Lifestyle » Vol. 3

All-Female Travel

The Newest Celebration of Sisterhood
By Julie Grady

You’ve finally got a hold on life. You’ve gained confidence along the way, learned many a life lesson, finally gotten comfortable in your own skin, maybe even gotten your finances to a point where you can breathe a well-deserved sigh of relief. And, maybe most importantly, you’ve developed a sister-like bond with a handful of female friends ~ let’s face it, we may love the men in our lives, but wouldn’t it be a nice escape to rally the girls, pack your bags, and head out on an all-female adventure and explore some of the hottest destinations this planet has to offer?

In the twenty-first century, thirty is the new twenty, forty is the new thirty and fifty is the new age to set forth and blaze your own trail, whether it be taking that excursion to India or even venturing to the vistas of Stonehenge.

Originally, in what we now like to refer to as the “old days,” female travelers might have jumped on group tours because of a lack of confidence or means to do the planning themselves ~ ie the absence of a “man of the house” to take the vacation reigns. But now, thank goodness, the modern woman is perfectly capable of planning a world-class trip and choosing just whom she’d like to have accompany her. And just as often as not, the “whom” is not a husband or partner, it’s her best girl friends.

Hiking in Costa Rica

Hiking in Costa Rica

The reasons for the sudden explosion in popularity of all-female tour groups? Camaraderie. Gone are the days of insecurity, financial dependence, social anxiety, timidity, self-scrutiny and just general uncertainty and women everywhere are celebrating…together. What better way to travel than with women who can share knowledge, have similar interests, discuss experiences from a female perspective, and simply provide a level of companionship that the male gender cannot? Now, that’s not to say that his and hers travel should become a thing of the past ~ but every once in a while, doesn’t getting away with just the girls sound like a lovely idea?

Gutsy Women Travel (www.gutsywomentravel.com) agrees, and is just one venue where you can find a plethora of travel options that hit Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. Ten days in Morocco for $1,500? Let me write the check…They even offer interest-specific tours, like adventure and nature, shopping and antiques, gourmet dining, wines and cooking, and fine homes and fabulous gardens ~ not to mention their line of cruises.

Their ten day Magical Morocco trip, for example, sweeps you across the country, through the Middle and High Atlas mountains as you experience the vibrant mix of cultures which form that so-called Moroccan magic: Arab, Berber, and French.

It’s practically all-inclusive, so there’s no added worry. You’ll relax in a traditional Moroccan steambath, do some painting in the mountainside, participate in a henna ceremony and lunch at the haute Al Fassia restaurant in the historical city of Marrakech. There’s even a tutorial on traditional Moroccan cuisine. And, as with every group tour, there are no surprises. You know what you’re getting and, more importantly, what you’re paying.

If you’d rather speak with a living, breathing person to book your trip rather than feed code to your computer, travel agents have weathered the storm of one-click shopping online. Worcester-based Rosenlund Travel Services (27 Mechanic St. in Worcester, (508) 791-2337) is a great spot to start. New to advertising girl-power gallivanting, the staff will work with you to customize just about any excursion imaginable and tailor it to your specific tastes and interests.

Rosenlund Travel associates can even get you to Antarctica at prices ranging from $5,000 to $14,000. But, if you’re on a budget, exploratory expeditions to Costa Rica start at $999.

Tired of the tundra? Bored with the beach? If wine and spirits call to you, dash off with your donne and hop a flight to Toscana. Sipping Chianti in Chianti can’t be beat and Worcester’s Sullivan Travel Services, Inc. (10 Cedar St, Worcester, (508) 752-2845) truly understands. The agents there can set you up with the perfect itinerary for about $3,100 (landprice). Just keep in mind the lira is dead and Italy is one of the most expensive countries in the European Union; the exchange rate can grow tiresome, but the wine never will.

Slumber parties used to be the highlight of every girl’s world ~ and that precious spark of sisterhood is still in us ~ sometimes, we just need to stop and remember to flame it. This time ‘round, there’s still adult supervision, but being that adult changes everything. Now there are no restrictions, so seize the day and seize a few of your best friends because every woman knows how important those bonds of true friendship are. Go out into the world and celebrate them!

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