Anti-Racist Travel: Questions to Ponder

Aug 18, 2020

As most of us are reflecting on and examining how to be effectively and unapologetically anti-racist in our daily lives and teaching students to do the same, we must also examine what that means through a travel lens. And make no mistake: The work is on us.

A Condé Nast Traveler article outlined five considerations for travelers to contemplate while planning and while on the road:

  • How do I reframe trip planning in an anti-racist way? Consider how your unconscious biases factor into the decisions you make and see if there’s a diverse educational angle that can be incorporated.
  • Where should I spend my money? Look for companies and attractions who make it clear where they stand on inclusivity, being mindful of including BIPOC owned businesses.
  • How can I be an ally on the road? Hold those expressing racist bias accountable in every situation, as being an ally is a lifelong commitment that doesn’t take a vacation. Have dialogue with students about this before, during and after the trip.
  • How can I support local communities? Ensure your money is benefiting locals even after you’re gone by doing things like taking guided tours led by locals and shopping local and authentic vendors.
  • When is it cultural appropriation as opposed to appreciation? Taking cultural elements or purchasing cultural goods to be used as a costume or fashion should be a no-go.

Ultimately, as we all learn more about how to be actively anti-racist, these lessons and actions should present themselves in the ways you plan and engage in the wonder of travel.

Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for Teach & Travel.