travel Mami: Catch flights not feelings
"One thing about me, imma book a flight and live my life."
Anybody who knows me I love to travel. I took my first international trip in the summer of 2015 to Spain to study abroad & I’ve been in love with traveling ever since. On my 25th birthday I got my 5th passport stamp. Traveling makes me feel liberated whether it's within the US or international. I rarely relax when I'm home due to anxiety and the need to be productive therefore traveling brings me a different type of peace that I plan to do more of. Somehow in the mist of a pandemic I went out the country three times, I flew out to see my lil boo three times, as well as went to Virginia Beach, ATL and recently Miami.
My favorite trip thus far is between Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I went to Cabo in October 2020 on a girls trip. I was newly single so cutting up was a must. The resort was all inclusive meaning endless food, alcoholic drinks, and entertainment. We rented a boat, visited the Arch of Cabo San Lucas, did a photoshoot, and got lit as fuck at Señor Frog (y'all I let somebody do a damn body shot on me whewww). I definitely recommend Cabo for a girls trip. Check out my IG highlights for more about the Cabo trip. I went to DR for my 25th birthday and babyyy the resort was everything. We had a swim up pool and a butler. I thought I was rich bitch for a few days ahaha. I highly recommend experiencing a swim up pool it's exclusive and nothing beats being in the water and popping bottles. This resort was all inclusive too. I went on some excursions including ziplining, ATV riding, and a day trip to a private island. I fucking love DR and I can't wait to go back again on a baecation.
A lot of my family is against me traveling during this pandemic, but COVID wasn't stopping shit for me. I wear my mask and take the COVID test as needed. I've experienced traveling when I had a comma in my bank account & I've still managed to travel when I had less than $500 to my name. Let's get into how I've managed to take six trips within the last year (mind you I have a job with a flexible schedule).
Here's some tips for planning and preparing for a trip
Payment plans: I was able to afford every trip by utilizing a payment plan whether it was through a travel agent or booking my own flight and hotel. Within the last year most hotels and airlines offer a payment plan option and PayPal offers a six week payment plan where the payments are broken down into four payments if you select PayPal as your payment method.
Skyscanner, hopper, and airfordable are all websites that allows you to monitor flight prices and reserve flights with a deposit and a payment plan.
Hotels.com + Airbnbs: I love hotels.com so much because you can reserve a hotel without paying upfront as well as book certain hotels without a cancellation fee. The site also allow you to use PayPal payment plan, and there's a reward system where you can earn a free night stay. Most people are hip to Airbnb which use to be cheaper than hotels, but recently Airbnbs prices are correlating with hotels and at least hotels come with some incentives such as housekeeping, breakfast, pool, gym, and wifi. However, if you want to stay in a homelike environment then Airbnbs are the move.
Travel Agents. If you hate or don't have time to plan a trip that's where having a travel agent comes in handy. Typically you'll fill out a inquiry form and they'll respond back with prices, list of hotels/resorts, flights, and answer any additional questions you may have. For every international trip outside of Spain I've used a travel agent. There's a lot to planning a trip and I get easily overwhelmed so booking a travel agent saves me time and mental energy. You can find travel agents by google or using Instagram.
Youtube. Outside of using Google to find restaurants and activities I would suggest watching videos on Youtube. Prior to going to Miami I watched several Vlogs and that helped me find quality restaurants and things to do in the city.
Instagram. If you use Instagram a lot of independent travel agents can be found on this app and most agents tend to post trip packages to different places within the US and international. There's also tons of travel pages and travel influencers, I'll attach at list at the end.
Transportation: Uber/Lyft are great & cheaper alternative to renting a car. Download the app, request a ride, & check the license plate & picture before you get in the vehicle (sex trafficking is real). Turo: the new airbnb except you can rent somebody's car for the low. I plan to try Turo when I go to ATL in November.
I would encourage everybody to get a passport and run it up. Traveling international can get costly and some flights are long as hell but it's worth the experience. An 11 hour flight to and from Egypt was worth it since I got to ride a camel, see real life hieroglyphics, and the Great Pyramid at Giza (one of the seven wonders of the world). Lastly, traveling allows you to expand your mind and see how diverse the world is. I was thoroughly surprised in Spain and Dominican Republic by how much their people loved black people especially dark skin people. When I was in Spain it was pure bliss being told I'm beautiful every day by random people and citizens was asking me and some of my college friends for pictures because they rarely encountered black people. Being in an loving environment made me wish black people were loved and celebrated like that in the U.S, but it is what it is. I'm beyond grateful for every opportunity I've had to travel. I can't wait to see where the airport will take me during chapter 26.
I made a list of pages from travel agents to influencers on Instagram that you should check out for travel vibes.
Travel Accessories: look them up on IG
7swimofficial: cute ass swimwear & luggage organizers
Iconswim: cute ass swimwear & cover-ups
Twistedcheri: fire ass custom travel bags & luggage
Mattecollection: swimsuits & cover-ups
Travel Agents & More
Melaninonthemap: travel page that connects people to other travel baes and besties
Melaninglobe: travel company for group trips
Whatatriptravels: Travel Agent
Blackgirltravelslay: random pics of travelers
Impressive_hotels: beautiful pics of hotels & resorts
Impeccablehotes: beautiful pics of hotels & resorts\
Blacktravelgram: random pics of black travelers
Travelnoire: verified travel page
Tasteinhotels: world's most beautiful hotels & resorts
Blacktravelmoment: black people looking good while they're traveling
Cavatogoomykonos: exotic resort in Greece
Chidiashleytravels: luxury travel agency
Endlessadvwithporsha: travel agent
_passportpoppin: black-owned travel agency
Luxurytravelandhotels: luxurious hotel inspiration
PS: I've been accepted for an abroad internship that's set to take place in 2022, stay tuned to see if it happens.
"Travel. Your money will return. Your time won't."