Tourism: Trips Led by and for Women, to Celebrate Women’s History Month
The number of agencies and tour operators specializing in travel tours for women have grown significantly in recent years. Here are a few special destinations.
What better way to commemorate Women’s History Month, in March, than by taking a trip for women, led by women? As an another motivation to book such a getaway, International Women’s Day falls on March 8.
The popularity of such trips seem to have increased since the #MeToo movement. Annette Youngbauer, a travel agent from Delafield, Wis., who specializes in women’s group tours around the world, said that her sales of these trips have increased 200 percent since #MeToo.
“Whether it’s a Caribbean cruise or hiking in Macchu Picchu, these trips are a lot about bonding and sharing each other’s struggles and passions,” she said.
If that sounds good to you, here are four to consider.
Women’s empowerment in South Africa
Deborah Calmeyer, founder of the travel company Roar Africa, has organized a women’s empowerment trip in South Africa from June 11 to 16. Female guides and animal trackers who have broken stereotypes in these traditionally male fields will speak. Conservationists and philanthropists including Christine Schuler Deschryver, the director ofV-Day Congo, an organization that aims to end violence against women and girls, will also attend.
The itinerary starts in the semidesert region of Karoo where travelers will visit the SA College for Tourism, an institute that trains women from at-risk communities for jobs in the hospitality industry. The bulk of the trip will occur at a lodge in the semiarid savanna of the Kalahari, where guests will have the opportunity to see migratory birds and track black rhinos on foot. There will also be visits to ancient archaeological sites with rock carvings created some 380,000 years ago ($15,600 a person, all-inclusive).
Self-improvement in Hawaii
Kelly Lewis, founder of the travel-guide company Go! Girl Guides and the chief executive of Damesly, a boutique travel company, is leading a trip to Honolulu, her hometown, from May 17 to 23.
The theme of the trip is “finding yourself,” and participants will engage in self-identity work through workshops led by a life coach. Other activities include hula-dance classes, lei-making lessons, surfing, paddle boarding, snorkeling and rainforest hikes with picnic lunches ($2,800 a person, with accommodations, some meals and activities included).
A cultural exchange near Calgary
In Canada, Wild Women Expeditions is offering a cultural retreat, from July 8 to 13, at a ranch near Calgary. The trip will introduce participants to the culture of the Cree, the indigenous people of the area, and is led by Tracey Klettl and Brenda Holder, two sisters with Cree heritage.
Guests stay in canvas tents in the forest, and will be taught traditional Cree beliefs and skills including traditional plant medicine and archery ($1,895 Canadian dollars per person, approximately $1,430 U.S., with accommodations, transfers, meals and activities included).
A polar bear expedition cruise in Norway
Organized by Natural World Safaris, the “Women of the Arctic” expedition cruise will sail in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard from Aug. 10 to 20. A naturalist named Kate Humble is leading the trip, with other female naturalists are on-hand as guides.
Wildlife hikes to spot reindeer, foxes and polar bears will be planned, or travelers can simply relax on the ship and take in the landscape of ice-dotted tundra ($11,414 a person, with accommodations, meals and activities included).
By Shivani Vora