So you’re a woman and you want to see the world — on your terms. Join the crowd!
More and more women are travelling alone or with girlfriends; an estimated 32 million American women in the past year, according to the American travel industry.
“It’s the new trend in travel and, really, it’s a no-brainer,” says Ruth Yunker, an intrepid solo traveller and the author of Paris, I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Ways, a humorous recounting of her extended stay in Paris as part-time resident, part-time tourist.
“Women hold the purse strings, so to speak, and we don’t necessarily want to see and experience our travel destinations in the same ways men do.
“We value our independence and we have the means to get up and go, so why not?” Yunker says.
So you want to travel. You are dying to travel. You have a list of 10 favourite places you’re going to get to — one day. If you’re a woman who has dreamed of taking off on a safari, jaunting across Europe or sampling fried seahorses in Beijing, Yunker offers this valuable advice:
1. Buy the airline ticket six months in advance. A non-refundable ticket. Don’t fret. Don’t get stopped by all the details. Just do it. There. You’ve taken the first step. You can, and will, worry about all the other details later. But baby, with this ticket, you are now on your way.
2. Bring a few creature comforts from home. I bring my own pillowcase for the airline pillows, my ragged at-home comfy wear instead of new nightgowns for the hotel or apartment, and the clipboard for working crossword puzzles.
3. Pack only clothes you currently actually wear. Do not buy a ton of new clothes for the trip. A suitcase packed with new clothes is a trip doomed to tears, trust me. The old clothes fit you now. You know without thinking how to look pulled together. The new clothes are uncomfortable. They don’t go with anything yet. And they scream brand-new traveller!
4. Bring some currency from your destination country with you. Do it. Everyone will tell you otherwise. They’ll say it’s so much cheaper to change your money once you get there. Maybe. But in the mayhem of the airport, suitcases going in every direction, do you really want to be finding the currency exchange? Just getting to the hotel/apartment will be job enough. So do arrive with euros or whatever currency you need. It doesn’t have to be a huge sum, just enough to ease your arrival.
5. Once at the hotel, unpack your toilet articles and arrange them in the bathroom in the same order you do at home. It makes things so much easier. It’s so nice to be able to leave the hotel/apartment without having had a meltdown looking for misplaced mascara.
For more about Ruth Yunker and her books, visit ruthyunker.com.