By: Kasey Austin
What is the latest adventure travel trend, you ask? Women-only adventure vacations, of course! Don’t worry, there’s still a time and place for that girlfriend getaway at the spa. But we’re also kissing that image of typical women’s travel goodbye and replacing it with adventurous, strong, inspiring women who like to travel, explore and see the world.
Austin Adventures is proud to host our first all-women trips in 2018. Costa Rica, Bryce Canyon & Zion, and Glacier National Park are our three destinations of choice, hosted by yours truly. I grew up in the adventure travel industry and am the world’s biggest advocate for girls overcoming gender stereotypes, challenging themselves, and inspiring others. Here are my top 10 reasons to take Austin Adventures’ first women-only vacations in 2018!
1. The Empowerment
There’s nothing quite like a ladies-only trip to make you feel like you can take on the world. When you challenge and surround yourself with other strong, positive women, it lifts you up and makes you want to be a better woman! Even though you may be tired, sweaty, and grimy after a challenging 8-mile hike exploring Bryce Canyon’s Peek-a-Boo loop, you’ll feel like a million bucks knowing you challenged yourself alongside your girlfriends! Oh, and don’t worry – you’ll be staying at a lodge with hot showers and delicious food each night…treatment fit for a queen after a long day on the trails!
2. The Connections
Traveling solo? No problem. Wanting to go somewhere with a girlfriend or two? We’ve got you covered. Bonding as a mother/daughter duo? Great! Whatever your reasons for wanting to do a girl’s trip, you’ll find connections with other women looking to make connections. And what better place to connect with other ladies than in the wilderness of Glacier, the canyons of Zion, or the beaches of Costa Rica!
3. The Chocolate
That’s right, I said it. CHOCOLATE!! Austin Adventures is all about our signature “WOW Factor”. A “WOW” is just that – anything that makes you say “WOW!” This means your guide may have an icy, lavender-scented towel for you at the end of a hot hike. It also might mean she pops out of nowhere with a tray of delectable huckleberry chocolates in the middle of a ridiculously beautiful bike ride. Does it get any better?!
4. The Support
Sure, there are some tough activities featured on these trips…hiking the dizzying switchbacks to Angel’s Landing in Zion, biking the “is-this-over-yet” uphill on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier, or paddling the adrenaline-inducing class III-IV rapids of the Pacuare River in Costa Rica. But you’ve also got the best cheering squad and support network to push you past your comfort zone and get you to that end goal – the summit, the downhill, the river bend…or the dessert at dinner (my personal fave…)
5. The Adventure
Choose your mode of exploration: bicycle, raft, kayak, or plain ole’ foot. Then pick your backdrop: the jaw-dropping, snow-capped Rocky Mountains of Glacier; the funky hoodoos and rainbow canyons of Bryce Canyon and Zion; or the rainforest and beach-lover’s paradise of Costa Rica. Get out there and make some memories with your new gal pals!
6. The Stories
We call it “water cooler talk.” After finishing your adventure, just think of all the inspirational stories you’ll have to tell whether you’re gathered with co-workers around the water cooler or meeting up with your friends for Sunday brunch. I mean, kayaking through the canals of Tortuguero National Park on the lookout for crocodiles on your girlfriend getaway sounds pretty dang cool to me!
7. The Lack of “Macho”
I think we can all agree that there’s a time and place to travel with our male companions. But maybe you’re looking to adventure in a place without judgment or fear of failure. Traveling with other women eliminates “the macho factor” altogether. Your women adventure buddies will support you in trying something new, whether that’s tasting Ceviche in Costa Rica or wading through the cool waters of the Narrows in Zion!
8. The Guides
Of course on your women’s only adventure, your guides will also be of the female variety! Austin Adventures has some pretty stellar guides if I do say so myself…and our women guides are a force to be reckoned with! Your guides act as your naturalists, drivers, companions, mechanics, chefs, storytellers, logistical gurus, and confidantes. They are superwomen with adventurous souls and the power to inspire. I promise by the trip’s end, you’ll want to pack them up in your suitcase and take them home with you!
9. The Safety
As a woman who travels often, I have to say that the feeling of safety in a group trumps traveling by myself any day! While there’s a time and place for solo travel, when it comes to adventure, it’s just plain safe to travel with a group. You’ll also be more willing to try things you might not necessarily do on your own, like hiking 10 miles to Iceberg Lake in grizzly bear country!
10. The Toughest Part
When it comes to the end of any women-only vacations adventure, but especially a girls’ trip, it’s hard to say goodbye. Our motto at Austin Adventures is “The Toughest Part is Going Home.” While that statement is true (I can’t tell you how many tearful goodbyes I’ve witnessed at airports!), there’s never truly a “goodbye”…more like a “see ya next time.” The best part about traveling with Austin is that you check off one destination only to add another on to your bucket list. Alaska, France, Peru, Thailand… what dream adventures will you and your ladies conquer next?!
If you want to take women-only vacations to travel or trip, with other women that will leave you feeling inspired, reenergized, and invigorated, then you should probably go ahead and pick up the phone to give us a call. See you, girls, on the trail!