Women travel groups.

Women travel groups.

Women make up a significant amount of the travel space.  They are also the ones who make most of the travel decisions.  In recent years, however, there seems to be a trend of women taking a break from life to travel, not with their families, but with other women.  These trips are often seen as retreats and an aspect of self-care.  I recently made a group trip with a group of women and felt the benefits wholeheartedly. Here are a few ideas on women’s group travel.

One of the most significant benefits of women’s group travel is that it allows women to feel safe traveling. With women group travel, there is a built-in network of women you know and trust. Traveling with other women provides a supportive space.  In addition, sharing the experience with other women helps to create a bond and a feeling of less vulnerability.

You are most likely to be traveling with other like-minded women.  Even though the group may have different personalities or backgrounds, the experiences gained far outweigh the possible drawbacks. Traveling in a group improves your self-awareness.  With group travel, you can be motivated by other women and feel validated by the other women travelers.

For women, travel has become another form of self-care.  Travel tends to lead to more open minds, and it pushes the travelers’ boundaries.  Traveling with other women seeking similar experiences leads to a sense of camaraderie that positively affects the traveler.  When traveling, it is often difficult for our minds to be consumed by the future as the present circumstances demand our attention.  Therefore travel, like meditation, has a soothing effect on women.

Although the women group travel is often done to escape, traveling in a group can lead to a better appreciation of the things and people left back at home. Even though it takes you away from home, traveling is a way to center yourself and re-establish your base.  When women choose themselves, the effect tends to have a ripple effect on their families and lives.

Traveling, in general, can be inspirational and spark creativity.  Being able to interact with other women and share similar experiences can be eye-opening. Any unexpected changes and uncertainty of relationships during travel can help to improve personal relationships overall.

Have you taken or encouraged a women group travel experience? How was it? I’d like to know.

LGBT+ travel.

LGBT+ travel.

Happy Pride month!  The LGBTQIA+ community makes up a large percentage of the travel population but can face singular challenges when traveling. For example, many countries do not recognize same-sex unions, and in some countries, same-sex relationships are considered a crime with significant or severe punishment.  Here are a few things to consider for LGBTQIA+ travel.

History suggests that members of the LGBTQIA+ community are some of the people most willing to travel.  In addition, the LGBTQIA+ community tends to travel more than their non-LGBTQIA+ counterparts.  This reality is partly because the LGBTQIA+ community is often dual income, with no children, and having more discretionary money and time to travel.

With the prevalence of travel in the LGBTQIA+ community, however, there are significant considerations to be made for travel. As recently as 2019, the country of Brunei enacted an Islamic law that makes it legal to flog and stone LGBTQIA+ people to death.  It’s not the only country where LGBTQIA+ individuals can face the death penalty for the simple act of loving someone of the same sex.  Therefore, for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, travel to top destinations is not a simple decision of when and if they have the resources to travel.

Many of the top destinations, such as the Maldives and Dubai, are primarily Muslim countries. In addition, top Caribbean destinations like Jamaica or Dominica have laws and attitudes quite contrary to the LGBTQIA+ community. Therefore, travelers need to be aware of these laws and attitudes before planning their trips.

Simple gestures like hand-holding that heterosexual couples take for granted are not a given for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.  Along with other travel issues, members of this community must consider when or if to show public displays of affection.  Even sharing a bed or using a dating app can be a hazard for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Therefore, while many may want to travel as we all do, traveling to certain countries for LGBTQIA+ members can lead to the possibility of death for many.  As we wrap up Gay Pride month, I want my readers to be aware that many of the things non-LGBTQIA+ travelers take for granted are not a given for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Have you ever had issues when traveling as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community?  Were you aware of the risks many people unwittingly take when traveling? I’d like to know.

Airline tickets.

Airline tickets.

I was an international flight attendant for 23 years. After learning this fact about me, many people assume that I have or know how to get the best deals on airline tickets. No, I do not get to fly for free. The reality is that I research and use some of the same methods most people do when purchasing flight tickets. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind in getting the best flight deals.

Compare flight costs. Airline reward programs have changed significantly over the years. So, loyalty to a specific airline does not provide the benefit it once did. Your favorite airline may not have the best deal, and the only way to find out who does is to shop around. Very rarely does an airline have a monopoly on a destination. It’s best to consider all options if the cost of airfare matters to you.

Timing matters. Sometimes circumstances do not allow for the best timing for making a ticket purchase. Try not to purchase your flight tickets too far in advance or right before you need to fly. Keep in mind the peak season flying months of the summer or popular holidays like Christmas, New Year’s, or Thanksgiving. With these in mind, you might want to make your purchase well in advance. However, last-minute flight deals are also possible, and there is no rule as to when airlines will unexpectedly drop their prices.

In addition to timing your flight ticket purchases, the days you choose to fly also can make a difference in airline ticket prices. Historically Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays tend to be cheaper days to fly. Most people want their travel to extend over the weekend, so those days tend to be more expensive. Fridays and Sundays usually cost more to fly. Sundays are always hectic as people want to return from travel to start their workweek.

Flight times also can make a difference. Early morning or overnight flights tend to be cheaper as most people prefer more convenient flight times. I tend to prefer early morning flights. They are often more reliable as the airlines need them to be on time to keep their daily flight schedules on time.

Finally, choosing a non-stop flight or a connecting flight can affect pricing. Only the traveler will know the value of a lower price compared to an inconvenient or long travel day.

As air travel resumes, travelers must consider pricing and what they value most from their travels. As always, I encourage research on the different options available. I hope these ideas help as there is no one solution for everyone. I’d like to know.

Summer ready?

Summer ready?

As a travel blogger, I’m hearing more and more of the term “summer ready.” I tend to ignore this phrase. For me, this phrase carries an underlying message of a particular type of body to have during the summer months. This message tends to put pressure on people to change their bodies during the summer months. Just as there is no perfect time to travel, there is no ideal body to be had for the summer. Here are a few ideas on accepting yourself as you are and being summer/travel-ready anytime.

There is a range of summer clothing and swimwear, and there is also a range of body types and sizes. Find people and sites to follow that allow you to feel accepted and empowered. In my recent travels to beach destinations, I find comfort in seeing the variety of body shapes and sizes and comfortable people in their skin. Know that no two people are the same and enjoy the skin you’re in.

Acknowledge the why behind advertising and marketing. For example, brands are trying to sell their products. So they focus on who they think will purchase the products being sold. Acknowledge that everything you see is not for you and focus on what you believe represents you. When you become more focused on yourself rather than the product, you become more aligned to accepting the body you have over the body you want.

Embrace body positivity. Traveling allows us to recognize the vast differences in cultural norms. It also reinforces that what some see as beauty in the body can be different from what others perceive. But, again, we must realize the role marketing plays in what we are meant to assume is the perfect body image. Do not allow others to affect your enjoyment of the summer months based on their perceptions.

Recognize that your body is not seasonal. The same body that takes you through winter and fall is the same body that takes you through spring and summer. We are constantly growing and changing. If you feel the need to change your body at any time, feel free to do so. However, we should never feel pressured to pursue an exterior body standard. Instead, stay healthy and happy and focus on loving yourself as you are.

Do you feel pressure to have a summer body? If so, why? I’d like to know.

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