Why go on such overpriced trips as sold by prestigious newspapers, schools and museums? You might go to meet the speakers or be assured that you fellow travelers are informed. The NY Times Travel (probably operated by a generic tour operator) offers Tuscany at $5395 and Peru at $4395: hundreds of dollars more than The Women’s Travel Group does!
But if you look at the prices of these trips, here is what you get:
A possible one time encounter with the speaker. On trips where the speaker is among 500 guests, do you really want to pay for their presence? Replace this experience, by reading their books or articles. Check on line for English language information from the country itself and follow its news and literature. As a substitute for a famous speaker, we find locals to talk to us about their lives. We supply a reading list for our travelers and include the gritty as well as the glory of the country.
Hotels: many of the hotels are the more corporate equivalent in the destination. For instance, a larger group from a university tour might be put at a Hilton rather than a charming local hotel. They might have a hotel welcome dinner rather than a short walk to a nice restaurant.
Itineraries: These will generally be the same as ours; country highlights are country highlights and events like visiting a home or school cannot be offered to larger groups. Many however are inflexible; again due to the size and ‘official’ type of trip.
The group itself: this is the hard part to pre-determine. Look through the itinerary, the language used by the tour operator and see if it fits the way you talk to friends. Ask outright what kind of passengers this company has, you might be surprised at the age of people who travel in affinity groups from museums etc. Here is who The Women’s Travel Group members are.
To summarize, we are not the Times or the Met Museum or even a college, but we like to think The Women’s Travel Group offers smart tours for smart women to unusual destinations and experiences. We all buy generic drugs, why not buy lesser branded equally good trave.