4 Types of Vacation Packages for Busy Women

Specialty Vacation Packages2017 Update: We stand by this advice on vacation packages for busy women — links have been updated below.

Travel planning can be a lot of fun, but it’s also time-consuming — and stressing out about a vacation kind of defeats the purpose. Vacation packages take almost all the planning out of the equation, and they don’t have to be the run-of-the-mill, giant-tour-bus trips that might spring to mind.

We’ve rounded up five types of vacation packages that seem just right for busy professional women who don’t have a lot of time to spend researching hotels, restaurants, activities, sightseeing spots, and so on. These companies are booking through 2017, but if you’re looking for last-minute options, you’re in luck: Now is a good time to find deals, as late summer is a less popular vacation time than early/mid-summer. (Check Last Minute Travel, CheapCaribbeanTravelzoo, or Groupon. You can also read our guest poster’s tips for traveling solo and check out our discussion on using all your vacation time.)  

Specialty Vacation Packages: Women Only

Women Traveling Together was founded in 1997 by “a 40-year-old business woman who desperately wanted to do some vacation traveling, but didn’t want to go alone or travel as a single on a couples’ tour.” The company offers small group travel packages to destinations worldwide and offers single or double rooms. (The WTT website says that 80% of customers are solo travelers and most prefer to share.) The optional membership ($45/year) lets you connect with other members online to find like-minded travel companions or just get to know the women on your upcoming trip. Sample vacation: a 13-day China trip with tours of Beijing and Shanghai, a Great Wall walk, a Panda Breeding Center visit (!), a Li River cruise, and more. The package cost is $3,987/$4,952 (for single and shared rooms, respectively) and includes guide gratuities, a WTT tour leader, internal transportation (including flights), airport transfer, and meals (daily breakfast, 11 lunches, and 8 dinners).

Specialty Vacation Packages: Adventure Travel 

Canyon Calling, an Arizona-based company whose tagline is “Adventures for Women,” puts together all-inclusive trip packages all over the world for “moderately-fit women” seeking activities like biking, sailing, camping, and kayaking. (They’re combined with less active offerings such as winery tours and museum visits.) Sample trip: “Costa Rican Explorer,” a seven-day package vacation that includes hiking, ziplining, canoeing, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, swimming in waterfalls, and soaking in natural hot springs (and that’s not all). The $2,995 cost covers a guided tour (gratuities included), land transportation, hotel accommodations, activities and excursions (fees included), one internal flight, and six days of meals. As with Women Traveling Together, 80% of Canyon Calling’s customers are women traveling by themselves.

Specialty Vacation Packages: Cooking Trips 

If binge-watching “Master of None” on Netflix gave you the urge to learn to cook in Italy, check out companies like Cook in Tuscany, which offers an all-inclusive program for seven days and six nights in Montefollonico, Italy, that teaches travelers to cook authentic Italian food. The $3,750/person cost includes all cooking classes, tours, three meals a day, wine, excursions, receptions, bus tours, and gratuities. Cook in Tuscany is just one of the many, many options in the region; others include Tuscan Women CookGood Tastes of Tuscany, and Tuscookany. (If you want to venture beyond Tuscany, try the places recommended in this Food and Wine roundup.) The options for cooking classes can be overwhelming, so try TripAdvisor for travelers’ reviews.

Specialty Vacation Packages: Alumni Trips 

If you’re not quite sure what kind of trip you’d like, look into the options offered by your college’s alumni association. There are likely to be a wide variety of vacations to domestic and international destinations, potentially with an educational component courtesy of a faculty member or alum. Plus, you have a built-in conversation topic if you travel alone: your alma mater! Otherwise, go with a group of college friends (mini-reunion!) and/or your significant other. A quick peek at my college’s website turned up trips to Greece, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, England, and many other intriguing places, including ones in the U.S. (national parks, anyone?). Sample vacation: a nine-day exploration of Provence that includes guided tours, transportation, entry fees, gratuities, seven nights’ lodging, and 16 meals with local wines. The cost ranges from $4,900–$6,800, depending on room type.

Have you ever bought a specialty vacation package you’ve really enjoyed? What sort of trip was it: a cruise, tour, adventure vacation, ecotourism trip, resort stay, or something else? Do you prefer to plan your own trips or are you just too busy to do it yourself? 

Picture below via Pixabay.



  1. I would love to find a place to go on vacation where I can be alone, and not hounded by local men who see me and automatically think that a single woman on vacation alone means open hunting season. Does anyone here have a place in mind where I can get some peace and quiet, free of the type of men I am talking about?

  2. Not travel packages, but I want to plug Scott Keyes’ website Scott’sCheapFlights [dot] com.

    I’m not affiliated with him, but I did recently get 50% off flights to Japan due to an email alert he sent.

    You sign up and he emails once a week or so with discounted flights he’s found. Highly recommend!

    • I bought a $400 flight to Norway from one of his flight alerts, too! Great emails.

    • Anonymous :

      Did either of you (or anyone else) pay for his “premium” service? Or just stick to the free emails? Trying to fly to Europe next year, debating if it’s worth the upgrade.

    • Great tip! Signing up now.

  3. I LOVED participating in the Stanford Travel/Study Women’s Trip to Bangladesh and India this spring. (see https://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/travel-study/trip/?ciid=76551) Our goal was to, “engage with extraordinary women throughout Bangladesh and India who are making great strides for women in the context of continued obstacles to their development.” Every day we met two or three groups or women making big differences in their communities and nations. We met women who had received micro-loans, acid attack survivors, sex trafficking survivors, activists, scholars, and so many more. We received a reading list about six months ahead of time, and judging from the insightful questions my fellow travelers asked I think we all took our reading assignment seriously. It was great to bond quickly with the other women who attended. I also appreciated having a women’s studies professor along to answer questions. This trip also inspired me to get involved in a non-profit that helps keep girls in school as an alternative to child marriage. I wish everyone could go on a trip like this!!

  4. Not sure that I would categorize the Canyon Calling company as adventure travel, but it looks like fun. REI also does adventure travel, and I think they probably do it better. It’s not women-only, though.

  5. I need to get away to have a little more me time! I love these packages, all sounds really fun. What I really want is an adventure! It made me really happy to see that there’s an adventure package. It sounds like a lot of fun. Is that really all included in the price you shared? I thought the hotel would be separate, I’m glad to see it’s included.

  6. Martin nuala :

    I can personally vouch for a tennis vacation in the upstate ny area. total tennis is a great destination for NYC people. 2 hours north, all inclusive. Greatttttt tennis instruction. Great food. It’s rustic AF but very clean and the rustic is part of the charm!!!