In the last decade, the trend of group tours for women has been growing steadily, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. In fact, the number of group tours that are specifically designed for female travelers has multiplied in the last few years. Most of these tours are in Europe, which has several options that cater to women travelers. Women on tour often want a smaller group, with smaller hotels and less travel time between destinations. They also want to spend more time shopping and less time on the bus.
With pent-up consumer demand for European travel on the rise, tour operators and travel consultants are seeing a marked increase in the popularity of women’s travel – small groups of girlfriends, relatives and club or hobby group members are eager to visit different European destinations.
Whether these girlfriends want to spend a long weekend in a museum in Amsterdam or Berlin, visit relatives in Stockholm or Serbia, study genealogy in Dublin or relax on the Atlantic coast in Portugal or on the eastern Mediterranean in Greece, they will be looking for women-only tours or vacations when countries open up to foreign tourists by 2021 or 2022.
Tired of virtual meetings
What’s the reason? After being apart for more than a year, they’re tired of Zoom, online meetings and conference calls, and since many of them were recently vaccinated, they’re looking forward to being with their moms, sisters, cousins and friends, says Trinita Brown, a franchise owner and vacation specialist at Dream Vacations in Washington.
Photo above: Trinita Brown, franchisee and vacation specialist at Dream Vacations, notes that women’s bookings for travel in Europe have increased this year.
According to industry consultants and tour operators, these groups of women – girlfriends or relatives who fear being separated from friends and family during a pandemic – are increasingly booking small private group trips or villa accommodations exclusively for women.
Others book a guided European bus trip (in which both men and women participate), but with enough free time in the itinerary for the girls to do their own activities with a group of women, such as hiking, biking, culinary experiences, wine tasting or museum visits.
Visits by women only
In addition, women travelling alone or in small groups of friends book European holidays for women organised by tour operators.
Austin Adventures says that with the spread of the vaccination, there is a clear incentive to travel: 38% of Americans are starting to plan future trips for later this year. The tour operator also says that of the thousands of trips postponed since 2020, 90% of travelers chose to rebook in the second half of 2021. Dan Austin, founder and CEO of Austin Adventures, says more and more travelers are comfortable with the vaccine and the international travel industry is booming like never before.
When it comes to travel for women, Austin Adventures is organizing on the 9th. October 2021, a trip to Iceland: The best of southern Iceland, a week-long retreat for women. The itinerary and experiences were picked up by co-founder Carol Austin.
Women on this tour travel along the south coast of Iceland, with waterfalls, canyons, icebergs and black sand beaches. In addition to diving into the Viking legends and Icelandic culture, friends can bond by exploring the Snaifelsnes Peninsula and the Golden Circle on foot. They bathe in naturally steaming water and enjoy freshly caught shellfish. They also walk across the glacier, tying themselves to krapons, a device that holds their shoes and makes walking on icy surfaces easier.
Guy Young, president of Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold, also cites women’s travel as an emerging trend for his brands. He notes that his group’s Wander Women tours attract women from all walks of life, but are especially popular with female executives.
In the summer of 2022, Insight Vacations is offering a 13-day guided tour of Venice and the Croatian coast with a small group called Wander Women (women only).
Wander Women guests visit Italy, Slovenia and Croatia, and thanks to Insight Choice, women can indulge their personal passions by choosing one of two experiences that are part of the individual travel days.
Women seeking advice
Women have always liked to travel together, but now more than ever, more women are traveling in groups, Brown says, adding that during this pandemic, many women are missing out on time with their best friends.
Many women turn to travel consultants like Brown to book women-friendly European vacations. His clients who wanted to make this trip were tired of being locked up for over a year. They are thirsty for new adventures, new landscapes, new and varied food.
She is currently organizing three separate women’s trips to Europe for her clients. One is a trip for book club members who have always dreamed of spending a holiday together in an Italian villa and getting to know the local cuisine.
The highlight of the trip will be the arrival of a private chef for several days, who will guide them through the local markets and teach them to prepare Italian dishes, she says, adding that some of the women in the group have never been to Europe and are eager to embark on a new adventure with their best friends.
I’m also planning a trip for a group of five mothers and their teenage daughters to see the Northern Lights and spend time at a spa at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, she says. The group had been talking about this unique trip since the girls were in elementary school.
After all the crazy events of the past year, Brown says, they decided they needed a new, exciting experience, and why not do it with their best friends?
Brown is also planning a trip for four women – a mother, a daughter-in-law and her two daughters – to Belgium. My daughter’s favorite Belgian restaurant was closed during the pandemic, and she missed the atmosphere, the food, the beer and the chocolate desserts immensely, she notes.
Brown continued: They decided then that they would definitely visit Belgium when Europe was opened up for travel again. The mother told her daughter-in-law, who immediately loved the idea and wanted to take her daughter with her. So Brown said I was organizing a mini-tour around the country for this small group of women.
Whether they travel for personal interest, shared experiences or family reasons, more and more women are booking future trips to Europe and enjoying a variety of holiday options from Portugal to the Netherlands, Malta to Sweden, Monaco to Estonia, Serbia, San Marino and many more.
Brown’s women’s group clients are usually between four and six people, but she also leads women’s groups of up to 15 people. Many people have had a trip to Europe on their wish list for years, but are now taking the first steps towards booking it. It is also sad that many of these women have lost parents, other family members and friends to COVID-19 in the past year, she said.
For many clients, Brown summarizes: So many clichés were created in their minds, such as. B. : Life is too short; you need to make special memories with your family and friends; and spend your money while you live – you can’t take it with you.
Stay tuned for an update on trends in Europe in the coming weeks!
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