Gear and Tech

Meet The Black Woman Behind The App Melanin On The Map

By DeAnna Taylor

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For first-generation American and experienced traveler, Ashley McDonough, seeing the world has always been an important part of her life. As a child, she was exposed to travel early when she ventured to the Caribbean to visit family members with her parents.

It wasn’t until she was older and able to experience travel on her own, that she truly fell in love with it. During her time at Howard University, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Spain.

Photo courtesy of Ashley McDonough

While there, she could count on her hand the number of Black travelers that she encountered, and they were all from her school. This was also the case in other destinations that she visited. From that moment, she knew that creating a platform for Black travelers was something that she would eventually do.

This past July she officially launched the app, Melanin on the Map.

“This was years in the making,” Ashley McDonough, creator of Melanin on the Map told Travel Noire. “I knew I wanted to create a platform like this, I just didn’t know the logistics. After doing my research, I found that launching an app made the most sense.”

Photo courtesy of Ashley McDonough

About the app

Melanin on the Move was created with the minority travel enthusiast in mind. It is designed to allow travelers to create more travel experiences for themself.

“While I’ve found that Black travelers contribute significantly to the travel industry, we aren’t necessarily the faces of travel.”

The goal is to change that through this platform.

Photo courtesy of Melanin on the Map

Melanin on the Map features travel inspiration from other minority travelers, travel tips and deals, as well as the option to book travel directly through the app. All of the travel agents associated with the brand are Black women and they are able to curate personalized experiences based on your wants and budget.

Most recently Ashely and her team formed a partnership with Intele Travel that allows avid travelers to monetize their travel through their program.

The app is 100% free and available for all devices.

“As I grew older, I realized how much travel impacted my life,” Ashley said. “It taught me so much about myself. As minorities in this country, we are always trying to figure out exactly who we are and traveling the world helps us to discover that.”

Photo courtesy of Melanin on the Map

To download the app and to learn more, you can check out the website at www.melaninonthemap.com or find them on Instagram at: @melaninonthemap.

Related: Black Excellence: This Couple Created A Translation App That’s Perfect For Your Next Trip


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DeAnna Taylor

DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel blogger, author, and writer. While Charlotte, NC (her hometown) is her base, she's always somewhere on a plane. Catch her on IG: @brokeandabroadlife.

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