Before you pack your bags, 10 tips and tricks for traveling solo as a woman of color.

Women of color can have different needs and challenges while traveling — especially while traveling solo.

Bearing the twin burdens of misogyny and racism, women of color might need to do some additional research or take a few more things into consideration before selecting a destination or traveling in certain regions. Whether here in the states or around the globe, there are certain customs and practices to be aware of to ensure a safe, fun, memorable adventure.

That's where this video from On She Goes — a new digital magazine written by and for women of color seeking travel advice and inspiration — comes in.


It's a two-minute must-see for any would-be jet-setter, chock-full of tips for solo traveling as a woman of color.

As a frequent traveler, some of the tips resonated with me, including these:

Tip #3: "Know the Code"

When you're a guest in someone's country, it's important to follow their lead regarding cultural or religious customs and traditions, especially when it comes to attire or gestures.

For example, "In countries around the Middle East, it's mostly appropriate to keep your hair covered all the time," host Lindsey Murphy says. "While in Asian countries, shorts and short sleeves are inappropriate."

When in doubt, be respectful.

GIF from "American Idol."

Tip #5: "Take a Tour"

Taking a guided bus or walking tour on your first day in a new spot will give you some great background and history, plus it might help you learn the lay of the land. "[Guided tours] are so great for seeing easily missed historical landmarks, food and drink, and they just kind of give your trip a little bit more direction," Murphy advises.

And don't worry, they won't sully your solo traveler street cred.

GIF from "The Simpsons."

My favorite is Tip #10: "Love your differences!"

Traveling as a woman of color might come with some unwanted attention, but don't let that stop you from stepping out and exploring.

"Wherever you go, you're probably going to be a bit different," Murphy notes. "But you're magical and people will love that."

This video only includes 10 tips, but there’s a lot of other resources and advice out there.

If you're a woman of color interested in traveling solo, bookmark sites like On She Goes, Brown Girls Fly, Outdoor Afro, and Travel Noire for great insight into new destinations and experiences to add to your travel bucket list.

Do your research, stay safe, and bon voyage!

A traveler poses for a selfie with a statue at the Mahatma Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad. Photo by Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

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The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

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Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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