Women-only travel is a fast-growing trend. New female-only trips are making their way into traditional tour operators’ offerings and astute women-only travel companies are starting up to accommodate the surge. The fact is that women-only travel is already a multi-million-dollar market with plenty of room to expand. Who are all these women traveling? The majority are Baby Boomers who want to experience the rite of passage of travel. Others are single mothers, female professionals or girlfriends getting away together.
You can find women-only trips with many different concentrations. Spa and wellness travel is hugely popular with women. Adventure travel is also a big draw for women. You may be surprised to learn that the typical adventure traveler is not a 30-something male, but a size 12 47-year-old female. Some companies specialize in trips for entrepreneurial women, others on food and cooking. With the proliferation of women-only travel options, there are journeys available for nearly every interest.
Why Women-Only Travel?
Travel is empowering. It’s also fun. Women need and deserve both in their lives. Here are seven ways that women-only travel delivers.
Freedom to Be Yourself
Women report that when they travel only with other women, it’s stress-free and they can let their hair down. They don’t worry about primping, what they eat or who is looking at them. It’s OK to ask stupid questions or giggle. Women can get away from life’s obligations and take off their professional hat or caregiver apron. It allows time and space to spend time on introspection and self-care.
Bonding with Other Women
Shared experiences build bonds and create friendships. Women enjoy being with other women who “speak their language” and understand common challenges in life as women. Connections and a sense of sisterhood form quickly among women-only travel groups. It’s not so much about men not being there but more about enjoying the companionship of other women.
In some places around the world, daily life is gender-segregated because of cultural and religious mores. On Intrepid women-only trips, participants get to visit and engage with local women behind the curtain of traditional tourism where mixed-gender groups can’t go. They may ride in female-only carriages in Iran or visit a women’s cooperative in Morocco, giving them an opportunity to build meaningful connections to women across cultural divides.
Active & Adventure Travel
In one of the fastest-growing segments of the entire travel market, ladies are trekking, cycling, horseback riding, sailing, diving, climbing, kayaking, and hiking. AdventureWomen participants can try new things in a non-competitive environment and not feel daunted by societal expectations. Women tend to give each other emotional support and encouragement to push themselves and celebrate accomplishments in a team spirit.
We all know that travel is incredibly educational, but some women-only trips take that learning beyond local history and culture into actionable skills training. Damesly offers workshops for creative professionals during their women-only trips on topics like photography and writing. The Women’s Wilderness Institute builds leadership skills in women, teaches basic wilderness survival, and offers a supportive “girl-positive” wilderness program for middle-school girls.
Solo Without the Supplement
About 80 percent of women who join women-only travel groups do so as solo travelers. Traveling alone can get expensive with many traditional tour operators and cruise lines because they often charge a single supplement of up to 200 percent. But most women-only tour operators offer a single share with a fellow traveler without charging a single supplement.
Safety and Comfort
Not surprisingly, many women feel more comfortable traveling in a group, particularly for international travel. When they are in a women-only travel group, they don’t worry about flirting or sexist behavior from companions. Most transportation is with the group and should you have an accident or medical emergency, you’re not entirely alone. This can alleviate stress over what-ifs.
Women-only travel is so popular because it gives us a license to explore the world on our own terms and at our own pace. Let Covington vacation advisors help you choose the right women-only travel group for your next journey.