When you hear or read the phrase ‘women-only spaces’, you probably assume it refers to indoor spaces, but have you considered ‘women-only spaces in the ‘great outdoors’? How available are women-only outdoor holiday options? Are we encouraging safe spaces for women to explore the world or are we creating a temporary solution to an ever-growing problem of women feeling unsafe when travelling alone?
In this article we will explore some of the innovative women-only holidays available in the market, giving our members an opportunity to consider some options.
In 2013- 2019 (pre-pandemic) there was a 230% rise (1) in the number of women-only travel companies. In 2022, with the slow but sure return to travel, we are once more seeing a revival of interest in these types of trips, which is why we thought we would share some of our favourite finds:
Intrepid is a name you may be familiar with when it comes to travel. With a reputation for offering a wide range of experiences to travellers globally, it’s no shock that Intrepid have ventured into the women only world. They promise understanding of the differences women face, especially when travelling the world. For a more adventurous women-only trip, Intrepid offer a range of expeditions aiming to breakdown the cultural barriers of traditional tourism. Marketing to the masses, Intrepid’s mission is to delve deeper into some of the gender specific experiences available all over the world. “We believe travel is for everyone. But in some countries, there are things mixed-gender groups just can’t do. What if, as a female traveller in Pakistan, you could learn how to make traditional Huzai food with a local cook, in a country where in parts women are still rarely seen outside the house. This limited-edition series of expeditions is all about breaking down barriers, fostering discussion and creating immersive local experiences for women that are ordinarily off limits on our regular group departures.”(2) Not only do Intrepid recognise the need for female-only trips from a safety perspective, they also understand that actually, there are things that women can’t experience completely with men around, and it is refreshing that this is starting to be realised across the commercial travel industry.
With their main offering being in the UK and Europe, Walking Women offer a range of packages, each tailored to specific needs, with a helpful “Walking Grade” guide for the travellers, ensuring you’re signing up for something you are capable of. Sometimes the idea of solo travel – can be overwhelming, and it’s clear that the market is understanding and putting a lot of thought and time into the detailed planning of these expeditions. When exploring the options available on the Walking Women website, you can find all the detail you might need, including dates, duration, difficulty ratings, pricing, details about the guide and of course in-depth information about the routes and what you should expect to see on one of these walks. When it comes to pre-planning from a safety perspective, presenting this information to the customer ensures they will approach their walking holiday in a way that is more likely to guarantee a safe trip.
Combining safety and travel is always at the forefront of our goals here at SheTravel. G Adventures offers a range of group trips for solo travellers, designed around women and ensuring their safety. “If you’re ready to explore some of the world’s incredible destinations but can’t find a travel buddy, just come along with G Adventures. Our small group-trips are solo traveller-friendly, letting you skip the search for the best routes or accommodations and focus on what really matters: having the time of your life.”(3) Whilst solo tours have been available for years now, it’s great to see that this industry doesn’t shy away from offering female-inclusive travel experiences; sensitively handling issues around females travelling and highlight where appropriate the risks that women can face when travelling. For day excursions advice like the following may help an individual woman “Our small group tours are perfect for helping solo female travellers feel safe anywhere in the world we visit. If you have any questions, our CEOs are ready with tips on how to respect cultural traditions or local dress. Use free time to explore your way, or maybe someone from the group (or your same-sex roommate) will want to tag along.”(4)
Gutsy Girls brands itself as “A community for women seeking adventure, taking on new challenges, facing fears and having incredible experiences together.”(5) Their main aim is to unite women through nature, focusing on exploring new places, discovering new passions and meeting new people. The range of adventures available vary from the more athletic trip such as Stand-Up Paddling (SUP) expeditions, to cycling or even hiking adventures.
As you can imagine and see for yourself online – the number and variety of women-only trips available is incredible. However, we really want to understand what you think of these trips. Would you be interested in planning something like this? If not, why not? Sharing experiences and opinion is what we like to do best, so let us know how you feel and leave a comment.