Women’s day special – Travel groups by women for women
There have been times I have thought of travelling solo but have never acted upon the idea, simply because I could never resonate with the concept of travelling all by myself. Imagine looking at beautiful mountains or taking a cruise on high seas or tasting delicious local food in a new city and not having the opportunity of sharing it with someone. Also, the burden of planning an entire trip can be cumbersome, not to mention safety. Just not my cup of tea. Then again, waiting for family or friends when in desperate need for a break from the mundane schedule can be annoying enough.
Is there a way out? Can women go on a solo travel, without bearing the responsibility of planning everything and without compromising on safety ? Ofcourse there is! In the recent decade, there have been a number of travel groups by women for women. Catered to women travellers, these travel groups organise tours all over India as well as international travels. Whether you are single, married, a working professional or a housewife, you can plan your trip with these groups and even customise it per your requirements.
Why travel solo?
I believe it’s the best way to let go of your inhibitions and rediscover yourself. It is also a great opportunity for meeting other solo women travellers and building your network.
Here is a list of 10 most popular women-only travel groups specially curated for women solo travellers and readers of Life360degrees.
1.) Diva Odysseys
Diva Odysseys was founded by Neena Jhanjee, who left her corporate job of 13 years as a banker to follow her passion. The entire vision of this group is to have “fully escorted, creative, stylish tours where like-minded divas could soak-up the sights and sounds and also have some space to enjoy some ‘me’ time in a safe and fun environment”. Recent travels by this group have been to Bali, Thailand and Goa. Some experiences on these trips include scuba diving with the Manta Rays, dining on the Great Wall of China and swimming in the highest infinity pool in the world. Upcoming trips are to Thailand, Komodo Island and Bali.
2.) The Wander Girls
Started by banker, entrepreneur, writer, and budding photographer Hetal Doshi, The Wander Girls (TWG) is an all girls travel group for women who are passionate about travelling and socialising. TWG has a room sharing arrangement wherein they match the likes / dislikes and interests of the group and accordingly choose a room-mate. You can also customise your trip or gift a holiday to someone. Their recent trip was to Nashik in November where the group witnessed the wine budding scene and visited the Trimbakeshwar Temple. In September, TWG took off on a road trip to Alibaug. Their next trip is to Bhutan in April and May.
3.) Soul Purpose
Two women, mother to teenagers, one a freelance photographer and yoga teacher, the other a former journalist, together they started Soul purpose. Mimi and Vidya understood the need for trips that were meaningful, relaxing and yet full of fun. Their recent trips include visiting Banaras and SriLanka in Nov and Dec 2015 respectively. While the group enjoyed whale watching and scuba diving at Sri Lanka, they discovered the rhythm of India’s oldest living city at Banaras. What’s different about Soul Purpose is that besides doing destinations, they also organise groups for bird watching, cycling and photography in and around Delhi. The memberships, activities and events are totally free of charge too!
4.) Girls on the Go Club
Girls on the Go Club (GOTG) is for women who love to travel to exotic places like Ladakh, Nagaland, Egypt, Spain, Antarctica etc. Founded by former corporate lawyer Priya Bose, GOTG takes you on the offbeat path and offers you local experiences so that you experience a place not just as a tourist, but also as a traveller. The next trip is to Sikkim end of March.
5.) Women on Wanderlust
Sumitra Senapaty had been travelling like a nomad for the longest time before she decided to put her experiences into her startup Women on Wanderlust (WOW). Nine years in the business, WOW is one of the leading travel groups in India with approximately 4-5 trips per month. Their pictures from the Newzealand shows them doing everything the Kiwi way including jet boats, flat whites, pavlova and more. WOW also offers women reward points for each travel which can be redeemed in subsequent trips.
6.) Women on Clouds
Fly, celebrate, explore, ride is the motto of this travel group. Founded in 2007 by Shireen Mehra, Women on Clouds (WOC) organises international tours, weekend getaways as well as school and college trips. Upcoming trips include Turkey, Bhutan, Leh Ladakh.
7.) Chix on Board
Chix on board (COB) is the brainchild of Shailza Gidwani who has a travel experience of 10 years herself. Shailza has cruised to Mediterranean seas, camped out into the wild outbacks of Australia, wandered on the streets of Paris, shopped extravagantly inside the fancy malls of Dubai, toured Turkey, Singapore, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Spain, Italy, France, Germany and much more. COB also organises bachelorette parties to countries like Phuket, Las Vegas and Prague. Their latest international travel was to Bangkok and Phuket.
8.) F5 escapes
Launched in June 2013, F5escapes is a Bangalore based company started by Malini, with a lofty dream of changing the way women travel. The group recently concluded a 7N/8D trip to Rajasthan visiting Jaipur, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. Sikkim, Ladakh and Amritsar are next on the cards. The group has also launched ‘JustGo’, a community of travellers to share stories, ideas, tips, guidelines and pitfalls, organised once every two months. Each meet has a theme, be it photo journey or travel on wheels.
9.) Beautiful journey
With the aim to provide fun filled and trips easy on the pocket of middle-class women who aspire to travel the world, Jyothi Nair, an ex-consulting professional left her career to fulfil this dream. Beautiful journey is a result of Jyothis personal struggle to travel alone during sabbatical from her job. The group offers weekend trips, domestic and international trips. Upcoming trips include Leh Ladakh, Amritsar, Egypt and Bhutan.
10.) Incredible India Tours
This one’s interesting. Debbie Kindness, an Australian, made her first trip to India in 1993, but India kept luring her back. Her love and spiritual connection with India made her start Incredible India Tours in 2006 and she returns to India every year with a group of people to make them experience the India she loves. Her tours now cover India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Burma and Italy. Trips are customized to include interests like yoga, photography or wildlife safaris. The trips range from 10 to 20 days covering multiple cities in India.
Interested ? Go on a solo trip with these groups and rediscover yourself.
Happy Women’s Day !