Black Travel Love: Couples Who Travel Together Share Their Favorite Destinations & Give Travel Advice! (Part I)
In February we celebrate both Black History Month and Valentine’s Day. Based on these, I came up with the idea of Black Travel Love! As a travel blogger and someone who frequently travels with my husband, I decided to feature black couples who travel together. I reached out to 3 black travel groups on Facebook-Nomadness Travel Tribe, Black Travel Movement and Black People Who Travel Together-and asked for couples who travel together to submit information for this feature. I was shocked by how many responses I received! This positive image is not portrayed often enough on social media. As for the Black History Month connection, have you heard of the “Negro Motorist Green Book”? I came across this story a few months ago. Between 1936 to 1966 a New York City mailman named Victor Hugo Green wrote this annual guidebook for black travelers. “The Green Book” as it was often called, has been quoted as being “the bible of black travel during Jim Crow.” During this time, Jim Crow laws made black travel dangerous based on discriminatory practices by whites. However, some middle class African-Americans, athletes and entertainers were able to buy cars and preferred this form of transportation vs. facing discrimination on public transportation. The Green Book provided information on lodging, restaurants, gas stations and businesses across America, Canada and even Mexico that were safe and would serve African-Americans. This once again reminded me that travel is a privilege. Black travel especially is a privilege that should not be taken for granted and should be celebrated especially this month!
Now on to these fabulous couples! I asked them 4 questions:
How long have you been dating, engaged or married?
When did you discover you both had a love for travel?
Name 2-3 of your favorite travel destinations and why they are your favorites.
What travel advice or tips would you give to other couples?
Let us see what they have to say!
Lauren and Danny:
1. Danny and I have been married for 12 years.
2.We discovered our wanderlust while dating. I knew Danny was “the one” when we both realized that we had been taking solo trips to Paris for years. Paris speaks to our souls.
3. Paris will always be our first love. That said, other favorite locations include Amsterdam because of the romantic walks along the canals and diversity, Havana because it’s such an incredible time capsule and the positive and welcoming people, and Thailand and Cambodia because of the mystical and mysterious temples and exquisite food.
4. My advice to couples is to figure out who is the “planner” and who likes to sit back and enjoy the plan. We work well because Danny lets me know what major sites and experiences he’s looking to do during the trip, and then I proceed to map out our time based on my research. I’m a planner so I love doing this. That said, I recommend not trying to cram too much into one trip – take time to prioritize so you can truly enjoy the trip. If we have a lot of site-seeing planned, we make sure to incorporate a rest/spa day. If it’s a beach vacation, we try to work in one active day to see more than just the beach. It’s all about balance. Lastly, make sure your travel tastes are compatible. For example, not everyone loves spending all day in museums. Danny and I are lucky in that we like museums. But, we tend to walk through them at exactly the same speed. Nothing is worse than wanting to move on but your travel partner wants to stare at a painting for 20 minutes, LOL! Similarly, if shopping is on the agenda and your partner prefers to golf, find a compromise that works for both of you. Vacations are too important to waste bickering!
Lucas and Lisa:
1. We have been married for 8.5 years. Oh how time flies!
2. During our first few dates, we spoke extensively about our desire to travel since neither of us had any plans of slowing down once we got married. When we returned from our vacation in Europe, we decided that we would travel full-time considering our love for culture and meeting new people. We’ve been traveling for almost a year.
3. Our favorite locations to travel together are New Zealand, Singapore and London. New Zealand is one our favorite destinations because we’ve met people there who have become family to us. We’ve also explored off the beaten path experiences both in the North and South Island that are simply magical. Singapore is another one of our favorites because of the food! Since we are foodies at heart, Singapore provides a wide-range of cultural dishes from Asian to Indian cuisine.
4. For some, traveling as a couple can be challenging due to being around each other 24-7. For us it hasn’t been an issue because we are forthright with each other. We create personal time and space from one another to regroup mentally and spiritually.
1. We have been married almost 9 years in June, together 11.
2. We discovered a love for travel early in our relationship. We went on a short trip to the Bahamas while we were dating, and decided from then on we would take a trip together once a year. We’ve kept that tradition, and now take several vacations a year.
3. #1 – Barcelona, Spain. We love Barcelona because it is the best of all worlds. We love the culture there. Barcelona is a great city with amazing museums, and an incredible nightlife scene. On the flip side, there is the beachside where you can relax. Lastly, the food in Barcelona is amazing! #2 – Aruba & Curacao – We love Aruba and Curacao simply because of the wonderful beaches. This is where we go just to relax. The beach is impeccable, soft white sand and clear blue water. We love it.
4. What travel advice/tips would you give to other couples. My best advice is to just do it, stop putting it off. Time away together is so important. There is nothing like discovering a new place with your significant other. And a trip doesn’t have to mean going to Paris! Start small and as you get comfortable travel further and deeper!
Olatayo and Robin:
1. We dated for 5 years and we recently got married on July 16, 2016.
2. I knew we were meant to be from the start. During the first few months of dating, all we talked about was where we’d been and where we wanted to go and within the first year of dating, we planned a trip to Africa.
3. Dubai is amazing! We absolutely fell in love the moment we landed in the Dubai airport. It’s so clean, the sights are amazing and it’s perfect for any budget. I highly recommend traveling to Dubai! Africa is a must see! We had the pleasure of visiting Africa and seeing its beauty outside of tourist locations. They are deep with their customs and traditions and we truly felt at home. Disneyworld in Florida was so exciting and there’s so much to see, it’s impossible to experience it all within a few days. We decided to travel back to Disney for more entertainment, twice in the same year. Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom are my favorite parks. These locations are perfect for couples.
4. The best travel advice I can offer couples is to know that traveling adds quality to your life. Traveling changes you, it changes your perspective and you’ll grow stronger as a couple. There is nothing more romantic than spending quality time with your love.
Patricia and Adriann:
1. We met in March 2014 and just got married 2 weeks ago on 1/15/17!
2. We talked about travel in the very beginning and realized we both loved to travel. We took our first trip to New Mexico for a wedding. We haven’t stopped traveling yet!
3. So far we have taken over 20 trips but if we had to pick our top 3 they would be: Italy because it is a beautiful country with lots to see and do and eat! We were there for a friend’s wedding and spent an extra 8 days to explore different sites and cities. We visited Naples, Rome, Pompeii, The Amalfi Coast, Florence, and Venice and cannot wait to go back! Puerto Rico is another favorite because of the beautiful climate and rich history. We were able to visit castles and spent a lot of time in Old San Juan which is amazing! The food was amazing as well! (Do you see a theme??) Finally, our third favorite place to visit is New Orleans. We go every year for the Essence Music Festival. New Orleans is full of great people and food and the music festival is a great reason to go every year. We also explore new areas each time we visit. The streetcars are the perfect transportation while there.
4. The best advice we can give to couples is to plan for the best and go with the flow. Every trip will not be perfect but you will make memories each and every time you adventure out. Take plenty of pictures and remember to enjoy each and every day! Life is too short to sit at home wishing you could travel when you can!
Rashid and Electa:
1. We have been dating for 5 years and been married for 1 year and 4 months.
2. We discovered we both had a love for travel almost at the beginning of our relationship. I always wanted to travel more but my friends didn’t have either the time or money to do so. He become my travel buddy almost immediately. We took our first trip out of the country 6 months into our relationship.
3. We have loved so many places! I would have to say Las Vegas because it was our first trip and where we got engaged. It’s the perfect place to turn up or chill out. St Maarten is another favorite. It’s a beautiful Island with friendly people, culture and food. The food is amazing!
4. My advice to couples is to see the world together! We have had such amazing experiences as a couple when we travel. Sharing experiences together has a way of strengthening your bond and bringing you even closer.
Tchecoy and Cindy:
1. We have been together for 19 years married for 14 years.
2. We discovered we had a love for traveling on our 10th wedding anniversary on a cruise to the Bahamas. It was our first international trip together.
3. Our ultimate favorite place to travel to together is Jamaica. Its just something about this island that makes you fall more in love with each other. We also love the Bahamas because its so laid back. The food is amazing and the ocean is so clear.
4. Some travel tips we would give to other couples is to just go with the flow. Not everything has to be planned. Make sure you don’t over think anything and just relax and let go. Enjoy each other, make new memories, seek adventure and do something you normally wouldn’t do.
Janelle and Greg:
1. We got engaged on NYE 12/31/2016 but met years ago. Our relationship has withstood long distance over 3 years. Traveling together is one of the many excuses we would use to see each other.
2. We have traveled together all throughout the US, multiple Eastern and Western Caribbean Islands, multiple trips to Mexico, Costa Rica, Singapore, South Africa, etc. and we have individually traveled throughout Europe. Early in our relationship we frequently traveled to Las Vegas, New York, and Los Angeles and we eventually began vacationing in Cancun, Cozumel, Jamaica and the Bahamas, plus a few cruises. We enjoyed these vacations a lot and decided we wanted to do more of it internationally.
3. Cape Town South Africa is one of our favorite places to visit.
4. Our travel advice is to have fun, cater to both of your interests, read reviews since they are helpful, stay in a nice place that will spark romance, and don’t over plan. It’s okay to go with the flow sometimes.
WOW! I hope you have enjoyed these amazing black travel stories! Stayed tuned next week for more inspiring stories from couples who travel together! Share your story and travel advice in the comments below!
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Dr. Nadeen White is a "Blogger by Day, Physician by Night". She is an award-winning travel blogger, Amazon bestselling author and speaker. The Sophisticated Life Blog covers affordable luxury travel, culinary travel and wine. Her domestic and international travel guides gets people to the destinations of their dreams. So, if you are living the sophisticated life or desire to do so, this is the blog for you!