“Curating Trips With You In Mind”, is the motto of Been around the Been Around The World Travels (BATW). Owner, Emily Williams, loves to travel; but, never thought of starting a travel agency. In 2016, her friends started to join her on some of her adventures and the groups started to grow. While traveling, she noticed there was a lack of black-owned travel agencies that catered to black travelers. She desired to fill the void. In 2018 BATW Travels, a Lifestyle Travel Agency, was born. Since then, they have traveled to South Africa, Greece, Kenya, Guyana, Belize, Mexico and Jamaica, just to name a few places.
Emily and her team put travel packages together after doing market research to see where people were going and want to go. Over two-and-a-half years, the business has expanded drastically from word-of-mouth. The groups have many repeat clients, but always looking for new travelers. In April 2021, they have a trip to Morocco planned, with room currently available for travelers. They are also planning a trip to Cartagena, Columbia for later in 2021. Emily is very excited about this trip, as they will tour with a personal tour operator and see the city through the eyes of a black man.
Emily has continued traveling during this pandemic, and feels it is much safer now. Things slowed down in the beginning; but as restrictions were lifted, people started to travel more. Travel has changed for sure. In her recent travels she has noticed that other countries are taking the pandemic more seriously than in the U.S. Some places require you to have a Covid-19 test and/or to be quarantined upon arrival; so, be sure to do your research before booking your trip. She recently traveled to Mexico, and at the airport temperature checks were performed, and hand sanitizer provided; in addition to staff sanitizing your luggage and shoes. While there, she could not enter the grocery store without doing a temperature check, having her shoes sanitized, and being provided hand sanitizer or gloves.
For the people that are on the fence about traveling now, Emily feels this is by far the safest time to travel with all the extra precautions being taken; not to mention having more space on the beach due to social distancing practices. She counts this as a “win, win.“ If you choose to travel during this time, she suggests that you travel to countries that are fairly close to home, in case borders are shut down again. As an American you are always welcome back to the United States; however, if where you have traveled to shuts down, there is no movement with the exceptions of emergency evacuations, which can be rather pricey.
Emily’s favorite travels include Paris and Kenya. Paris has always been her childhood fantasy. When she finally arrived, she says, “it felt like the place I needed to be all along.” She refers to Kenya as “the amazing trifecta… it has everything you are looking for; islands with blue water and white beaches, safari and metropolitan. Simply amazing!”
You can learn more about this lifestyle travel agency, Been Around The World Travels, by visiting their website https://batwtravels.com/. Make sure to sign up for the newsletter to stay in the know. Happy Travels, and Stay Safe!