Travel Companies that are Redefining Women Travel in India

There’s something special about women breaking free from the shackles of society. What better way to liberate oneself than travelling the world- like a free spirit, visiting exciting destinations, meeting new people and exploring the unknown. 

Moreover, if your travel organiser is an all-women team or one that specializes in women-only groups, wouldn’t that be wonderful?

These travel companies by women break the norms of not just society, but also the travel industry.

WOW – Women on Wanderlust

Sumitra says it wasn’t easy when they had started.

“The main challenge was convincing women they need the ‘me-time’ and should be assertive and clear regarding their holidays.”

Founded in 2005, Sumitra Senapathy’s ‘travel club’ specializes in organizing women only groups and designs itineraries specifically with the needs of women travelers in mind. In fact, they were the pioneers in introducing this concept by organizing adventure, wellness, short breaks, active holidays both in India and overseas.

sumitra-senapaty-wow-club
Image Courtesy Sumitra Senapathy
Byond Travel

The only company in this list that isn’t headed by women but has more women in its workforce than men is founder Vikram Ahuja’s experiential and immersive travel company – Byond Travel.

byond-travel-egypt
Image Courtesy Byond Travel

Vikram aims to provide a complete travel experience to women-only groups, and with Byond, the focus is on personalized interactions and sharing moments with fellow travelers while ensuring their safety.The Wander Girls (TWG)

The Wander Girls (TWG)

TWG is a Mumbai-based company founded by Hetal Doshi, who was the unofficial trip planner for their family and friends. They have an array of offerings including mother-daughter trips, yoga retreats and reading holidays to create memorable experiences for the women, whether independently or in a group.

What’s really interesting is that Hetal understands the passion for travelling solo or the need to travel with girlfriends. What’s even more heartening is that being a start-up ‘by women, for women’, they even offer employment opportunities to women first.

The Wander Girls.JPG
Image Courtesy The Wander Girls

The above is an excerpt of an article that was originally published on Sheroes.in. Read the full version here.

Featured Image owned by Wandering Soul/Piyusha Vir. All other images have been sourced from the original owners as credited, and only for the purpose of the article. Usage and reproduction of same without prior permission is prohibited.

Author: Wandering Soul

A nomad at heart, love reading, travelling and photography and now trying to combine them all.

13 thoughts on “Travel Companies that are Redefining Women Travel in India”

  1. I want to share a review of a tour by Sumitra Senapaty’s company – Wow Club.

    Looking for a tour where there is zero pre-trip planning, meal locations, restroom stops and coffee stops are unplanned and arranged on an adhoc basis, the tour manager is incompetent and is on a holiday herself and is ignorant and untrained about the tour details, traveler safety doesn’t hold any importance, the commercial bus driver doesn’t know directions and most importantly, timeliness is just an empty word – then, Shreya Nangalia is your tour manager and WOW (Women on Wanderlust) is your tour company. I took the Rajasthan tour between February 11-18, 2017 with WOW and Shreya Nangalia as the tour manager.
    If you want to take a tour with WOW and Shreya Nangalia be prepared for the following:
    – No planned meal and toilet stops. Shreya practices “jugaad” as she figures out the next stop on an ongoing basis. This is unimaginable with a group of women who are expected to go without using a toilet for more than 3 hours at a time.
    – Have lunch at dhabas around 2:30-3pm
    – travel in auto rickshaws
    – go for 2-3 hours without using a toilet and use dirty filthy street side toilets
    – Departure and meeting times given by the tour manager is never enforced. Tour guests take their own times as if they are on their own private holidays penalizing others who keep time.
    – The tour manager is never on time either. For example, if the departure time is scheduled for 8:30am, the tour manager is having breakfast at the hotel at 8:45am.
    – Make unscheduled stops and not follow the published itinerary
    – Scheduled sightseeing is cut short because of the lack of keeping time which means the tour arrives at the tourist locations behind schedule.
    – Stay at shabby hotels (no wifi, unreliable hot water and small rooms) in the city outskirts which is cheaper for the company
    I am frequent traveler and have taken 4 group tours till now with groups of over 40 persons. Therefore, my assessment is based on a lot of experience with escorted group tours. Please don’t waste your time and money with WOW and please ask your friends not to either. Thanks for reading my review. I hope I have helped others from making a mistake by thinking of taking a tour with this company and Shreya Nangalia as the tour manager.

    Like

    1. Yes I did speak with the company owner – Sumatra during the tour. She was defensive and told me the following: traveler safety is not the company’s responsibility because each traveler is an adult!

      Liked by 1 person

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