While preparing for my holiday in Uzbekistan, I was most anxious about the fact that it would be my first time with an all women group. As far as travel goes, up until that point, I had done all sorts of travel – road trips, luxury travel, family vacation, solo trips, unplanned trips, work trips in remote areas, etc. However, keeping in mind safety & economy, I had come to understand that some travel destinations are best done with a group (I guess age and having a kid for whom you are responsible as one-half primary caregiver does that to you). Now, Uzbekistan had been long on my list (read why here). I saw a couple of curated group tours for women to the country and was also working out a solo trip. Finally, I went on curated all women trip to Uzbekistan with ‘One Life to Travel’. The travel experience for me broke some myths about travelling in groups and gave me a good idea on what all to keep in mind while booking a holiday & travelling with Women Group Tour (or any package tour for that matter). Sharing my tips on travelling with all women group tours and personal experience travelling with ‘One Life to Travel’.
When I finally decided that I would opt for an all women group tour for visiting Uzbekistan, here were the pointers that came up in my mind while selecting a women group tour:
- A package tour does not mean being hauled like cattle for 20 or so people from one attraction to another for me and I certainly did not want that for myself, so I looked for the number limitation on group offered.
- I was going to Uzbekistan to experience its heritage and looked for a group tour which offered a detailed itinerary. While some group tours offered ‘fun’ (pun unintended and strictly in the right sense) and I wasn’t adverse to it, for me having fun in Uzbekistan was to fully experience the rich heritage.
- Safety was of outmost importance and I sent in many queries to all the group tours I contacted.
- Finally, it was important for me to have a good time along with the other women on tour. This had to be pure luck, as sometimes even the best of friends go on a holiday and come out of it fighting!
I chose ‘One Life to Travel’ finally, as I liked the detailed curation of the Uzbekistan tour, replied to all my queries on safety and on my food habits adequately. I am happy to say that my Uzbekistan tour turned out to be the most rocking one in recent times. I was fortunate to have a rocking group of women from diverse age groups, with varied professional fields who were engaging all well as fun loving. Being in a group, I got to experience many things, which on a solo trip I would not have thought of trying out due to safety issues. We partied like anything almost every night, literally burning the dance floor! Jayanti Pandey, who leads ‘One Life to Travel’ is a mature & understanding person whose curation of the tour was on point. The tour allowed each one of us a good experience of all things in every destination we visited in Uzbekistan (Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand and Tashkent) and at the same time it made allowance for a personal experience even being in a group. Jayanti was with us on the tour and she was completely hands on with everyone. Ofcourse, I have to mention Nikki, our local tour organizer person, who was a charming young girl replying to all our queries, looking after all our demands and had us in splits too with her humor.
Here are some tips for choosing an all women group tour:
- There are many All Women Group tours now in India and each offer a different price range for the same destination at times. The devil lies in the details or itinerary! Depending on what you are looking from the destination, your comfort level of staying options, number of people accepted on the package tour and safety perceptions, choose your package. Personally, my criteria in order is safety, curation, number of people on the tour and type of hotel. I definitely would not go on a package tour which has more than 10 people.
- The most important thing to remember on an all women package tour is – there will be all women! You will be spending a great deal of time with your fellow gender, even sharing room (on twin sharing basis) so if it’s not something you are comfortable with, then drop the idea!
Finally, I would say that going on an all women group tour has certainly opened my mind to another kind of travel and given the destination, I would definitely like to go on more of women group tours.