From yoga retreats in Mexico to grand tours of India, dozens of women-only travel companies have made it possible for women to be in their own element while exploring the world. Not every woman has weeks of vacation time at her disposal or the money to travel overseas, though. Luckily, there are plenty of short, affordable women-only tours in the U.S. that promise empowerment, relaxation, and adventure for a fraction of the cost—and time commitment—that other more far-flung trips require.
Luxury spa getaway in upstate New York
Provider:The Women's Travel Club
The great prices The Women's Travel Club offers for luxury spa getaways (thanks to group discounts) may be what gets you to book a trip with the company, but it's the camaraderie with other like-minded women that past clients say you'll value most once the trip is over. "I have found the groups are comprised of intelligent, motivated women who truly enjoy travel," says Chestnut Ridge, New York, native Eunice Stern, who's been on three Women's Travel Club trips. "If the groups were not small and made up of the type of person they are I would not continue to travel with this organization."
The Women's Travel Club, which has been running trips since 1992, has made spa trips part of its repertoire for years, including visits to some of the country's top destination spas like Red Mountain Spa in Utah and Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires. This March, the Club is planning its first trip to The Lodge at Turning Stone in Verona, N.Y.
During your three-night stay at the AAA Four Diamond resort, you'll be given full access to the Turning Stone's spa facilities and classes along with a $345 credit for treatments and a $300 KN Karen Neuburger gift bag. With your group, you'll also partake in several Native American arts classes with members of the Oneida Indian Nation, the tribe that operates Turning Stone.
This trip runs March 27 to 30. The $1,599 price covers suite accommodations, daily $124 meal allowance, $345 spa credit and use of spa facilities, native arts classes, and transfers from the Syracuse airport. Airfare and a $35 Women's Travel Club membership fee are extra, but you must be a member for at least three months to avoid a vacation surcharge. Both KN Karen Neuburger and The Women's Travel Club will donate $100 each per booking to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Hiking in Zion and Bryce national parks
Provider:Adventures in Good Company
Pampering is nice, but sometimes a girl just wants to get outside and go on a kick-ass adventure. Women high on energy but short on time should look at some of the trips operated by Adventures in Good Company, a women-only tour operator that runs affordable active trips around the world.
"The company plans amazing adventures for low prices, and I trust them," says elementary school teacher Sydelle Hoffman, who's been on five trips with the outfitter so far. "Every trip has been well-planned, balanced (time with group vs. time alone), and enjoyable because the guides really knew the areas we were exploring. I enjoy the very small group interaction of women of all ages from across the continent."