The Year Of The Wander Woman: Why Female-Led Travel Is The New Normal

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By Natalie Suite

You see the signs, you double tap and ❤️ the pictures on Instagram, but are you really paying heed to what’s happening?

Ladies, it’s finally our time to travel! For the first time in history women travellers are in the driver’s seat and we are fueling an explosive growth in the travel industry. Not only are 80 percent of all travel decisions made by women, but travel media site Skift went so far as to dub 2017 the year of “the modern female traveller.”

Yup, you read that right. Everyone is sitting up and taking notice and here’s why – women are estimated to spend more than $125 billion on travel this year, and female-led travel has ballooned from a niche experience cornered by the graduating college duo on the customary Eurotrip to a trillion dollar market.

Seems like Thelma and Louise were on the right road (get it?!) all along

wander woman

The stats confirm this shift. Women are traveling more. From Millenials to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, almost everyone seems to have been bitten by the travel bug!

But why the sudden change? Well, for one, women  now have more spending power on average, and, according to the numbers, are choosing to spend their money on experiences rather than things. And of course, travel is at the top of that list.

Coupled with the ease of online reservations, unlimited access to travel information and advisories, and curated travel experiences, jet-setting is now a reality – and not just a pipe dream – for most women.

wander woman
wander woman

Don’t be fooled by the plethora of skinny, bikini-clad women on your Instagram feed. According to The Gusty Traveller, aka National Geographic author and adventure buff Marybeth Bond, “the average adventure traveler is not a 28-year old male, but a 47-year-old female. And she wears a size 12 dress.”

The travel industry has welcomed this shift with nothing less than open arms. Business magazine and monitor Forbes, for example, acknowledged that “women between 40 and 60 (were) the largest growing niche market in travel,” in a recent tweet.

The modern female traveller is a powerful market-changer. She’s bolder, and more independent, daring and demanding than her 90s and 80s counterparts. She is looking to have a travel experience tailored to her expectations. 

Forget idyllic trips to Paris or shopping Milan. Women are increasingly growing open to taking on exotic and adventurous destinations alone, in the search of unedited experiences and soulful adventure. The days of the one-size-fits-all travel plan is over, and destinations like Morocco, Cuba, Croatia, Spain, India, Iceland, Bali and Italy are now among the top travel destinations for women.

This uptick in personalised female-only travel has led to a massive increase in the number of companies catering to our market. And who’s better and more qualified at filling in those travel gaps than other women? In fact, women’s travel has become so well supported, that there are networks of women owned businesses around the world who cater especially to the needs of women travellers.

wander woman

For women travellers, it’s open season when it comes to picking the right travel experience. No matter what your interest, rest assured that there’s something for you out there. If culinary holidays, voluntourism, cultural tourism, adventure holidays, yoga and fitness retreats, climbing trips and walking tours aren’t your cup of joe, then there’s the bizarre to really give you a kick out of life. 

Don’t believe us? Well, check out the Fairmont Vancouver’s PMS – pralines, martinis, and shopping – package. Doesn’t that sound appealing?

wander woman
wander woman

Not to be left behind in the travel scurry, big hotel chains are also jumping on the female-centric bandwagon. From women only hotel floors, to companion running services for female guests, in-room yoga amenities, or entire regions promoting their hotels as “female-friendly retreats,” companies are finally taking us seriously!

With the sheer volume of options available at our fingertips, it seems foolish to not take advantage of this booming travel market, and satiate our wanderlust. The female-led travel trend is dominant, but who knows how long it will remain that way?  So go out. Explore. Live. Because at the end of the day, girls just want to have fun

When it comes to picking one over the other, there aren’t any wrong answers. Your only faux pas would be to not put travel right at the top of your to do list, regardless of the form it ends up taking. So stop thinking, and get to packing!

wander woman

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