By Taylor Valentine
Do you wish you were relaxing on a beautiful, tropical island with your girlfriends? How about enjoying the scenic views of safari wildlife in South Africa?
Traveling abroad at least once is a must. More than 40 percent of Americans travel internationally, but fewer black people make use of a passport. However, things are changing. In recent years, networks of travel bloggers, travel groups and agencies have propelled black Americans to explore the world.
Before, excuses for opting out of traveling outside of the state, let alone the country, included the costs, safety and concerns about the possibility of discrimination.
But with a robust movement that unites black people on voyages, it is becoming more practical to plan an enjoyable vacation.
While planning the best vacation package, be sure to research as much as possible about your destination which includes price, weather, lodging, entertainment and passport requirements. Consider visiting several websites that offer great discounts and make a comparison that would best suit your experience. If you plan ahead, it’s possible to find reasonable all-inclusive vacation plans with little damage to your wallet. You can find this at a plethora of sites such as expedia.com, tripadvisor.com and kayak.com.
“I went to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and paid $1,000 with flight and hotel, which was a pretty good deal,” said Mercedes Pharms, an avid international traveler. “We stayed at the Barceló Bavaro Palace Deluxe, which was an all-inclusive five-star hotel that included food and beverages, scenic ocean views, clean and elegant rooms, and a friendly staff. The overall experience was and we were even able to shop and enjoy the casino nightlife there, too.”
From Thailand to the Mediterranean, keep in mind that traveling abroad requires legal entrance. According to the U.S. Passports and International Travel, for adult first-time applicants (16 and older) each passport book is $110 and the passport card is $30 with an execution fee of $25. Renewals exclude the execution fee. For child first-time applicants (under 16) each passport book is $80 and the passport card is $15 with an execution fee of $25. It is highly recommended to apply three to six months in advance if you are traveling in more than 6 weeks. For 6 weeks or less, you will have to expedite the process, which is applicable to a fee of an additional $60.
Booking a trip abroad doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. You can stretch your dollars and create irreplaceable memories. So go have fun, travel safely, and be sure to share your experiences.