A woman's world

29 Jan 2013

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At Travel Associates, we are noticing a significant spike in women-only travel. Here, we explore the reasons behind this growing travel trend:

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 sisters, mothers, best friends or even by themselves. So pack your bags girls, there’s a wonderful world out there waiting to be discovered.

Sticking together for safety and security:

A  women's group tour can offer peace of mind, safety and security. Many tour operators offer room-mate 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. “The Eastern Mediterranean is hugely popular, in particular destinations such as Egypt and Turkey,” says Lorraine Sharp, managing director, Insight Vacations.

When your partner doesn't share the same passion:

There's a stack of companies that specialise in tours for women including Women’s Travel Sisterhood, Travelling Divas and Girls On Tour. Women’s Travel Sisterhood owner Hayley Morris has seen a 250% leap in bookings from solo women travellers over the last three years. “I get so many enquiries from women who are keen to explore the world but whose husbands don’t want to travel,” Morris says.

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.

Learning new skills:

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, 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,” Travel Associates’ brand leader David Lovelock says. Travel Associates has consultants around the country who specialise in women’s travel.

Spending 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. “We've seen a trend towards intergenerational travel in particular, with mothers and daughters, travelling together to far reaching and exotic places,” says Meg Koffel, communications manager, Intrepid Australia.

For the sporty ladies:

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. Mount Buller ran their first women’s mountain biking clinic last month. Mount Hotham offers skiing and snowboarding programs tailored for women (who have different body shapes and centres of gravity to men) in a supportive female-only environment with options for spa, make-up and Pilates sessions.

Travelling with style:

Practical yet stylish is the motto for 21st-century women travellers. “Women are buying products that have multiple uses such as a pashmina that can be a scarf, a blanket or a shawl, or sarongs that can be used as a top, a beach wrap or a towel,” Kirsty Keane from web travel products company Ciao Bella Travel says. The website’s top sellers are fold-up ballet flats or thongs compact enough to slip into a woman’s handbag.

For more information about women's only adventures, contact Catherine Baker at Press & James Travel Associates on 1800 601 032 or visit your nearest Travel Associates store.

- Travel Associates

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Coby Sullivan

For more information please phone 1800 017 849.