Finally, female empowerment is dominating headlines, awareness campaigns, social media feeds and conversation.
Though the gender pay gap persists in some industries (yes, sadly, in 2017), the good news is that we pavement-pounding ladies are making some serious cash and spending it on seeing the world like never before. When it comes to the travel sector, these days, we’re in charge of all the financial decision-making and have some pretty notable purchasing power.
In fact, women make 80 per cent of all travel decisions – definitely a liberating statistic.
Hotels have long started to take notice. Within the past decade, hotels around the world have ramped up their female-focused initiatives in everything from security and location, to amenities and toiletries (Sofitel even features Hermes products).
While we continue to make major strides in the boardroom, one of the most liberating ways for a woman to empower herself is through travel.
Travelling Solo Allows For Self-Growth and Reflection
In the decade since the Eat, Pay, Love phenomenon, a growing number of females are opting for a little soul-searching solo travel. Countless blog posts reiterate the empowering aspects of travelling alone, highlighting its life-changing capabilities. Not only do you learn about the people, culture, architecture and history of foreign places, you learn about yourself. There was a time when safety concerns prevented females from taking a solo journey. The emergence of apps like Tourlina (an app that empowers females to find other female travel companions), GPS technology and transcribers now make things less daunting for the independent female traveller.
A Community Development Trip Empowers You and Others
In addition to business and leisure travel, women are also taking more meaningful trips (in today’s climate, we need all the meaning we can get, after all).
Travel offers the chance to interact with female-focused organizations worldwide, allowing women to empower both themselves and other women in their journeys.
Many community development trips include initiatives that allow travellers to enrich females from less advantaged parts of the world through educational and infrastructure-building opportunities.
Adventure Trips Force You to Challenge Yourself Physically
Recent research shows that a growing number of women are swapping the swanky spa and beach vacations for more experience-filled adventure trips. For example, REI Adventures saw a growth of 60 per cent of female travellers in the past six years, inspiring them to introduce a new collection of 19 women’s adventure trips this year. An escape from the daily grind is also increasingly a chance for women to challenge themselves physically – whether that means climbing a mountain, heli-skiing or white water rafting down a wild river.
Trips with Likeminded Females Create Global Connections
Females-only travel is also having a major moment. There has been a 230 per cent increase in the number of women-only travel companies in recent years. Females-only trips offer the chance to travel, network and bond with other driven women, forcing you to challenge yourself in the social anxiety department in the process. This means that, not only will you have a tour guide if you ever happen to be in a newfound friend’s city, you’ll also make valuable business connections in our increasingly global economy.
Girls’ Trips Feed Your Soul
A little estrogen-filled conversation is always good for the soul.
According to the AAA Girlfriend Travel Research Project #070005, the ‘girlfriend getaway’ market represents four per cent of all U.S. travel spending.
There’s something empowering and therapeutic about girls’ trips. Not only do they result in no shortage of laughter and the creation of inside jokes, they also offer quality time to exchange stories, goals and challenges with the leading ladies in your life.
You Can Make a Living Out of It
Travel has also offered an opportunity for countless female travel bloggers to turn their passion for travel into a lucrative business, as they share their experiences, tips and seasoned insight with fellow travel-loving followers. Not only do blogs offer a powerful platform for a woman’s voice to be heard, working for yourself means more flexibility to manage other life responsibilities once strollers and diapers become household staples.
If You’re Well Travelled, You’ll Have More to Say
Now that the world’s finally listening to the ladies, we better have something to talk about. Knowledge fuels empowerment – and there’s no better way to learn than through travel.
Learning means anything from the adoption of new insights into foreign cultures and history, to picking up a new language.
If you’re well travelled, you’ll have more stories to tell and therefore more to contribute to the conversation – whether on a first date, at a dinner party or during a job interview.