Whether you travel in search of adventure or to unwind, to open your mind or to voyage inward, you can probably find a women’s travel group suited to your needs. Women-only travel experiences have spiked in popularity over the last few years, with more companies offering female-centric getaways for outdoorsy types, fitness fanatics, and culture vultures than ever before. With a laser focus on connectivity between women of all ages, backgrounds, and interests, the following travel companies and organizations are but a small selection of the vast girl group options that await you in the travel space.
Billed as a “global sisterhood,” Damesly is where travel’s myriad personal and professional benefits converge. Created by women, for women, Damesly curates immersive experiences geared towards ladies whose interests run the gamut from dance to film and self-discovery in far-flung destinations around the world. But regardless of whether you’re photographing the Sahara Desert or bullet journaling in Colorado, Damesly aims to engender a nurturing community of women who share the spirit of adventure. Co-founded by Kelly Lewis—the woman behind Go! Girl Guides, the annual Women’s Travel Fest, and Executive Editor of Unearth Women—, and Alyson Kilday, a polyglot who’s called over 10 different countries home, Damesly travelers are in very good hands.
Wild Women Expeditions
Wild Women Expeditions (WWE) has offered outdoor retreats for an international network of intrepid women for nearly 30 years. Community and respect for the great outdoors are the common threads running through all of WWE’s offerings, including hiking trips, yoga retreats, canoeing, and beyond. Be it Alaska’s unspoiled vistas or the horseback ride of a lifetime through the Mongolian steppe, each WWE expedition is crafted to evoke awe whilst maintaining the utmost mindfulness of the environment. As WWE director Jennifer Haddow writes, “We believe that when women join together in a supportive circle to move through challenges, enjoy the pleasures of life and connect with nature through an outdoor experience, they have more energy and joy in their lives to do all the other important work in the world.”
In March 2018, Intrepid Travel announced a new series of women-only expeditions. Led by experienced female guides, participants are offered a glimpse into the daily lives of women in places such as an Iranian farmstead, a Bedouin camp in Jordan, and a rug weaving co-op in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. “These expeditions will help break down barriers of traditional tourism in these countries, offering a deeper understanding of female culture in each destination,” Intrepid Travel explains on their website, with the goal of doubling their number of female tour guides by 2020.
This Yosemite-based non-profit organization is now in its 20th year of catering to adventurous travelers. From hiking to yoga, each Balanced Rock trip is designed to foster contemplation and rejuvenation in the wilderness. Balanced Rock inaugurated their Wild Women Workshops in honor of the tragic passing of a fellow outdoor guide, and expanded to offer both local and international nature-based getaways. In addition to their Wild Women Workshops, Balanced Rock offers retreats for women of color—defined as “Anyone who self-identifies as a woman including queer and trans woman, and as non-white such as Black, Hispanic/Latinas, Asians, Native Americans, Indigenous people and mixed race”—in an effort to promote diversity, inclusion, and representation, especially in the outdoor and adventure travel arena.
Women’s clothing label Free People offers “value-driven bespoke wellness retreats” as beautifully bohème as the brand’s aesthetic. With a mission to “move,” “gather,” and “connect,” FP Escapes are small, female-centric getaways designed to elevate the experience of a destination through connectivity and wellness. FP Escapes have taken participants from the Berkshires to Peru, but each trip commonly promotes clean eating, bond-building, and positive energy.