When it comes to travel, women rule.
Whether traveling alone, in groups, across multiple generations, in urban settings, or fully off the grid, females are the trendsetters everybody is watching.
"Responsible for 70% of travel decisions and 92% of travel purchases, women are fueling explosive growth in the travel industry," GirlPowerMarketing reveals. "According to a report by the George Washington University School of Business, nearly two-thirds of travelers today are women. And more than 11% of adult leisure travelers are solo women, says the US Travel Association."
"Women tell us they want deeper experiences on their trips," writes AdventureWomen.com. "Opportunities to connect with locals and with each other. Opportunities to bond with both people and places. Enriching experiences which are highly memorable. Tips from a chef not just reading a menu. Biking not busing. One-to-one not one-to-many."
Solo travel is definitely the game-changer du jour.
"I see women traveling solo far more often than men," said Janice Waugh, publisher of Solo Traveler. "In one case, I was on a train in India and, randomly, there were four female solo travelers in one row: a Brit, a Canadian, and two Americans."
Solo Traveler's in-house survey revealed that women's lives are often restrictive and solo travel offers a break; women are more adventurous than men; and most women are simply more comfortable being on their own.
But it's more than just a solo phenomenon. "When women travel together, they tend to be a more cohesive and closer-knit group than mixed groups," Deborah Kilcollins, brand manager of Big Five Tours and Expeditions, told Condé Nast Traveler. "They support each other and encourage each other to try something that they may have never done before. [It's] a win-win for all women.”
Increasingly, travel destinations are marketing for female travelers, tailoring itineraries and activities just for them. Of course, that doesn't mean women are waiting for an engraved invitation to visit—they are happy to blaze their own trails whenever the mood strikes. Here's a curated collection of Golden State itineraries that are perfectly suited for today's intrepid female traveler.