All Articles 35 women travelers share their tips for the road

35 women travelers share their tips for the road

Avital Andrews
By Avital AndrewsMar 18, 2022 12 minutes read

Go solo. Go with your gals. Take the kids. Go now. Be brave. Don’t wait. Be open. Be safe. These are the key nuggets that we gleaned when we asked three dozen female travel experts to share their most empowering travel advice for other women, in honor of Women’s History Month. Whether you’re seeking travel tips that are inspirational or pragmatic, they’re all here—and they may just provide the push that you need to get going.

Cara McGary ice climbing
Cara McGary

“Just go. Don't wait for others, don't wait until you have more time or more money, don't stress about making the perfect plans or being fluent in the local language. Be open and flexible to having travel experiences that are beyond the limits of your expectations. It can be the greatest investment you make in yourself.”

Cara McGary, 57Hours guide

Julie Weldon and Stacey Pierce holding hands up in the air on a wooden dock with water behind them
Julie Weldon and Stacey Pierce

“Don’t make excuses. Create the life you want and just get out there. We’re in this epidemic of screens capitalizing way too much of our days. There’s a bigger world out there than what you’re seeing in front of your face. It doesn’t have to be an international trip that you plan for years—simply be intentional about getting out. Maybe travel for you is grabbing your girls, a good drink, and heading out to the beach. Whatever your travel looks like, go out and take advantage of this beautiful earth that we live on.”

— Julie Weldon and Stacey Pierce, founders of OME Gear

Gabby Beckford standing on Horseshoe Bend overlook
Gabby Beckford

“There will always be a woman there to help. Whether you're lost, trying to read the ingredients on a beauty product in a different language, or just need the comfort of an aunt or sister. Even as a young, solo-traveling, Black woman, it was a comfort to learn that there was a community of female expats and travel lovers wherever I would seek them out.”

— Gabby Beckford, TikTok travel influencer

Maria Zec in powder blue jacket in front of gold-painted wall
Maria Zec

“When traveling alone, embrace the opportunity to experience the destination that you’re visiting, including dining alone. Luxury hotels can be extra attentive to single travelers, by offering reading material and checking in with the guest throughout their meal. You can certainly enjoy the relaxing comfort of your guest room, but if you want to learn more about the destination, get out and enjoy the area.”

— Maria Zec, managing director of the Peninsula Hotel Chicago

Michelle Heston and another person next to ATVs in sand dunes
Michelle Heston (left)

“Research your destination prior to arriving and make sure that you can answer the following questions: What will the climate be like? What kind of clothing is appropriate? Will people speak English? Whats the food like? How much will things cost? What local customs should I be aware of? My vision of a better world is one where more women are empowered and living out their dreams, including travel.”

— Michelle Heston, executive regional director at Accor

Healani Kimitete-Ah-Mow holding lei next to ocean
Healani Kimitete-Ah-Mow

“Plan trips to destinations that integrate authentic cultural references and activities into your experience. As a native Hawaiian and the aloha ambassador for Mauna Kea Resort, it is my duty to showcase my culture and educate guests on my experience as a woman born and raised in Hawai'i. My favorite is the E Ala E Sunrise ceremony, in which I lead guests in a chant that pays homage to the land the resort is built on and reminds us that even at a beautiful resort, our surroundings are a gift to honor and cherish.”

— Healani Kimitete-Ah-Mow

Jennifer Dunn outside at night with buildings in background
Jennifer Dunn

"On each trip, carve out time to experience and soak in the local culture, especially the food. Traveling the world is a necessary rite of passage to gain an extraordinary education beyond the classroom. The knowledge I obtained of different cultures and customs changed my life trajectory and molded the way that I conduct international business."

Jennifer Dunn, sales director at InterContinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco

Rachel Clark in black blazer
Rachel Clark

“My pro tip is to get your passport early and jump into the world of travel with two feet. My biggest joy in life is travel, and entrenching myself in a new city through conversation, food and beverage and history is my happy place. I can’t wait to begin traveling again and exposing my toddler to new adventures around world.”

— Rachel Clark, sales director at Sophy Hyde Park Hotel in Chicago

Lucia Amasio doing yoga dancer pose with Machu Picchu in background
Lucia Amasio

“Living and working in Hawaii, it’s important that we share the local culture with our guests—and I always take the same approach when I travel to new places. So wherever you visit, do some research so you can understand and embrace the cultural practices, explore safely, and be knowledgeable about local customs.”

— Lucia Amasio, spa director at Aulani on Oahu, Hawaii

Elise Armitage on snowmobile on mountain
Elise Armitage

“Take a solo trip! Not having a partner to travel with shouldn't hold you back from traveling to places you want to explore. Even if it's just for a weekend, taking a solo trip feels so empowering. One of my biggest fears was eating at a restaurant alone—I thought it'd be so awkward. But I took a weekend trip to Bath, England, by myself and took myself out on a solo date to a fancy French restaurant. Was I a little nervous? Sure, but it ended up being such a nice evening where I treated myself to a nice steak and glass of wine, and I'll never forget the experience.”

— Elise Armitage, travel blogger and founder of What The Fab

Nicole Rose sitting cross-legged in front of several lit candles
Nicole Rose

“Build a morning routine that grounds you anywhere. Home is truly a mindset and meditation is the perfect place to start to cultivate this energy. When you’re consistent with some version of your morning routine on the road, you feel energized and grounded, no matter where you go.”

— Nicole Rose, international DJ and creator of The Manifest Mindset

Jash in neon swimsuit standing on beach with plane flying overhead
Jash

“Go solo. Don't overthink it, do your research, and book that flight. Traveling solo may seem scary, but it’s empowering, freeing, and the best opportunity to discover yourself away from everything else. Leave the solo traveling to the men? I don't think so. Solo female backpackers, digital nomads, expats, and vacationers are popping up more and more on our timelines, and their stories are moving.”

— Jash, travel content creator of Joyriding with Jash

Ellen Bettridge on boat with rocky landscape in background
Ellen Bettridge

“Slow down and enjoy the moment. Pause and enjoy the change of scenery. This can be as simple as an early morning walk or treating yourself to dinner at a great local restaurant or an exclusive spa experience. Women so often put everyone else’s needs before their own, and there’s no better opportunity than a vacation to take time to care for yourself, guilt-free.”

— Ellen Bettridge, CEO of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

Madison Krigbaum

“Traveling is brave. Seeing the world can be scary, expensive and difficult to plan, but it’s always always worth it in the end. Nobody looks back, at any age, and regrets seeing the world. No matter where you’re visiting, how the trip is going, or how much you spent, you’re going to look back on those memories with fondness and pride in your own bravery.”

Madison Krigbaum, travel blogger

Ana Ruiz holding child's hand with pink flowers in foreground and ocean in background
Ana Ruiz

“Your biggest love engine will turn on the moment you become a mom, and it's on you to decide how happy you're willing to be with this new love that you created. If travel makes you happy, keep doing it. Let your kids meet the happiest version of you, through travel."

— Ana Ruiz, family travel coach and creator of Monos Viajeros

Headshot of Mar Pages
Mar Pages

“Your trip is going to be filled with ups and downs, highs and lows, but it will be yours and unique to you and your experience, so don’t compare it with someone else’s trip or what you see on social media. Allow yourself to feel however you may feel. Don’t let one bad experience ruin your entire trip. And remember, you don’t have to do anything. This is your trip and there’s nothing you have to do just because you’re worried people will say, ‘What! You were in that city and didn’t go to that monument?’ It’s perfectly fine not to fit the mold.”

— Mar Pages, co-founder of Solo Female Travelers Tours

Becky Neubauer standing in van amid red mountain landscape
Becky Neubauer

“To empower yourself and other women, support women-owned businesses as you explore. Whether it’s booking your accommodations at a woman-owned B&B, eating at women-owned restaurants, or shopping at women-owned shops, empower other women by supporting their work. You’ll be helping to create a more inclusive and equitable world for all women.”

— Becky Neubauer, founder Lifepothesis

Hanna Ashcraft holding glass of wine with rolling hills in background
Hanna Ashcraft

"Don’t pressure your romantic partner if they’re not interested in a particular destination. Instead, I'm a huge advocate for bestie travel—think girlfriends, coworkers ,cousins, your mom, old high school buddies. The more travel partners you have, the more varied your destinations and experiences will be. A girls’ trip can be pure magic.”

— Hanna Ashcraft, travel blogger Moderately Adventurous

Dawn Pick Benson standing amid white stucco buildings of Greece
Dawn Pick Benson

“Only bring luggage that you can handle on your own. When you know you can handle your luggage on your own, come what may, its like a special kind of power. No matter your situation or surroundings, this means you don’t have to rely on waiting for help with your bags or struggle to get on or off a train or a bus alone. Taking only what you can handle means you can always count on yourself.”

Dawn Pick Benson, transformational travel coach

Holly Monahan sitting at outdoor restaurant
Holly Monahan

“Be ultra-specific when seeking travel recommendations, whether you are posting to a Facebook group, talking to a travel consultant, or chatting with the person next to you on the plane. Rather than asking broadly what the “best” hotel, restaurant, or attraction is in your destination, give details to elicit answers that speak to your unique needs and interests. Specifying exactly what makes you happy will help you uncover special experiences that truly resonate with you.”

— Holly Monahan, senior travel curator at Origin

Ruth White with bookshelves next to and behind her
Ruth White

“Nothing says possible future lifelong friend than another single woman you meet while traveling. I've made lifelong friendships with women with whom I shared a meal or transportation or a room, because we were eating at the same spot or going in the same direction.”

— Ruth White, digital nomad and founder of WellMindPlus

Kaitlyn Jain holding her two kids outside
Kaitlyn Jain

“Travel before kids, with kids, while pregnant! It's not as scary as it may seem. When you travel with kids, you're showing the world and teaching compassion and diversity. travel to places when the kids are free. Infants under 2 years old fly free on most airlines. Disney is free for age 3 and under. Kids take public transit [for] free in many cities.”

Kaitlyn Jain, travel author

nicole hunter
Nicole Hunter

“Traveling with your children enriches you more than you could possibly imagine. Not only does travel open your children's eyes to the world, but it also makes you see the world through their eyes. I can’t tell you how many times my children made connections with locals that I never could have made and how much better we all became because we stopped, talked, and learned about each other. Those simple moments when that unfamiliar person from a very different culture smiles at my kids are priceless and very difficult to replicate without that childhood innocence.”

Nicole Hunter, travel blogger

Rachel Heller outside in winter jacket with glasses on head
Rachel Heller

“No one is looking at you! When you walk into a restaurant alone, people might turn to see who’s coming in, but then they go back to whatever they were doing and forget you even exist. They’re not feeling sorry for you that you’re alone because you’ve already disappeared from their memory. Relax and enjoy your meal! The same goes for if you wear the same skirt two days in a row or sport a terribly unfashionable (but comfortable) pair of sandals or don’t wear your makeup. People really don’t care, so stop worrying about what they think. Wear what you want, do what you want, and travel much lighter by leaving the beauty products at home and taking less clothing along.”

Rachel Heller, travel blogger

Danielle Hu holding glass of red wine while sitting on lounger next to outdoor pool
Danielle Hu

“Be cautious and avoid going out late at night. And be a little more alert than you may have been during pre-Covid times. The most reliable sources of security information are local Facebook groups for travelers and ex-pats, as they are the most recent from people who are actually at the destination. Joining a few of these groups and getting current, honest feedback is the way to go before you travel. Connecting with a few people while you’re there would also be a safe call in case you’re ever in danger.”

— Danielle Hu, host of the Wanderlover Podcast

Sahara Rose De Vore in front of bamboo
Sahara Rose De Vore

“Just go! So many women make excuses for why they don't travel, though they yearn to do so. As a travel coach, I've heard women say that they’re too afraid to go alone, they don't have time to go, their workload is too heavy, their job doesn't allow it, their spouse doesn't want to, they have no one to go with, or they just don't know how to get started. Never let anyone or anything hold you back from living your dream life that involves travel. Travel is a powerful asset to our confidence, mental well-being, mindset, and life. To not live a life where you’re looking back and saying, ‘I wish I had traveled more’ is something you can prevent if you just go!”

Sahara Rose De Vore, founder of the Travel Coach Network

Maija de Rijk-Uys with greenery and mountain in background
Maija de Rijk-Uys

“My top tip for empowering female travelers is knowledge and planning. Whether you want to traverse the Serengeti solo or hot-air balloon with the family over the Masai Mara, you need to know the ins and outs of your itinerary, the logistics, and the destination. Use a company that curates itineraries based on your personal travel needs, taking the hassle out. What’s then left for intrepid female travelers to concern themselves with? Being willing to embrace the adventure, being observant in new surroundings, building the kind of confidence that only traveling can provide. And most importantly, creating cherished memories."

— Maija de Rijk-Uys, managing director of Go2Africa

Harika Parmar standing outside in rocky area
Harika Parmar

“Great things can happen when you leave your comfort zone. Anyone can book a beach vacation where thousands of tourists flock every year. But be different. Don't be afraid to explore destinations that aren't glamorized. Leave your comfort zone and embark on an adventure where you learn a language, connect with indigenous communities, take part in conservation work, and dine with humble local villagers. This is real travel. When you feel moved and see a change in yourself, that's when you've left your comfort zone.”

— Harika Parmar, founder, Vogo Tours

Romita Bulchandaniand sitting on ground in busy city
Romita Bulchandaniand

“Don’t carry other people’s luggage. And by ‘luggage,’ I mean the fear instilled in us through our friends and family. Once I released that extra baggage, I saw the glitter and beauty all around me. There are a lot of amazing people in the world and most of them just want to help you with the best intentions.”

— Romita Bulchandaniand, nomadic life coach at Glitter for the Soul

Dr. Terika L. Haynes with water in background
Dr. Terika L. Haynes

“So many women want and need to take a solo vacation, but it never happens. Fear gets in the way. For those who may be just starting their solo travel journey, book at larger resorts or properties where you can meet new people or have access to activities on property so that you still feel safe and familiar. Take that leap and just do it—you deserve it. Once you take your first solo vacation, you'll never look back.” — Dr. Terika L. Haynes, CEO of Dynamite Travel

Barbara Winard in front of brick wall
Barbara Winard

“What I’ve learned in 50 years of travel is that all things change. The world changes, your situation changes, and your capabilities change. So whatever your age (I’ll be 74 next month) or stage (just added a new knee), you can still soar, even if you have to jerry-rig your wings a bit. Throughout my life, solo travel has remained my passion, my escape, and my joy. My husband didn’t travel in the way that I did nor did he dream of going to the places for which I yearned. Every time I returned home, we shared experiences, stories, and I believe that our hearts grew fonder through the absences. As writerSue Monk Kidd said, “Older women have cultivated the wild heart, wise mind, and daring spirit that make thirds acts and later life renaissances possible.’ May we continue to fly and to know that we may change navigation when we need to. It is the journey that counts.”

— Barbara Winard, travel writer at Travel Awaits

Aphrodite Caserta in front of green trees and scenery
Aphrodite Caserta

“Listen to your heart. Continue to be young and curious. I’m 78, but my mind is still young and I still long for a journey. I’ve traveled to so many wonderful places just in pursuit of diversity and people. But at my age, I’m questioning my self-assurance when trekking about. I’m a bit wobbly and like the comfort of a walking stick. Travel is now is a whole different life lesson—it uplifts and rejuvenates me, and I find it thrilling to step out of my comfort zone, so I want to find a way to continue. While I always traveled independently, I’m now considering some knowledgeable senior travel services—I’m still curious and lively enough to pursue the joie de vivre.”

— Aphrodite Caserta, director of communication at Safari West

Molly Maine sitting at table with laptop and french press coffee
Molly Maine

“When taking a long cross-country bus or train journey alone, particularly at night, I often book two seats instead of one. This prevents strangers from getting too close to me while I'm trying to sleep, and avoids any unwanted attention or uncomfortable situations. Pplus, the extra room is always nice. This was particularly helpful for me in India, where a number of my fellow female travelers reported cases of harassment on night transport.”

Molly Maine, digital nomad

Avital Andrews standing in front of snow-covered mountains
Avital Andrews

“Travel doesn’t need to fit neatly into one category. If you’re on a business trip, book a tour to experience something new during your off hours. If you’re traveling for leisure, extend your stay by working remotely from your destination for a few days. If you’re visiting family, go with your relatives to nearby attractions or take advantage of childcare from grandma or auntie to get some work hours in. Travel can and should be be an integrated part of your life rather than a way to check a block. As women, we’re used to multitasking, and your journeys can serve multiple purposes too.”

Avital Andrews, travel writer

Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity

Avital Andrews
Avital Andrews is a journalist covering travel, home, food, and technology. Follow her on Twitter @avitalb, and read more of her writing at avitalandrews.com.