Women's Travel Fest 2023 panelist Dawn Booker

Dawn Booker

Cultural Competence in Travel/Women of Color 40+

Founder, Pack Light Global
North Carolina, USA

Topics Include:

  • Cultural Awareness Through Travel
  • Storytelling to Represent Under-represented Narratives

More on her website

Last updated on November 30th, 2023

Dawn Booker is a fearless traveler and founder of Pack Light Global Itineraries, an experiential travel company for women of color who are 40+. Dawn leveraged more than 25 years of marketing, strategic communications and event planning experience and applied lessons learned while exploring the world to create and curate travel experiences that cater to Black women. Like the women who travel with her company, Dawn realized in her mid-40s that she had spent most of her adult life working and caring for others. So, at 46 and with a daughter in college, she moved to Paris to pursue an MA in Global Communications from the American University of Paris. This transformative experience inspired the women in her life to think about global travel; however, they needed a “travel doula” to figure out where to start when it came to planning their bucket list travel.

Through her work at Pack Light, Dawn also noticed that women of color, specifically Black women, were missing from travel narratives and rarely viewed as a viable target for travel industry marketing efforts. Dawn studied Journalism at West Virginia University, is a Journalism professor at Bennett College for Women and teaches Strategic Communications in the Global Communications MA Department at the American University of Paris. Dawn is interested in elevating travel narratives from women of color, she also served as the launching Editor-in-Chief of the digital travel journal Detour: Best Stories in Black Travel.

As a speaker, Dawn focuses on inclusive travel, solo travel, representation in travel marketing, cultural competence in global spaces, sustainable travel and cultural commodification in tourism.

Member, JourneyWoman Women’s Travel Directory
Member, JourneyWoman Editorial Team

As the CEO and Editor of JourneyWoman, Carolyn is a passionate advocate for women's travel and living the life of your dreams. She leads JourneyWoman's team of writers and chairs the JourneyWoman Women's Advisory Council and Women's Speaker's Bureau. She has been featured in the New York Times, Toronto Star and Zoomer as a solo travel expert, and speaks at women's travel conferences around the world. In March 2023, she was named one of the most influential women in travel by TravelPulse and was the recipient of a SATW travel writing award in September 2023. She is the chair of the Canadian chapter of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), a member Women's Travel Leaders and a Herald for the Transformational Travel Council (TTC). Sometimes she sleeps. A bit.

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • Kickass Solo Women Travelers over 50 – Women’s Travel Fest New York, NY
  • Four Skills of Cultural Diversity Competence – Bell & Howell ERG
  • Sustainable Tourism – NC State University
  • Brazil Study Abroad: Business Sustainability in an Emerging Market
  • Black Portraiture, Johannesburg, SA – Destination Commodification: Exploring cultural tourism in South Africa through slum tours and cultural villages.

Books, Podcasts, Articles, and More

DETOUR’s editor in chief Dawn Booker reflects freedom’s various forms.
Editor’s Letter: Travel as an expression of love
Editor’s Letter: Welcome to DETOUR