Imagine a world where women can travel the world – and feel comfortable doing so. This is the mission women’s’ travel company Wanderful set out in 2009 when they started creating articles and meetups to encourage women to travel more. In the days before solo female travel was a hashtag on Instagram, Wanderful was encouraging women to support one another ‘on the journey,’ as it were.
In the years since, the women of Wanderful have been busy. Monthly meetups happen all over the world, including countries like Brazil and Spain. They host the annual Women in Travel Summit each year, too. The team grew, and are now distributed all over the world – many are volunteers. Still, the work is not done.
“The fact is that a woman’s experience abroad is different wherever she goes, especially when we’re talking about issues like safety, cultural norms, and even dress,” says Beth Santos, CEO and founder of Wanderful. To address this in a new way, Wanderful announced the launch of a women-only home share network.
In order to take advantage of the service, you have to be a Wanderful member ($119/year or $15/month). From there, you’ll have access to a pool of hosts all over the world (including places like Toronto, Austin, and Playa Tamarindo). Right now, the hosts are hand picked, though Santos says that eventually, every member can be a host too if they choose.
But maybe ‘host’ isn’t the right word – sure, hosting can include offering a spare room or air mattress. It can also mean having someone meet you at the airport, take you out for lunch, even or recommend a good doctor if you need one. It takes the anxiety out of travel for women traveling solo and looking for a trustworthy friend.
“It’s a real comfort to know that, wherever you are in the world, whatever airport you land in, you know at least one person there who can help you navigate your new city or just be a friend,” Santos says. For any woman who has traveled on her own before, this is an extremely alluring prospect.
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