Women are taking off in droves to see the world. When it comes to travel, James Brown’s wail “It’s a man’s, man’s, man’s world” is far from true. Nowadays women are taking off to see the world in droves, with partners, sisters, mothers, best friends or even by themselves. So pack your bags, girls, there’s a wonderful world out there waiting to be discovered.
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A group tour can offer peace of mind, safety and security. Many tour operators offer roommate matching services to reduce the single traveller surcharge. Popular group destinations among women travellers include UK, Switzerland, Italy, France, Greece, Egypt and Vietnam. And exotic destinations are in demand.
There’s a stack of companies that specialise in tours for women including Women’s Travel Sisterhood, Travelling Divas and Girls On Tour. These companies get lots of enquiries from women who are keen to explore the world but whose husbands don’t want to travel.
History is dotted with the exciting adventures of intrepid women travellers such as Isabella Bird who rode on horseback with the Berbers in North Africa at age 70.
These days, venturing to out-of-way places is no longer reserved for privileged women. Companies that run women’s-only trekking tours, such as Women’s Own Adventure and Adventurous Women, to places like Nepal and Tibet are becoming popular with women travellers who are keen to explore remote destinations in the company of like-minded women.
Trekking and sleeping under the stars for days might not be everyone’s cup of tea but there are lots of other ways to experience local culture.
Activities such as walking tours, wine tasting, perfume making, cooking classes, art classes, leather making, glassblowing and fabric or jewellery making also offer the opportunity to learn new skills while on holidays. More women are looking for experiential holidays where they can immerse themselves in the culture of the country.
You can learn to ski at any age. Watch a skiing lesson with Olympic champion Nancy Greene here:
Time with mum
Multi-generational travel is this year’s buzzword. Taking a holiday with parents, kids and even grandparents can be a memorable shared family experience. But when it comes to far-flung destinations, sharing holiday memories is especially popular among women.
Forget shopping for cars, plasmas or houses. A Galaxy poll, commissioned for Contiki Holidays, shows that travelling overseas is the number one priority for women aged 18 to 35. A whopping 87 per cent of young women surveyed hoped to head abroad within the next four years.
While the dream of buying a house, car and big TV hasn’t died for today’s young females, it has been shuffled down the priority list to make room for travel. Top Gen Y destinations for women include Asia, Europe, America and the Pacific.
Princess stays and sporting holidays
Women-only hotels and floors such as Artemesia in Berlin, Saudi Arabia’s Luthan Hotel & Spa and the Chopard Ladies Floor at Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai cater specifically to the needs of female travellers. Jumeirah offers in-suite yoga facilities, cosmetics fridges, silky sheets and pink satin duvets.
Participating in sporting activities such as kayaking, cycling or skiing while on holiday is a great way to get fit. And women’s-only clinics are gaining popularity and often include spa, make-up and Pilates sessions.