Our 2018-2019 survey of women adventure travel enthusiasts is a treasure-trove of information telling a wonderful story about why women like to adventure, how they define “adventure” and what they most like to do on these opportunities to learn about other cultures, push their boundaries and meet other fascinating women along the way.
One of the questions we asked them was “What are the top 3 benefits of traveling ‘women-only’?”
Their 2,700+ responses reveal that there are a variety of different motivations which “women-only” tap into among women adventure travelers. Our survey findings describe 9 reasons which draw women towards women’s adventure travel trips and reward them in important ways which they value:
1| Camaraderie & Friendship
Women tell us that the ability to meet new friends on women-only trips is a major draw for them. From sharing stories and common experiences to comparing ideas and perspectives, the potential for connecting with other interesting women in an atmosphere rich with positive energy and camaraderie, is magical. They talk about a better group dynamic and an engaging environment full of companionship, conversation, and communication. In many cases, the friendships which begin on a single trip are deep and long lasting.
“I connect better with myself through other women”
“I have met fantastic women from all over the world, many of whom I am still in touch with”
“I like to immerse myself in a destination with people I can laugh and talk with”
“more opportunities for in-depth conversations”
“meeting people with similar interests but different perspectives”
“sharing and learning from others’ personal and professional successes and disappointments”
“sharing wisdom with those younger and older”
“Women are quicker to develop camaraderie. I like having a group of sisters watching my back.”
2| Comfort & Ease
Universally, women report that traveling in the company of other women is just simpler, easier, and more comfortable. They “get” each other easily. Easy of meeting one another. Ease of companionship. Ease of conversation. Easier connections. Easier honest discussions. They also like that someone else is doing all the planning. Zero stress. No annoying details they have to plan, orchestrate, and manage for everyone else on the trip (e.g. their families or partners).
“Easy to relate to…we’re girls!!”
“Highly interesting with low, low stress”
“Women are more open and relaxed”
“So well-planned and organized that I can relax”
“Dining and wining and whining, a giggle fest”
3| Community & Commonality
Women talk about how much they enjoy experiencing new destinations, cultures, and activities with other like-minded women. Their mutual understanding of the “trials and tribulations” of their gender. They talk about their shared common interests. They understand the power of “community” and a “team” dynamic among women. They relish sisterhood, a sense of belonging, acceptance, trust, and common concern. These trips have a different vibe and energy where a “fun group dynamic quickly forms” and women find “instant rapport”. They like the fact these women-only trips cater to their own passions, unique cultural opportunities involving women around the world, and specific activities they enjoy.
“finding more similarities than differences between women of all ages and cultures”
“a bonding of spirits with similar interests”
“being in the comfort of like-minded souls”
“ability to focus as a team on the destination and adventures”
“experience the evolution of women through the eyes of different generations”
“to laugh, empathize, support each other as a sisterhood”
“varied backgrounds but a common thread”
4| More Venus, Less Mars
Women are quite open about the benefits of traveling without their partners and spouses. They talk about a more stress-free, relaxed atmosphere with less competition and distractions, fewer power struggles and performance pressures. No need for make up or dressing up. They love being able to travel when their partners can’t or won’t and not having to worry about them while traveling. They love being able to talk about things freely without being concerned about being judged, able to make their own choices and be in control of their experience. They feel they are more listened to when not in the company of men. Some women note candidly that they don’t have to worry about sexist comments, body shaming, men flirting, making passes, harassing them or rating them on women-only trips and that these trips are simpler without any relationship issues. They love the lack of gender limits and the “risk-free” environment in which to stretch themselves to new heights.
“physical activities are more enjoyable and challenging without testosterone in the air”
“our opinions will be heard more than if men were present”
“I love the way women open up when men aren’t around”
“male-free is simply a treat”
“I can walk around the room without a bra on.”
“makes logistics (like peeing in the woods 🙂 ) much easier”
“an opportunity to learn how other women approach life in a male dominated world”
“Because men are taller and tend to walk in front of everyone else, they block my view of the world. Women tend to walk next to one another”
5| Solos Are Welcome
With the majority of women now traveling “solo” as individuals, a key benefit of traveling “women-only” is immediately fitting into your group of fellow travelers as a solo traveler. Not having to deal with the male-female pair situations inherent in trips frequented by couples for example, means solo women are never the odd girl out, feeling like a third-wheel in as sea of couples. Newly single, divorced. and widowed women also point out that they really prefer not to be around couples when traveling. Solo women like meeting other women solo travelers and feel this is easier in a group setting vs when traveling alone independently. And many women point out that on a women-only trip, it is easy as a solo to get paired with another woman as a roommate thereby avoiding the dreaded “single supplement” and making the trip more affordable.
“When trips are co-ed, couples tend to “couple up”. They are having their personal trip and might not be inclusive of the other travelers”
“It’s difficult being single among the majority of ‘husband and wife’ groups”
“meeting like-minded, fascinating women who are also solo travelers”
“more fun as a single traveler (instead of everyone else being coupled up)”
“women not with their husbands are friendlier to a single”
“as a widow it is nice to not travel with couples”
6| Support and Stretch
Closely related to the camaraderie and common bonds women associate with “women-only” adventures is the atmosphere of support and encouragement on these trips. Women say they become more open to taking risks and stretching themselves beyond their comfort zones when they feel the embrace of other women egging them on, gaining strength and confidence to reach beyond what they thought were their limits. They feel they “hear” each other better and feel free to “ask stupid questions” and try new things. They use words including compassion, kindness, empathy, nurturing, empowering. and motivating. They like the honest conversations which are inspired on women-only trips, and they love the mutual respect they find there.
“everyone helps everybody on the trip”
“an expanding circle of support”
“I feel stronger when traveling with other women – women-only”
“female empowerment and freedom”
“female mentorship and support”
“I am more comfortable trying new things in a women-only situation”
“innate understanding and support for one another”
“we are happy and have fun and are inclusive and accommodating”
7| A Safe Haven
Another theme women mention when asked about “why women-only?” is safety. Security, especially for women traveling solo, internationally, is an important consideration. Group travel is just safer than traveling on your own. And women say they feel safer from unwanted male attention when in a group of other women. But women also say they feel safer pushing themselves in the company of other women in particular. A safe haven is the foundation for a relaxed and inviting forum where women can meet, converse, and share their experiences.
“It’s a way to see the world in a somewhat protected environment”
“more of a safe feeling with women with similar interests”
“peace of mind”
8| Freedom To Be Me
Women say that traveling with other women gives them a unique sense of self. They can truly find some “me” time, so precious and so rare in their everyday lifestyles. They can stop being caregivers and caretakers, busy professionals and worker bees, proactive family organizers and budget police, and finally just be themselves. Freedom of thought. Freedom of word. Freedom of action. Time for introspection and self-discovery. Rewarding themselves knowing they deserve every second of it.
“able to let down my hair”
“be more “myself” than with men”
“can be your own authentic woman”
“don’t have to prove yourself”
“feeling of independence”
“freedom to be and do”
“getting to do what you want to do”
“honoring the Goddess within”
9| Just More Fun
And finally, women believe traveling women-only is just plain, more fun! Women like to laugh. They like to cook together, meet total strangers, and then share stories of commonality and cultural differences. They like to eat well and sometimes to drink too much wine. They love learning from one another, absorbing each other’s experiences like willing sponges, full of curiosity about each other’s lives. They love life and all it has to offer and that is why they are drawn to adventure travel.