Are you a solo woman traveller? Do you enjoy women-only group tours? Here is a list of women-run travel agencies that are ready to curate your trip and take care of logistics
Journalist and traveller Sumitra Senapaty launched her company the WOW Club, Women On Wanderlust, way back in 2005 when exclusive travel outfits for women in India was virtually unheard of. “All women travel is something that didn’t exist and WOW created it and women loved it,” said Senapaty while reminiscing about the 15 years of the journey of WOW Club. “My problem was that women loved the concept, fifteen summers ago, but their families were unsure and hesitant,” she pointed out. So it was solo women travel but with the safety and security that a group provides. Starting with two trips a year, they raced to 50 a year and now are at over 125 trips every year. WOW, Club created an environment where women had the freedom to say ‘yes’ in a world where they were often told ‘no’. Now besides women travellers from major cities, WOW Club also gets clients from tier two cities.
Girls on the Go (GOTG) took off in 2008 after corporate lawyer Piya Bose was mesmerised by the beauty of the Himalayas while travelling overland from India to Nepal to Tibet. She quit her job to form the travel agency, which has over the years, helped women travel to exotic destinations, including camping in Mongolia, expedition cruising in Antarctica, photographing Northern Lights in the Arctic, exploring volcanoes at Reunion Island and Santorini, to name a few. Her TEDx talk on the journey of how she started GOTG has been featured by Forbes as one of top nine TEDx talks on travel, globally. According to the company, GOTG has helped women using wheelchairs dive under water and women as old as 90 travel to the Arctic Circle in winter to see the Northern Lights.
Founded by Garima Pande and Akshat Sharma, this travel company specialises in arranging solo trips for women. They have local women travel experts who will handhold the solo traveller whenever required. They arrange for pick-up, drop, local transport etc. They also arrange for activity-based travel options for women who love to explore locations while on a holiday. Every destination is personally ratified, according to the company website.
Have you wondered if it is possible to trek to remote areas of Ladakh with a team of female guies and porters? That is exactly what this travel agency founded by Thinlas Chorol, one of Ladakh’s much acknowledged female guides, specialises in. Although their focus is on treks, they may also help you with customised tours. They also arrange for accommodation in women-run homestays, where women travellers and host families interact to learn about each other’s cultures. The agency’s main aim is ‘to encourage the women of Ladakh to show their abilities and skills, particularly in the remote areas’.
Shireen Mehra started this women-centric travel group after enjoying a trip to Dehra Dun with her girl gang. Trips curated by this network are all about women enjoying their passion to travel. While their upcoming tours are mostly advertised on their Facebook page, they also bank on word-of-mouth publicity. They offer fixed date departures for both domestic and international travel.
Liane Ghosh and Shivani Vig, both passionate travellers, founded WeGoBondbecause they believe in going against trends and beyond the grain to create offbeat journeys. Operating since 2013, they cater to women travellers who are looking to break away from the daily monotony and wish to experience new places. On their curated trips, you will come across places of breathtaking beauty, experience popular cultural and historical traditions, savour local flavours and more. They also have a loyalty programme called Wonderful Wallet.
Despite wearing many hats, Malini Gowrishankar and Akanksha Bumb succumbed to the travel bug and founded F5 Escapes with a focus on ‘redefining the way women travel in India’. For those who would like to travel in the comfort of an all-woman group and not mind rubbing shoulders with strangers, they have fixed date departures. And if you want to go solo, they have specially curated itineraries suited for individual needs and with remote hand-holding.