This one is especially for women who want to travel, but don’t know where to start. Women-only travel groups in India are your safest bet if you don’t want to travel solo.
In a survey by Airbnb in 2017, the findings showed that Indian women travellers are more adventurous than men. They are more likely to try new experiences and cuisines when travelling. As more and more women are venturing out to explore destinations and see what the world has to offer, more travel companies are popping up to help them feed their wanderlusting souls. These women-only travel groups in India are curating experiences for like-minded, intrepid wanderers. With a mix of domestic and international destinations, they let you travel deeper and make new connections, with the place and with the people you’re travelling with. Plus, you don’t need to be disappointed when another Goa plan gets cancelled; you can sign up here to travel with a new set of people and come back with a fresh yellow pages of fellow travellers.
So, if you are looking for companions to take off with, check out these women-only travel groups in India that are mapping it all for its focused groups.
Note: I have travelled with only one of them. Before you book your travels, make sure you check out their websites and read reviews on various portals. The cost normally doesn’t include flights and visa, so make sure to confirm exclusions before booking a trip.
Women On Wanderlust
Founded by Sumitra Senapathy in 2005, the WoW Club is India’s most popular girls-only travel group. At 25, I was the youngest in the group when I travelled with Sumitra and her gang of solo women travellers to the Maldives. All came from different walks of life, from different parts of the country, but rallied together for the love of travel. We went snorkelling, watched dolphins porpoising in the ocean and partied on the beach on Women’s Day.
Sumitra plans authentic experiences. From wine tasting in Bordeaux to an end of the world journey to Antarctica, the itineraries offer a range of experiences. The prices are a tad steep, but everything is taken care of by the WoW team, so it may be worth a look.
Based in Delhi, Wander Womaniya, too, organises trips for women travellers. A trip leader travels with the group and takes cares all the hiccups along the way. If you’re travelling solo, you can share a room with fellow women travellers (most trips they organise are double or triple sharing basis). The company can customise itineraries for a group of women travellers.
All listings on the website are for women only; travel partners who cater specifically to women are allowed to share their itineraries. Interesting trips coming up on Wander Womaniya include Northern Territory in Australia (Alice Springs, Darwin and Uluru), Bulgaria to Greece, and the Maldives.
F5 founder Malini Gowrishankar is a traveller by heart. The techie-turned-entrepreneur started the company five years ago in Bengaluru to help women travel freely across the country and discover the homeland. ‘F5’ command on the keyboard is used for ‘refresh’ and that’s why the company is trying to help women do. From Udaipur to Ladakh to Kerala, there are an array of tours offered on the website. You can get a customised itinerary for your family, or book an all-women group tour. With their experiential tours, you can travel deeper into the country and see it in new light–from picnicing in the river to interacting with the villagers. A major focus of the group is sustainable and responsible travel, so you’ll get an opportunity to experience eco-friendly hotels.
F5 Escapes also organised meet-ups in Bengaluru and bring the community together for workshops on travel safety, motorbiking and more.
Women On Clouds
Started in 2008, Women On Clouds organises trips for women to help them get out of their comfort zone. Founder Shireen Mehra depends on social media and word of mouth to bring women together. Apart from solo travellers who come to bond with like-minded women on the trips, there are also mother-daughter itineraries (a camping trip to Sattal is happening in June). Many trips are homebound (Sikkim, Ladakh, Ooty), but you’ll also find Bhutan, Greece and Bali in their mixed bag. The female coordinator leads the group and takes care of all the arrangements start to finish.
Girls On The Go
In 2008, then 25-year-old Piya Bose quit her job at a law firm and went on a trip to Nepal and Tibet. Fresh from the trip and broke, she took a leap of faith and started Girls On The Go to help women travel freely and embark on new adventures. In over a decade, she has taken women on an expedition to Antarctica, Northern Lights and the Everest.
The itineraries are designed to cater to all ages and all fitness levels, and they include domestic as well as international destinations. Women plan these trips independently, and come back home with friends they’d like to travel with again–that’s the beauty of a travel group for women.
Directors Shibani Vig and Liane Ghosh established Delhi-based Wonderful World in 2013 to make travel accessible to women from all walks of life. An intimate group of 12-14 journeys on the road not taken. The USP of travelling with them is that each itinerary is unique and unusual–from experiencing different cultures to trying new cuisines. Whether it’s Spiti or Slovenia, the trips are well-researched, so you can follow their footsteps and make your own memories without any hiccups.
That Goa trip joke is such a hit with Indians. Most times we don’t have travel companions and the plans go for a toss. That’s why travel groups have been mushrooming in every corner of the country. Byond founder experienced the Burning Man festival with strangers and realised the merits of travelling with people who share common interests. In addition to women-only trips, the company also organises adventure trips and wellness retreats for mixed groups, families and groups. You can even customise an itinerary according to your preferences, or get a private tour curated. Another initiative about Byond is The Lime Diaries that hosts storytelling sessions by travellers who take the stage to share their life-changing and inspiring travel tales.