Get Away from it All —with the Girls!
Sep 13, 2010 11:05PM
By Erin Frisch
Get Away with the Girls
Get away from it all—with the girls
Proudly, I must say, since well before marriage, I have been an advocate for girls’ getaways. It probably stems from my strong memories of p.j. parties where we would chitchat, share stories, and giggle all night long. So, it comes as no surprise to me that women-only jaunts are a sizzling travel industry trend.
Why Women’s Groups?
Call it what you will—a “Sanity Break,” a “Midlife Crisis,” or simply a “Girlfriends’ Getaway”—there is no denying the fact that women are traveling alone or with female companions in record numbers. In fact, NBC News reported that one of the fastest growing segments in the travel industry is that of women-only travel companies, which have increased 230 percent in the past six years.
If you start a Google search with the words “women’s travel,” you can expect to reach more than 60 million sites. There are women’s travel clubs, women’s tour operators, and women’s societies that travel together, specializing in everything from shopping and culinary expeditions to hard-core adventure—the possibilities are almost endless. Women are traveling together more for a simple reason: they know what their real interests are. They know how much longer they want to remain in a museum or gallery (usually while husbands pace outside), how women want to eat, shop, and bond. We all know that although a family vacation is a wonderful experience, most of our time is spent making sure everyone else is happy.
Enjoy a World of Options
The first such travel group that I escorted was to a spa for the weekend, which is the most popular girls’ getaway. There we were able to de-stress, be pampered, and bond with other women, leaving the peanut butter sandwiches and carpooling behind. It was such a success that I received many inquires, such as “when and where are we going next?”
We moved on to a cruise where basically everything was done for us while allowing us to explore various ports of call. From there we became the “Sol Sisters” in search of the sun, visiting Caribbean Islands. Our key to success was choosing just the right resort with hopefully no children, great spa facilities, right on the beach, fine dining, shopping, and evening entertainment.
Traveling as a group of women gives us the freedom to do what we want, when we want. There’s no pressure or competitiveness. It allows us to meet people we might otherwise not meet, who, although may come from entirely different backgrounds or professions, share commonalities. You can just be yourself. Our group consists of friends, mothers, daughters, sisters, their friends, and friends of friends—women who enjoy one another’s company. Whether you’re married, divorced, single, or widowed, there is a certain bonding experience that all ages and backgrounds share.
These days, women want to travel more often but enjoy the comfort and security of traveling in a group. Quite a few tour operators are now offering select departure dates that are for women only. My personal favorite, and one I hope to entice the Sol Sisters with, is a walking tour in Europe. A walking tour is considered a “soft adventure.” A soft adventure can best be described as an adventure of the mind and spirit, fostering cultural discovery. Each adventure, limited to 18 participants, offers special activities geared toward the interest and appetites of active women. Options include cooking classes in Tuscany, shopping in Turkey, or belly dancing in Morocco.
How Gutsy Are You?
Gutsy Women Travel is at the forefront of women-only travel. Gutsy Women travelers come from every walk of life: They are homemakers, caregivers, cancer survivors, educators, and businesswomen. They are both well-traveled individuals curious to interface with their counterparts in another culture, as well as women who rarely find opportunity to explore the world outside their community—until now. Gutsy Women Travel offers a wide variety of programs both domestically and internationally. One of the hallmarks of a Gutsy Women Travel program is to include “experience” that most other companies do not. Such programs may include antique hunting in Paris, taking a lesson in the ancient art of pizza making in Italy, visiting local children at a daycare center for the underprivileged in Argentina or Brazil, and wine tasting in Chile, to name just a few. You may view their website at www.gutsywomentravel.com. If you’re interested in any of their programs, you will receive a $200 discount by making your reservation through me at Experience Travel.
Gutsy Women believes that there is a gutsy woman inside each of us, one that occasionally needs to make time for herself, to refresh and renew the mind, body, and sprit, reconnect to her inner being, and establish bonds with other women. Women are traditionally caregivers, regularly placing the needs of everyone else ahead of their own. Yet it is important that women take the time to nurture themselves, for it is giving to yourself that puts your life into better balance.