Until recently, female travelers without a travel partner did not have much choice. They could either join a standard tour which catered mostly to couples or they could settle for a singles' tour, regardless of whether they were looking for a partner or not. Most of the time, they didn't go where they wanted to go and didn't do what they wanted to do.
Now, however, the world of travel is wide open to women and they can do as they please. Several women-only tour companies offer travel experiences in a relaxed and non-competitive environment. Some tours are centered around female interests and some offer unique travel opportunities that women find particularly appealing. Among the companies that offer women-only tours is Sights and Soul Travels which runs tours for women, specializing in off the beaten track European destinations.
Yolanta Barnes, Founder and CEO of Sights and Soul Travels, LLC, located in the Washington, DC area (www.sightsandsoul.com), notes a dramatic increase in interest in women-only tours and activities in the last couple of years. "I believe that this is an idea whose time has come," notes Barnes. "SST organizes small-group tours to Europe, which blend in-depth historical discovery, cultural immersion, outdoor adventure and top the experience with a luxury retreat. The tours' popularity has quadrupled since we started several years ago," says Barnes. Sights and Soul Travels not only gets women to travel together, it takes the concept further and introduces women travelers to off the beaten track destinations. "Many women are experienced travelers. They have seen Italy and England already, and they enjoy seeing more unique destinations," says Barnes. Faced with the lower value of the dollar in Europe, these destinations also offer more travel value.
Arthur Frommer calls the women-only tours and alternative travel markets "a major phenomenon", and ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) claims that women travel is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the tourism market. "More and more women are looking for travel opportunities designed specially with their needs in mind. Women want more than tightly scheduled days on their vacation. They want to experience the culture and the history but they also want to relax in a spa, enjoy the outdoors and have meaningful dinner conversations with like-minded travelers," says Barnes. "Most people love feeling like one of the first explorers who reach the destination, and women are no different," says Barnes. "Therefore, there is a growing demand for uncrowded and authentic destinations like Malta, Portugal or Croatia."
Barnes started by offering tours to destinations such as Portugal, Poland, Hungary and Croatia, having recently added Prague in the Czech Republic. Unlike other tour operators, Barnes personally escorts all tours to assure that all the details are attended to and that every single woman on the tour is having an unforgettable travel experience. The tours are meticulously researched and put together by women, who are experienced travelers themselves.
Sights and Soul Travels tours run May through October and are priced starting at $1,965 for 10 days. For more information about travel opportunities, contact: Sights and Soul Travels, 13610 Chrisbar Court, Germantown, MD 20874, 240-350-5643, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.sightsandsoul.com.