There is very limited information on the internet that could help women travellers gather specific information, plan and embark on a journey all by themselves. However, there is one such website JourneyWoman.com that is doing all it can to help women travellers all around the globe. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the World Luxury Tourism talked to the Founder and Editor, Evelyn Hannon of JourneyWoman.com and asked her a few questions on travelling by women. Here’s an excerpt of the conversation…
WLT: There must have been a compelling reason for starting JourneyWoman.com. Please share the thoughts behind this successful website.
Evelyn: In 1982 I was divorced after 23 years of marriage: I was 42 and heartbroken. To help myself recover I planned my first solo trip to Europe. When I looked for female mentors to give me advice on how to do this, there were none. I remembered that helpless feeling. Since 1994 helping other women to travel safely and well eventually became my life’s work.
WLT: In a few words, what according to you are the top 5 check points a woman traveller should keep in mind while choosing a destination, particularly for a solo vacation?
Evelyn: The 5 check points are:
- The respect women are given within that society.
- Is enough of your own language spoken?
- Will it be simple to follow the dress code of the country?
- What is the crime rate there?
- Is a place that tolerates women going about on their own?
WLT: Suggest one tip on choosing a safe accommodation for a solo woman traveller.
Evelyn: You probably have a relative, neighbour, or friend who has female contacts in the country you plan to visit. Work through your networks to get advice on safe accommodation and safe districts to stay in. Local women know best.
WLT: What must be considered while sending a woman employee for a business meet abroad?
Evelyn: Understanding the customs and business protocol in your destination country is imperative, especially in cultures where women do not generally hold key corporate positions.
WLT: What are the criteria that must be met for a hotel to be called a safe place for a woman traveller to stay?
- They must be situated in a district that is a safe one to walk around in.
- They must never call a woman’s room number out loud or give her room number to any visitor asking for it.
- Security measures must be in place so that outside visitors cannot access guest rooms.
WLT: On the occasion of International Women’s Day, please highlight and predict the possible trends of travel by women in the immediate future.
Evelyn: I believe that the ever growing trend in travel for female is ‘cyber connection’. Women are now travelling solo like never before and the numbers are ever increasing. Women are heading out with a new found assurance on cultural correctness and how to stay safe because of the connections they are making around the world. With internet access they are able to educate each other, host each other and prepare each other for both – about the possible dangers they may encounter as well as the absolute joys of being a guest in another culture. The dream I had for women in 1994 has now become reality and there is no turning back.
WLT: A few words of advice to women travellers around the world.
Evelyn: Even if it’s to the nearest city, town or village – embark on a min-journey to meet new people and see new things. I promise it will make your heart sing.