Search Articles: Home About Us Our Community Contact Us Article Submission   Advertising Info  
 
Auto Savvy

Business and Finance

Creative Cooks

Family and Parenting

Health and Nutrition

Legal Information

Beauty and Fashion

Sports and Fitness

Women Of The Month

Home and Garden

Relationships

Motivation and Inspiration

Travel and Adventure

Technology Today

Society

Multi-Activity Adventures – Fueling the Growth of the Women’s Travel Industry
Cheryl Fleet

You’ll notice the avoidance of the term multi-sport used mostly by co-ed travel operators. Sport implies competition and that is exactly what women don’t want in a vacation! They’re worn out with all the struggles in their world and, especially on vacation, they want to enjoy the outdoors in an environment and at a pace and that emphasizes cooperation and being in the moment. On a women’s trip, no one cares that we reached the waterfall in 55 minutes! They do care that everyone made it, enjoyed the views along the way and that we all have photos of the bright red Tanager that crossed our path.

A typical multi-activity schedule offers hiking one day, white water rafting the next, then a horse ride, then sea kayaking etc and tossed in along the way are destination-specific activities like a glacier walk, a sailing day or exploring Anasazi ruins. Rock climbing is usually too technical for their appetites but riding a luge down a Swiss mountain track and they’re in! “Snorkeling with sea turtles one day and walking to flowing lava the next – wow, I LOVE this type of vacation,” said Terry Tralongo of Florida enjoying a multi-activity trip in Hawaii last year.

Why is this format so appealing to women? Some of it is cultural. Many of these ladies were denied access to sports at school but have sat in the bleachers and watched their daughters benefit from Title 9 laws. These Moms don’t necessarily want the physical contact of basketball but playing in the outdoors certainly still seems an option. “There’s life in the old girl yet” said Lee Redemske (IL) after a seven-day adventure in the Canadian Rockies. “I hadn’t rafted before but I thought, how hard can it be? Just paddle and follow the instructions – what a blast!”

The lack of access to sports in their youth has resulted in middle-aged women wanting to make up for lost time – and to try lots of new things, especially if it doesn’t require a degree of expertise or exceptional fitness. “These outdoor trips just for women are the best thing I’ve ever done for myself,” says Jan Jarvis (MN). “Everyone contributes to the conversation and all opinion is valued. Riding camels in the Sahara and hiking in the Atlas were both great in Morocco but the personal connections created while watching Berber women make couscous in a mud hut is what really sets women’s trips apart.”

The original women’s travel companies offered hiking trips. Most have evolved into multi-activity scheduling but a few like Womantours have stuck to original menus – in their case, cycling vacations. But by far, the new entrants into the marketplace see that the successful adventure companies offer women a variety of fun outdoor experiences in one trip.

Multi activity adventures for women provide that something extra that participants need to feel safe. Most obviously, they eliminate all the issues that are typical of traveling with men – the competition, the “should I speak” factor, hidden agendas, etc. These trips provide an inclusive and nurturing environment where women can try new skills without be yelled at. Women can go on a spa vacation or to a dude ranch without joining a group but to travel through a region trying all the outdoor offerings available, they see the benefits of a women’s multi-activity adventure trip. They gain confidence, love the women-space and often make friends to adventure with to other regions of the globe.

Cheryl Fleet founded Canyon Calling Adventures for Women in 1996 – the first women’s adventure company to specialize in multi-activity trips. Canyon Calling now leads women through 15 different worldwide destinations including an amazing trip through Cheryl’s native New Zealand each February and March. Other magical places include Morocco, the Canadian Rockies, Maine, Iceland, Tetons/Yellowstone, Hawaii, Australia, Costa Rica, the Southwest, the Alps and Greece.