While many women enjoy traveling with their spouse or family, a growing number of ladies are joining women-only trips.

What are the attractions of these trips in today’s modern travel scenario? Often, the motivation is simply to get away from it all: boredom, loneliness, isolation, overwork, responsibilities of taking care of others and their needs. Perhaps there’s the need to escape from an untenable situation at home – child raising, aging family members, etc. It also could be physical and emotional exhaustion due to employment in an intense career in today’s working world.

A number of women feel uneasy traveling alone and although many do so bravely, others may be fearful of encountering unplanned situations they cannot handle on their own where things can often be misinterpreted – particularly in a strange city or foreign country. Many welcome the possibility of traveling in a somewhat protected atmosphere where they may be safe.

Let’s take a look at some of the trip inclusions that may attract women to join a Women’s Tour – be it the only trip of the year or a supplemental trip.

Many trips include an emphasis on foods of the world, perhaps tasting and learning to prepare delicious dishes from the areas visited. They may include hands-on food preparation with known chefs, visits to local markets and opportunities to shop the countryside for local specialties. Tour members can bring this knowledge of new foods and their preparation home to family and friends.

An interest in the children of the world is often a highlight, with a visit to a local school or other institution of higher learning as well as home visits to local families such as what I experienced in China. Many trips may offer an opportunity to sample the performing arts, music, dance and theater of the areas. When operating and escorting my annual women’s tour, I have included events such as theater tickets to a Broadway show in New York, a tango dance class in Argentina and a chocolate candy- making class in Belgium. You can do so similarly depending on local destination and availability.

No matter the age or background of American women, there’s usually a curiosity about the fashions and beauty of the local women in the areas to be toured. Perhaps a new hairdo, massage or manicure can be included in a trip. Most women love the frivolity of attending a fashion show or learning how to apply makeup in a professional way.

Women always appreciate an opportunity to shop for local products, handicrafts, memorability and gifts to take home for family and friends or to enjoy for oneself. I have had women shop the weekly markets of the Peruvian highland villages with me, bringing home hand-woven rugs and shawls to die for.

Best of all, in addition to the many new things one can experience on a women-only tour, one of the most enjoyable outcomes of such a trip is the probability of making new friends within the group – whether from trip participants who may live nearby or from other participants from across the U.S. And who knows – these same women may elect to travel with you every year on a female-focused trip to a different destination of your choosing. Go For It!!!

By Marty Sarbey de Souto, CTC