October 28, 2023
Black travel expert Deidre Mathis has traveled around the world to 48 countries, and 19 times were solo trips.
Mathis, who says she is fluent in all things travel, believes Black women shouldn’t allow fear to hold them back from traveling, and they should view it as a necessity rather than a luxury.
“There is nothing better than catching a flight and going to a new country, and eating new foods, and hearing new languages and meeting new people,” she told Fox 26. “Black women deserve a break. They deserve rest. They deserve fun.”
Mathis said that travel gives access to all of those things and the excitement of experiencing something different.
The world traveler discussed the benefits of Black women traveling and experiencing other cultures. She dismissed negative stereotypes and rumors that Black women are not accepted and welcomed in other places. Even after traveling all over the globe, Mathis says she has never felt more welcomed.
“People love to see people who look different from them abroad. They get to learn from you,” she said. “People really look at us, and they are so grateful we’re visiting their places, their countries.
The first step for many is getting over fear and uncomfortability. Starting off small can help overcome the routine of not venturing outside of the United States. Before jetting off across the world to a location like New Zealand, Mathis recommended closer destinations like Puerto Rico or Hawaii, which she said are great options that don’t require passports for U.S. citizens. Group trips are ideal for those who don’t have a lot of friends or are uncomfortable with solo travel. Doing your research is essential prior to booking.
“You’ll be okay,” she assured for Black women who feel as if traveling is unsafe. “People across the globe are really welcoming towards us.”
Her advice for Black women who think traveling is too expensive, is to travel within your budget and utilize hostels such as Airbnb. The travel expert, who is now the owner of one hotel and a hostel, was once on a budget and found affordable ways to travel at her leisure.
Using an airline credit card for everyday transactions is one tip she shared. The hotel owner used a Southwest Chase card when she was budget traveling. This method allowed her to rack up thousands of points, which would sometimes grant her free round trips to places like Mexico. Travelers should be diligent in paying off their credit card at the end of every month to avoid additional fees.
“That will help you, not only pay your…everyday necessities, but it will help you accrue mileage so that when you are ready to take a trip, you’re able to use mileage and essentially fly for free.”
According to her website, Mathis founded Wanderstay Hospitality Group in 2018. Under the million-dollar Houston, Texas, company, the hotelier made history as the first Black woman to own and operate a hostel in the United States.
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