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The Short Version: AdventureWomen empowers women to go where they please and see the world on their terms. This women-owned and women-run company plans unique group trips to 30 destinations from Africa to Asia. Now singles can escape their everyday routines, network and connect with adventurous people, and experience different cultures and activities. Since its first trip in 1982, AdventureWomen has inspired single women to travel solo and make memories that’ll last a lifetime.
One of my best friends has a scratch-off poster of the world tacked above her bed to remind herself of everywhere she’s been — and everywhere she’s going to go. She has traveled a lot for work in the past year and been able to scratch off several countries that way, but there are some places off the beaten path where she has to travel on her own.
As a multilingual woman with a steady income, my friend is ideally suited to traveling the world, yet her single status sometimes holds her back because she doesn’t have a travel buddy to accompany her to Morocco, Nepal, or Croatia.
Single women can sometimes feel intimidated by solo travel, especially in countries they haven’t visited before, so they end up putting their travel goals on hold while they wait for someone to join them on adventurous excursions abroad.
Fortunately, AdventureWomen satisfies the wanderlust of daring women by offering group travel experiences to 30+ destinations worldwide. These unique itineraries include adventurous activities in breathtaking settings, and solo travelers are welcome to join the fun.
Susan Eckert founded AdventureWomen in 1982 as a rallying point for women who wanted to see the world yet felt hesitant to go alone. This company believes women can travel further together, and it empowers them to go outside their comfort zones and explore beautiful, strange, and iconic places all over the globe.
AdventureWomen is all about connecting women in a global community, and the travel ambassadors arrange meetups with local female leaders, artisans, and entrepreneurs on every trip.
“At AdventureWomen, we like to say that we are much more than a travel company,” said Judi Wineland, the current owner of AdventureWomen. “We are a relationship company, helping women connect with other women around the world.”
AdventureWomen was a pioneer in the travel industry in the 1980s. It was one of the first companies to arrange custom group trips for women only. For the past 35 years, AdventureWomen has given thousands of women the chance to explore over 30 destinations from the British Virgin Islands to Tanzania.
In 2016, Judi Windeland and her daughters Nicole Wineland-Thomson and Erica Landerson bought AdventureWomen and began making the trips their own by incorporating more activity-based adventures.
“We have always wanted women to live their dreams, to seize their day, and to dive into the experience,” Judi said. “We want them to learn more about the world and about themselves.”
The AdventureWomen trip experience is unlike many others. An advisory board of well-traveled women help design itineraries to trendy destinations. The team spends many hours talking over the phone to clients and preparing them mentally and emotionally for a big journey. The team ensures that women know what to expect from the moment the plane touches down to the moment it’s time to say goodbye to all their new friends.
AdvertureWomen also recommends helpful exercise programs to physically prepare the travelers for what’s ahead. The women range in physical ability, and sometimes it takes a little extra exercise to get them fit enough for hikes through the mountains or kayaking down a river.
“We invite all active women to step out of their comfort zones, open their hearts and minds, and experience something new,” Judi said. “We pay a lot of attention to quality at AdventureWomen.”
The trip includes first-class accommodations and cuisine that showcases the local culture. An AdventureWomen Ambassador teams up with vetted, local guides to lead the tour groups from one destination to the next. After every trip, participants take a detailed survey about the experience and what could be improved or tweaked to make it better. The AdventureWomen team uses this information to continually up its game and provide unforgettable and stress-free trips.
AdventureWomen always has something exciting on the calendar from a cruise down the Croatia coast to a trek to the Everest Base Camp. Whether you’re surfing, cave diving, zip lining, or mountain climbing, you’re certain to have a memorable time on these immersive and engaging trips for women.
AdventureWomen encourages its all-female participants to connect with the local culture and their fellow travelers. The women-centric culture is great for single women who don’t necessarily have someone to enjoy travel experiences with them. These independent women range in age from 30 to 75. Some are unwed, and others are married with children at home, but they all enjoy the opportunity to get away on their own and join a group of women.
“We love the diversity of our guests,” Judi said. “Active women adventure travelers don’t fall into a nice, neat bucket.”
Each travel group includes several intelligent and interesting women who want to get away from their everyday lives for a while. They share a sense of curiosity and a thirst for adventure, and that helps them form fast friendships as they hike up a mountain, shop at local markets, and snap photos of wildlife.
“No one group is ever quite the same as another. That’s the beauty of the experience,” Judi said. “Even if you’ve been on 10 trips with us, no experience with AdventureWomen will ever repeat another one.”
Solo travel has become a major trend in the travel industry in the last few years. It can be enriching to go somewhere on your own time, but it can also be an isolating experience to visit somewhere and have no one to share those sights, sounds, and tastes with you. However, AdventureWomen offers solo travelers a chance to connect on their excursions and meet new people as they explore new places.
“Traveling solo doesn’t have to be solitary,” Judi said. “We have tons of solo women on our trips at AdventureWomen. In fact, they are the majority of our travelers. Why? Because they tell us it is just more plain fun and more enjoyable.”
AdventureWomen is on a mission to foster transformational travel experiences for women who have a passion for adventure, and it’s been pretty successful so far. The company has nearly tripled in size in the last three years with more and more women returning for multiple trips. Over 70% of its clients are return customers, and its annual surveys generate many positive and encouraging responses.
Women may come to AdventureWomen for different reasons and from different backgrounds, yet they leave similarly inspired and awakened to the world. When asked how they define their dream adventure, one woman said “Something that gets my heart racing a little bit,” while another said it was “a state of mind.”
Another benefit of traveling with AdventureWomen is its no-boys-allowed policy. This is an intentional decision to empower women to leave their beauty products behind and change the way they see themselves and the world.
“It’s a more stress-free, relaxed atmosphere with less competition and distractions, fewer power struggles and performance pressures,” Judi said. “Women love being able to talk about things freely without being concerned about being judged. At AdventureWomen, they’re able to make their own choices and be in control of their experience.”
Women don’t have to dress up or worry about entertaining a partner during solo travels. Instead, they can relax and be themselves in the company of their peers. It’s also a safe environment free of sexual harassment and body shaming. The all-women society is often liberating for women used to being overshadowed by men.
“Physical activities are more enjoyable and challenging without testosterone in the air,” said one woman in a survey.
Another traveler said AdventureWomen gave her “an opportunity to learn how other women approach life in a male-dominated world,” and yet another added that the all-women society liberated her to walk around camp without makeup on.
“The camaraderie factor is the single biggest draw for our women,” Judi told us. “When they are with their tribe, they are at home, wherever they may be.”
My friend may have the means to travel to places like Morocco or Russia, but she doesn’t always have someone willing to go with her on these global adventures. So, she has started stretching her legs as a solo traveler. She’s determined to visit as many countries as possible, and that’s a journey she’s willing to go on alone, if necessary.
AdventureWomen is a great resource for similarly independent-minded travelers who want to take a remarkable trip in a supportive group of women. These women leave their friends, family, and significant others behind to join female-friendly travel groups and explore cities, mountains, islands, forests, and arctic tundras all over the world.
Since the 1980s, AdventureWomen has invited thousands of women to enjoy new experiences among new friends. There is always something more to see and do with this company. The calendar for 2020 is already full of tantalizing itineraries to the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America.
“We want to keep learning about what makes women tick from an adventure travel perspective and exploring new destinations,” Judi said. “As women’s interests evolve, we evolve. We will always keep changing as a company because that’s part of our fabric as women — we are always a work in progress.”