According to the latest stats, African-American travelers spend $48 billion on travel in the United States alone. To say the least this is a thriving–and growing–market. And Angie Stubbs, founder of Raising Nomads Travel Co., is hoping to tap into it.
Stubbs started the company out of her own love of travel. “I launched the company out of my love of travel and helping others live out their travel dreams. As a mother of two young girls, I wanted to show people you can still wander the world, even with small children in tow. I also believe education is not limited to the classroom and traveling the world really helps children grow into more global citizens. It’s great to feed their curiosity early,” she explains.
Stubbs, who is also employed full time at another job, says she works hard to make Raising Nomads stand out. “This company serves your travel journey from beginning to end and provides specific services for making traveling with children easier. We can have toys delivered to your hotel room, along with snacks, when you arrive to your destination. It keeps families from traveling with so much baggage. We have a Young Nomads Travel Kit that has diapers, wipes, and snacks to get you started on the first leg of your journey. You can put the heavy diaper bag away,” she explains enthusiastically. Families are their specialty. “We serve everyone but most of our services and products are geared toward families with children and also, families who like to travel abroad or a bit of distance from their home, who enjoy cruises, activities and historical travel,” says Stubbs.
She also enjoys fulfilling the needs of the Black traveler, a market still grossly overlooked. “I feel that African American travelers are looking for an opportunity to unwind and pamper themselves on vacation,” Stubbs points out. “I also think they look for cultural opportunities such as ways to connect with the culture and people of the places they are visiting and even give back through volunteerism. I think trips that allow us to see a different aspect of the diaspora, like Black Parisians or chiefs of tribes, are usually of interest to African Americans.”
But like many startups, Stubbs has faced challenges. “Like most, finding time to do all that I want to do for my business has been a challenge,” she says. “The support of my husband and the fact that we share duties helps me juggle Raising Nomads.”
She has also learned to value her own services. “One of the business lessons I have learned is: don’t give so much away. I had to learn early on that there were only so many services I could offer for free to draw in travel dreamers,” she shares.
In spite of the challenges and the long hours, Stubbs says she loves running Raising Nomads. “I love interacting with people and hearing the wander in their voices when they talk about getting away for a vacation. Travel gives me a high. I love brainstorming ways to make travel less stressful for parents and I like running this company based on my vision for family travel and not someone else’s vision,” she says.