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How to Build a Sustainable Travel Community for People in Marginalized Groups

How to Build a Sustainable Travel Community for People in Marginalized Groups

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“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members,” Coretta Scott King.

Community is essential amongst all groups of people, even those who love to travel. A community of travelers can seem a bit foreign as travelers move from place to place. Nonetheless, a community is an essential part of making traveling fun and safe. It’s where people come together to share information and experiences about their trips. These communities help keep travelers safe and empower individuals to go to places they’ve never gone before. For the average able-bodied traveler, community is important. For travelers of marginalized groups, a travel community is crucial.

Yet, the strength of a community realizes in its sustainability. Meaning people can access the community. The members are active participants, and everyone a part of the community feels supported. Following this theme, here are five communities that exist to support travelers of all shapes, sizes, colors, and abilities.

Travel Community for LGBTQ+

Traveling while queer, lesbian, gay, or any part of the LGBTQ community can be challenging. Some countries discriminate or even have laws against people of certain sexual orientations and gender identities. Nonetheless, LGBTQ communities are continuing to pop up everywhere.

One of the simplest ways to connect with these communities is through pride events. The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association provides free resources and information for LGBTQ+ travelers. This includes a calendar of global gay pride events. With this great organization, there are many ways to connect with other travelers. From Ami’s Adventure, Ami (whose pronouns are he/him) shares his experience as a Black Queer Trans  world traveler on his YouTube channel. There he recommends that LGBTQ members connect to others through Tinder and visit hipster-style cafes. Also, utilize Google, which has an LGBTQ-friendly tag on many of its local listings.

Travel Community for women of diverse backgrounds and economic needs

Research has shown that women travel more than men. One in three single American women traveled over five times in 2019. Women over the age of 40 who are financially stable often have the means to travel more often. Amongst travelers in the higher-earning bracket of $250,000 or more, 54% were women. However, not considered in these numbers are the women who lack the financial flexibility to travel. For the high female earners, it can be simple to find a community through travel groups, tourism, and hopping around to different countries. For those in a different earning range, a community is found through Facebook groups and apps such as Elude.

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Elude is a travel app that changes the booking experience with its budget search engine. It makes travel more accessible to users of different economic backgrounds. Users can search for places across the globe that fit into their price range. The app is currently at 25,000 users, a majority of who identify as female. Using different travel apps often provides the opportunity for users to connect through the app’s Instagram pages. Other travel communities that can be found through Instagram are @fatgirlstraveling and @womenwhotravel.

Travel community for BIPOC

From the movies to history Black, indigenous, and people of color often don’t mirror the image of a world traveler. The branded image is often of a white male college graduate. The one who backpacked their way through Europe before getting their corporate job. Besides this underrepresentation, BIPOC travelers can experience racism and ignorance in any destination. Thus, having a community is important. With a travel community, it opens up opportunities for group travel, more inclusion, and safety for BIPOC travelers.

One way to build this community is to join groups that already exist such as Nomandness Tribe and Outdoor Afro. Along with doing your research and learning from other people’s travel experiences.

Renee, a user of the Elude app, shared that she has found community by traveling to places that interest her. Her desire to explore the culture and be active has led her to connect to people in some amazing places. Trips where she’s visited an elephant sanctuary in Thailand and joined a Soca cruise.

Travel community for those with disabilities

Travel is still possible for those with disabilities and limitations. Accessible tourism makes this possible. It’s a way to ensure that travel destinations provide services and products accessible to everyone.

Building a community through accessible tourism can be joining travel groups. TabiFolk or Go Wheel the World are two great options.

These websites have created communities online. People can book travel to an accessible destination and share tips and resources with others in the community.

Two amazing things about building a travel community are that it is limitless and constantly growing. It grows every time someone chooses to travel. It’s a community not limited by culture, location, or ethnicity. It’s a community that calls upon what is unique and special about people and brings them together through one shared love of travel.

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