What Even Is a HNTTLABB Trip?
How Not To Travel Like A Basic Bitch Trips are study abroad trips for adults! These trips have been strategically curated by Dr. Kiona to showcase LOCAL PROFESSIONALS AND EXPERTS in their fields to give classes on specific topics regarding their own countries. Unlike any other trip you’ve been on, these classes are designed to educate while on vacation and put people in contact with more locals than tourists.
How Did The HNTTLABB Trips To Cuba Begin
Dr. Kiona created these trips after President Trump created multiple travel restrictions for Americans coming to Cuba while she was in Cuba. During her trip, she was having dinner with a friend, a Cuban artist, who broke down in tears because her business was suffering with the end of cruise trips visiting Havana. She had so much anxiety about how to feed herself and the people she supported so she asked if Dr. Kiona could help bring people to Cuba to give her business.
Not much of a group traveler, Dr. Kiona said IF she was going to bring people to Cuba, they needed to see this and know exactly what these people are going through. They needed to be educated on what people living in Cuba TODAY are doing. And oppose the narrative that Cuba is “stuck in time”. She wanted to show what young Cubans are creating, suffering through, triumphing over, and their all around resilience to an 80 year embargo that affects every single aspect of their daily lives. And she wanted people to learn it from THEM and pay THEM for the education.
In addition, it is too often that people come to Cuba–or any destination for that matter–speak to their taxi driver, and feel like they have a wholistic understanding of an entire country’s politics, economy, and history. As a researcher by trade, Dr. Kiona knows better. Questioning the source and their inherent biases and education level (both academic as well as lived experience) when digesting oral information is imperative to curating an understanding of a topic or place. She found a common phenomenon being echoed in blogs and news articles across the media where sources were just not relevant or educated enough to speak on the topic at hand. One cannot interview just anyone when it comes to understanding the nuances of an entire country and their political situations. So she curated a trip, that did just that. She hired professionals who had the background knowledge and education to speak exactly on the topics that people so often misunderstand and want to know about when traveling.
Thus the trips were born.
Why Are The HNTTLABB Trips To Cuba So Special?
Not only are the trips 100% educational and highly academic, they have a very human flare. None of these classes take place in a classroom, but rather out in the real world where you can see it all yourself. You are able to interact with professionals on a level playing field as well as enjoy an experience and friendship with them.
Dr. Kiona works in combination with Like A Cuban, an on-sight travel agency in Cuba, to curate the trips. These trips could not be done without the founder, Rita McNiff, who contributes equal if not more value to these trips with her own background, education, and network.
What makes these trips extra special is the diversity requirement where 50% of travelers must be People Of Color to encourage ethnic diversity and learning through each other as well. The trips are budget priced to encourage people who historically haven’t had access to travel. In addition, free flights have been awarded to People Of Color who have never been on an international trip before or historically haven’t been able to travel. This has been done through donated miles by other people within the How Not To Travel LikeA Basic Bitch Community.
To donate flight miles, contact Dr. Kiona at kiona at hownottotravellikeabasicbitch dot com.
There are also speciality inclusivity trips that have been specifically curated around different hosts.
HNTTLABB Speciality Inclusivity Trips include:
- Running the Havana Half with The Mirnavator, a plus-size Indigenous Garifuna woman who is redefining what an ultra runner looks like. She trained Will Smith for his Havana Half and we’re running it with her this time! Her slogan is RUN SLOW AF. This trip is SOLD OUT.
- Fat-astic Cuba tour with founder of Fat Girls Traveling and Fat Camp, Annette Richmond, as host. Annette Richmond is a plus-size fashion stylist, fat-activist, and award-winning blogger who has modified the itinerary to be FAT-FOCUSED. Only taking people who identify as women that are size 14 and above. First date SOLD OUT, second date added. 3 spots left.
- LGBTQ+ Cuba tour has a completely different itinerary that is built around Cuba’s Contra Homophobia Week. The hosts for these are LGBTQ+ Cuban experts on Cuba side that show people everything they need to know about being LGBTQ+ in the country and are specifically designed to support LGBTQ+ Cuban vendors. Classes include: CENESEX visit, Cuba’s government funded gay rights agency, Medical talk for gender affirmation surgeries, Queer Non-gendered Salsa, Queer Business Shopping Tour, Dinner with Los Freakies, a community that injected themselves with HIV as a political statement, Dinner & Drag, and Gay Beach Relaxation. 2 spots left.
- LGBTQ+ Drag Cuba tour is a 3-day VIP Pride package that gets you access to Havana’s Official Pride Gala at the GRAND THEATER, dancing in Havana’s Congo Line, tickets to the the first ever Cuba X USA fashion trashion show, and a queer business shopping tour!
- LGBTQ+ Pattie Gonia tour is a 6-day VIP Pride package that gets you VIP tickets + bottle service to the first ever Cuba X USA fashion trashion show, where all dresses are made out of recycled materials. This tour also includes an educational tour: CENESEX visit, Cuba’s government funded gay rights agency, Medical talk for gender affirmation surgeries, Queer Non-gendered Salsa, Queer Business Shopping Tour, Dinner with Los Freakies, a community that injected themselves with HIV as a political statement, Dinner & Drag, and Gay Beach Relaxation. This tour also includes a countryside visit to do a hike in heels with Pattie Gonia.
- Hoopin’ In Havana tour with former pro-basketball player and international NBA Coach, Philwaukee, as host. Philwaukee is the first ever Black Man to have his own travel show on the Matador Network. Only people who identify as a man can join this tour. This tour is concentrating in a sports tour of Cuba. Includes: Basketball game and give away with Havana’s street leagues, Boxing Class with Cuba’s World Champions, AfroCuban lessons on religion and politics, Salsa Dancing class, Attending a traditional Baseball game, Fidel Castro’s favorite sport, and a countryside visit to do horseback riding and cigar smoking through the countryside. Also includes optional fishing, rock climbing, or zip lining.