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While traveling solo has become increasingly popular, women often have concerns about safety among other trepidations. There are many who want to travel but they’d rather have someone along to share the experience with. As a result, a number of women have been starting their own women-only companies to meet those needs. It’s become all the rage, with females of all ages and interests discovering new destinations while enjoying a variety of adventures among like-minded travelers. If you’re looking to do the same, you’ll want to consider one of these fabulous options.
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Eat Like a Local Mx – Mexico City, Mexico
Owner: Rocio Vázquez
About the Business: A best-kept foodie secret for women visiting Mexico City, Eat Like a Local MX is a woman-focused food safari run by the owner, a food expert who has a deep connection to members of the local city markets. An immersive food experience designed for those who don’t typically join tours, in addition to sampling an array of delicious eats, you’ll do some sightseeing, explore the history, and chat with people who make the food, learning about their tours.
Why We Love Them: Rocio was inspired to create her business after leaving an abusive relationship. She focused on responsible tourism and competitive wages to help women feel financially secure. While the minimum wage in Mexico is $9 per day, her company pays tour operators $25 per person per tour, about $150 for four hours of work. The business also includes a social program called 80IQ to give “kids from the local community a culinary, cultural, and language learning experience.”
If you want a unique and whimsical stay, consider booking the Come & Dream in Quetzalcoat’s Nest Airbnb just outside Mexico City.
Explorer Chick – Glaciers and Hot Springs Winter Adventure, Iceland
Owner: Nicki Bruckmann
About the Business: Explorer Chick was birthed when owner Nicki Bruckmann said she was looking for the kind of trip that would make her feel alive, feeding her adventurous soul while pushing her boundaries, but she didn’t have a travel buddy to come along with her. Realizing she wasn’t the only one, she officially launched in 2014, aiming to bring women together to truly experience real adventures – her first was rappelling down a waterfall.
Why We Love Them: Explorer Chick unites women and empowers them through camaraderie and challenge.
Hot springs, ice climbing, hiking, and waterfall-hopping are just a few of the things you can expect to enjoy on the company’s Iceland Glaciers and Hot Springs Winter Adventure. This is also the season to come for northern lights viewing – you might want to spend some extra time here in an Airbnb perfectly situated for viewing Mother Nature’s incredible show.
WanderTours – Ireland
Owner: Beth Whitman
About the Business: Participants of every tour are “introduced” to each other in advance via a special newsletter that allows for better connections from the start. They are all created to “dive deep into a culture,” with elements that you won’t find from most other tour companies, from joining a local family for dinner to private musical performances.
Why We Love Them: The tours are focused on experiences shared together, starting with a hug and often ending with life-long friendships. It’s the perfect way to find travel partners when you don’t always want to go solo.
The Ireland tour explores Dublin’s iconic attractions, Wicklow National Park, the artsy city of Galway, and the smallest of the Aran Islands, Inis Oirr, where you’ll take a brown bread-making workshop. You’ll want to take advantage of the island’s tranquility to enjoy quiet contemplation and walks that wind through stone fences and along the shore. Dingle, Killarney, and even a night at a luxurious castle are all included too. If you want to stick around longer, consider a stay at an authentic thatched cottage via Airbnb.
Wild Women Expeditions – Aotearoa Alpine Adventure, New Zealand
Owner: Beth Whitman
About the Business: Wild Women Expeditions offers trips for women who want to be wild and not mild. Women are employed in every role from tour leaders to local, on-the-ground guides, and have been long before it was trendy. While the focus is on outdoor adventure, you don’t have to be an expert as beginners are more than welcome and will have a group of supportive, diverse females cheering them on.
Why We Love Them: Trips are designed to be challenging while providing time to relax and perhaps experience a side of yourself you didn’t know existed, perhaps as a start to a new chapter in your life.
The New Zealand Aotearoa Alpine Adventure is one for any traveler’s bucket list, with highlights that include a jet boat ride, scenic flight, a sea kayak trip, a boat excursion into famous glowworm caves, and guided hikes.
AdventureWomen – Discover Machu Picchu and the Amazon, Peru
Owners: Judi Wineland and daughters Nicole and Erica (founded by Susan Eckert)
About the Business: AdventureWomen has been around for four decades, checking off 65 countries across the globe in the process. One of the top women-only tour groups, trips go behind the usual attractions with opportunities to get to know the locals and their culture. It’s aimed at experiencing new encounters and facing challenges in an environment that’s fun, safe, and supportive.
Why We Love Them: This is one of the first companies to focus solely on women travelers and the experience pays off with unique, personalized itineraries.
On Discover Machu Picchu and the Amazon, you’ll witness the iconic ancient ruins and discover the Amazonian Basin with its howler monkeys, toucans, and macaws. Check off another bucket-list experience with a stay at Skylodge Adventure Suites in the Sacred Valley while you’re here.
WeGoBond – Sleepless in Turkey
Owner: Shibani Vig
About the Business: Shibani says being on the move with her army dad led to her passion for travel, which she’s had ever since she can remember. Long a solo traveler, a journey through Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India led to her realization that a lack of safety and comfort is what held back many other women from exploring on their own. Ultimately, WeGoBond was birthed to allow them to enjoy unique travel opportunities.
Why We Love Them: The women-only trips are designed for women of all ages from all walks of life whether single or married. Shibani researches and experiences each destination to ensure every trip is well-planned and executed while fostering an environment of sisterhood.
The Sleepless in Turkey trip includes everything from a visit to bustling Istanbul to hot-air balloon rides at dawn and even a stay in one of Cappadocia’s famous cave hotels.
WHOA Travel – Bavaria and Oktoberfest, Germany
Owners: Danielle Thornton and Allison Fleece (AKA Dallison)
About the Business: Co-founders of WHOA Travel turned the trip of a lifetime into a business aiming to empower women to reach for their best lives. It all began when they realized if they could climb Mt. Kilimanjaro together they could do anything. Today they offer treks that combine culturally immersive with “mind- and muscle-maxing,” heading to Kilimanjaro as well as places like Iceland, Costa Rica, and Germany.
Why We Love Them: What could be better than two best friends becoming successful at doing something they love while empowering women at the same time?
The Bavaria and Oktoberfest trip includes hiking, biking, and paragliding among the striking beauty of Bavaria, with time to experience legendary Oktoberfest, complete with endless steins of beer and dancing.
Seven Women – Immersion Tour, Nepal
Owner: Stephanie Woollard
About the Business: Seven Women was started when the owner was just 22, traveling in Kathmandu where she met seven disabled women working in a tin shed who were struggling to make a living in the face of harsh discrimination. Using her last $200, Woolard paid for a trainer to teach them how to make products they could sell locally and abroad. Today, her trips allow women travelers to discover Nepal’s beauty and get an inside look at the grassroots organizations that are empowering the people of Nepal.
Why We Love Them: The company has been working in Nepal for more than a decade, helping disabled and marginalized women in Nepal. This is your chance to get a firsthand look at what it’s like to create real and lasting change while contributing to the local communities you’ll be visiting in a developing country.
On the Nepal Immersion tour, you’ll live and experience the beauty of remote villages with Nepali families, gain deeper insight into their cultural and religious beliefs, and learn skills like Nepali crafting and cooking.
Wild Terrains – Group Trip, France
Owner: Lauren Bates
About the Business: Wild Terrains began when founder/owner Lauren Bates says she searched for women-only groups but was disappointed by what she found, with all the activity-specific trips focused on yoga, trekking, and surfing. She wanted to travel with other creative women, but also support women who were leading the charge in the local design, art, and food scenes in the places she visited. As there was nothing like that she could find, Wild Terrains was birthed.
What We Love About Them: Wild Terrains helps travelers connect with real women with a variety of talents while getting to know the destination.
The France trip includes cooking classes with a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, visiting vintage shops, embracing the art of flaneur-ing, a feminist walking tour led by an activist, exploring vineyards and gardens, and even cruising the French Riviera, one of the world’s best destinations for sailing, in an elegant yacht.
Adventures in Good Company – Wats and Wonders, Vietnam & Cambodia
Owner: Kelly Kimple (founded by Marian Marbury)
About the Business: Around for more than 20 years, Adventures in Good Company began with a vision to empower women in the outdoors by offering fun, supportive and challenging trips where females of all expertise, sizes, and shapes are celebrated. There are over 100 destinations available with small group adventures helping to connect or reconnect diverse women with their adventurous selves, their abilities, different cultures, and stunning natural scenery.
Why We Love Them: It’s the “Grande Dame” of adventure travel for women over 30 who want to enjoy active vacations from Africa to Antarctica.
The Wats and Wonders of Vietnam and Cambodia tour includes a cruise on an ancient Chinese sailing ship through Halong Bay and a visit to Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument and the center of the Khmer Empire.