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The Most Affordable Travel Destinations In The African Diaspora

By Bianca Lambert

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As a black traveler that has had the chance to go to many countries outside of the United States, I gained a sense of belonging in the world after seeing myself in the faces of people from different cultural backgrounds. African descendants span the globe due to the inhumane way our ancestors were bought, sold, and brutalized by European nations during the transatlantic slave trade.
With the help of travel and technology, we are now able to learn about the experiences of our people across the African Diaspora through our own lens — no history book needed. If you’re interested in connecting with your history beyond the scope of your own backyard, we hope this list inspires you to plan your next trip.

Brazil

Eighty percent of the population of Salvador is of African descent, making it the most Afro-based community in the world outside of Africa. The average cost of food is $10 per day and Airbnbs go for as low as $50 a night for an entire apartment, and boutique hotels like Studio do Carmo can be booked for $60 a night. Salvador is perfect for the cost-conscious traveler. That is if we aren’t factoring in the flight. The average round-trip flight is about $1200 on a carrier like Delta. But if you’re looking to save a little more and don’t mind a few layovers, thanks to Google Flights, I found a ticket option from LAX with Aeroméxico with one overnight stop in Mexico City along with short layover in Sao Paulo for $760.

Canada

Blacks make up about three percent of the Canadian population with Nova Scotia’s North Preston being one of the oldest black communities in Canada with Alberta and Toronto just behind it. Thanks to Drake, Toronto is known for its musical talent, but Toronto has long been hailed as “the most multicultural city in the world.” With flights averaging $300 from the east and west coast, and Airbnbs averaging $83 a night, travelers can take in the sights, sounds, and black culture the “clean” city has to offer. If you’re more interested in exploring the history of the first free black settlers of Nova Scotia (which by the late 1700s, was the largest settlement of free black people outside of Africa) book a flight to Halifax Stanfield International Airport to visit the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre.  Airbnbs in the province offer accommodations from oceanfront cottages and trendy lofts starting at $75 a night.

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a hot vacation spot because of its sandy beaches and five-star resorts but has a problematic past filled with colorism and racism. That racist past begins with “antihaitianismo,” racist, anti-Haitian discrimination that began in the colonial era. Even with the country’s history, the DR is one of the most affordable destinations in the African Diaspora with a flight from LAX, ATL, or JFK averaging $400. Airbnb’s start at $60 per night with five-star all-inclusive resorts like Paradisus Palma Real offering packages starting at $358 per person.

Barbados

Though Barbados has only one airport, affordable flights are doable as long as you book at least two months out. Searching two months out, I found flights just over $400 out of airports on the East and West Coast. If you’re looking for a luxe experience on Rihanna’s home island, the rates at top-rated hotels like The House start at $439 a night. But, if you’re looking to do Barbados on a budget, that is possible with the help of highly-rated Airbnbs that have entire villas going for $79 a night.

Colombia

Columbia’s documented African roots should be another stop on your list of places to visit. With flights ranging from $450 on the East Coast to $531 on the West Coast to Cartagena, airfare won’t break your travel budget. Like the destinations listed above, you can rent an Airbnb starting at $50 a night. If you’re more of a hotel traveler, Cartagena has many boutique hotel options like the Alfiz Hotel that have rates starting at $132 per night.

United Kingdom

Much of what we see in the news about the UK revolves around the Royal Family and now the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. But there is black history and culture there due to the tri-continental slave trade between America, Europe, and Africa. Most British blacks live in London while a few hundred thousand calls Scotland and Wales home. Flights to the UK can be reasonable if you book in advance with an airline like Virgin Atlantic that offers economy fares for $433 from LAX and JFK. If you’re a traveler that enjoys laying their head in a one of a kind “hotel,” this boat for $103 a night might be a fun option, or you can always book a private room for $60.  


Cuba

We couldn’t leave Cuba off of this list because of its rich Afro-Cuban heritage. Cuba is a country that will give you a lot of bang for your buck even with their currency converting into the same value as the US dollar. Booking casas in the three most visited tourist cities: Havana, Trinidad, and Viñales can start at just $22 a night. Flights to Havana are easy to book with the embargo lifted and usually hover at less than $400 (average $340) across the country.

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Bianca Lambert

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