GIRLS TRIP: Tour companies creating curated vacations just for women

Huda Alvi, left, and Sana Alvi pose in this undated handout photo. On a recent trip to Tulum, Mexico, Toronto sisters Huda and Sana Alvi bonded with a group of women who were virtual strangers. They had curated experiences together, including a picnic lunch on the beach and a boat ride and swim by the Mayan ruins, and sat in a circle reflecting on their excursion and lives. The journey was part of the sisters’ new company The Girls Trip, one of a plethora of tour operators offering women curated luxury getaways to bucket-list destinations like Morocco and Peru, with the safety of a group and guides, and a focus on building new relationships and enjoying a sisterhood. HO / THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO — On a recent trip to Tulum, Mexico, sisters Huda and Sana Alvi bonded with a group of women who were virtual strangers.

They developed a connection over several curated experiences, including a picnic lunch on the beach and a boat ride and swim by the Mayan ruins, and sat in a circle reflecting on their excursion and lives.

The journey was part of the Toronto sisters’ new company The Girls Trip, one of a plethora of tour operators offering women luxury getaways to bucket-list destinations like Morocco and Peru, with the safety of a group and guides, and a focus on building new relationships and enjoying a sisterhood.

“Our mission is to empower more women to travel, especially solo women,” says Alvi, whose company launched in April and has an age demographic of about 25 to 45. It also offers a monthly payment plan for the trips.

“There are a lot of countries where you can’t travel alone (as a woman) or you’re scared to travel alone, but you do want that solo experience where you’ve left all your friends and left your work, and you just want to go on this life experience and this mission — and how incredible to be able to share that with other women.”

It’s a market that has “grown exponentially in the last little while,” adds Alvi, a brand consultant and influencer who previously ran a human resources company.

“Based on some of the research we’ve been doing, the solo female travel space is going to be expanding heavily in the next five years,” she says. “Women are looking to be more independent and experience things that they’ve never done before, so really coming out of their insecurities or fears.”

The market is also growing for the more mature female traveller, says Debbie Ross, founder of Women’s Travel Network. Her company caters to women typically between the ages of 40 to 60, but also accepts those outside that range.

“I’m dealing with the baby boomers. They’re retiring and they’re going to go out and see the world,” says Ross, who is based in Toronto.

“Many of them have had very busy careers that didn’t allow them to travel as much as they wanted to, or they were raising children, or finances, putting kids through university. So now they’re going, ‘It’s my turn.”‘

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