By Catherine Lambert
January 29, 2016
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They’re still kicking up their heels but in a different way. Exploration, adventure and shopping have overtaken the pampering craze.
G Adventures managing director Belinda Ward says there has been a 15 per cent rise in women booking group travel over the past year.
There are usually three women booking together, aged 25-39.
“There is often a good reason for girls to travel in groups, whether it’s a 30th birthday, a new job or a last trip before settling down and having children,” Ward says.
“It’s a trend that we weren’t expecting to see entirely with women now making up the majority of our bookings.”
The destinations are also surprising, with more women choosing locations overseas.
Peru, Morocco and Turkey are hot spots, along with the traditional favourite of Southeast Asia.
“They’re wanting to go anywhere that offers different food to try, maybe some activity such as hiking or bike riding and going to markets for shopping,” Ward says.
“Travellers are also becoming more socially responsible. They want to spend their money in a way that helps the locals.”
Domestically, women are also taking trips together to celebrate birthdays or for annual
catch-ups, suggesting they are more free to do so than in years past where they may have felt unable to leave their partner alone to run the family home.
University of Melbourne social scientist and author of Just Between Us: Australian Writers Tell The Truth About Female Friendship Dr Lauren Rosewarne says women also accept it is unrealistic for them to derive all their fulfilment from their immediate family.
“Female friends provide alternate sources of companionship, stimulation and solace and help to service us in ways that a partner can’t or won’t,” Rosewarne says. “With men taking a greater role in domestic and childcare responsibilities, having women leave a husband at home in charge of the house would be a less outlandish proposition today than in generations past.
“A woman might love her partner, her children and her domestic life but still sometimes want to escape: a girls’ vacation provides this opportunity.
“Girls’ getaways can fulfil a number of functions: as an extended ‘catch up’, when doing so at other times might be more difficult (particularly if people live far apart); and a retreat away from the burdens of work, family or domestic life.”