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Insider Guide  June 20, 2017

5 Great Spots for Women Travelers


by Larkin Clark

Group travel is a physical experience and solo travel is more emotional, and it’s a valuable lesson to learn that difference.

It’s officially summer, which means your Google flight alerts are probably popping off every few hours (set your phone to vibrate and put it in your pocket for an even more thrilling experience.)

Before booking,  turn your ears to Ana Tiwathia and Kirstin (Kiki) Winkler, founders of the new travel site 3 Days*. They’ve traveled everywhere and are my personal go-to gurus for finding hidden gems. When the voice in my head says, “You can’t travel until you’ve completed these gajillion tasks on your to-do list, you dummy,” I think of the 3 Days* mantra to just freaking book the trip.

“It can be hard to prioritize travel, synchronize schedules with your chick clique, or commit to a solo trip,” Ana admits. “But the experiences that you create and the memories that you are left with can actually be viewed as upkeep for your soul.”

I’m all for upkeep of my soul. Plus, have you ever truly regretted a travel experience? Unless there was some terrible accident, illness, or untimely breakup involved – in which case, I’m very sorry – you probably still, to this day, relive and re-post each of your experiences with bliss. As several of my own friends are planning bachelorette weekends and girls’ getaways, I asked Ana and Kiki for their planning tips.

“When it comes to trips with your girls it’s helpful to agree on the overall expectation first,” Kiki says. “Choose a vibe you want your trip to have, consider everyone’s budget level, and have fun exploring the many options for a little quality time with your lady friends. Relaxing with plenty of time to catch up? Try a wine tasting spa-cation in Sonoma. To distract a friend from a recent breakup, pack the heels for a some merengue in Miami. Want to recharge the batteries? Downward dog in Troncones.”

Ana also suggests picking a place with a variety of activity options. “Lounging and chatting is important, but getting out and doing some adventurous, unusual things together can balance out the itinerary and work out the yayas.”

That being said, the 3 Days* founders are also big advocates flying solo. “The time on your own offers the opportunity for reflection and growth,” says Kiki, who recently wrote about her solo travel experiences for 3 Days*. “Being alone doesn’t mean being lonely.”

Ahead, the duo shares their favorite destinations for jet-setting solo and with your clique. When you’re finished wanderlusting, head over to 3 Days* for my reflections on and tips for planning solo trips and romantic getaways with your lady friends – a little love letter to the incredible women who have joined me on travels around the globe.

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For group trips, hop on a plane to …

Vieques, Puerto Rico
“It’s a little slice of Caribbean heaven that’s easy to get to, affordable, has phenomenal beaches, one of the only bioluminescent bays in the world, great food, and wild horses wandering around. It’s also safe, easy to navigate, and doesn’t count as ‘international travel’ for American citizens. If your girl posse likes beach time, straight up, this is the place. Being close to the equator, anytime is a good time to visit. However, August through October tend to be a touch more humid.”

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Copenhagen, Denmark
“Copenhagen is just so exquisite in every way (card-carrying Danophiles over here). The design, the food, the shopping, and the general lifestyle is all inspiring and delicious. It’s the perfect place to hole up in a boutique design hotel or, better yet, Airbnb apartment (regular Danes might be as décor-savvy as hoteliers here). Dine on exciting Nordic cuisine, drink too much good beer, buy things you’ll love for a lifetime, and generally get your hygge on. But! Newsflash: It’s cold there. Try to go sometime between May and September, if you can.”

Traveling solo? Pack your bags for …

Cusco, Peru
“Cusco turned out to be a great destination for a solo trip. Most travelers visit Cusco on their way to Machu Picchu, which can only be explored with a guide by joining a group, making it easy to connect with other travelers. Peru is a very spiritual place and exploring it on a solo trip allows for enough quiet time and introspection to really let your reflections settle in. At the same time, Cusco has a lively expat community and the locals are very hospitable, which makes it easy to socialize. Breathtaking ancient ruins, a cozy city high up in the Andes with a rich history and a load of beautiful South American fabrics to bring home – what’s not to love? May, September, and October are ideal months with slightly higher temperatures, less rainfall, and fewer tourists.”

 

 

Paris
“Yes, it’s called the City of Love and considered the ultimate romantic destination, but it’s also Valhalla for shopoholics, Nirvana for foodies, and Elysium for art-lovers. Mosey along the cobblestoned streets, behold exquisite art of the great masters, enjoy as much steak frittes as you like sans judgement, and take your time in each fabulous French boutique. Ideally avoid June-August when many Parisians flee the city to make room for the ghastly amounts of tourists that flood this exquisite city.”

For an all-around good time, check out …

Byron Bay, Australia
“The ideal destination for couples, solo travelers and chic gangs – anyone with a pulse, really. Nestled on the shore of Australia’s stunning Gold Coast, Byron Bay is stunning in every way. The people seem to be a little more beautiful than anywhere else, sumptuous meals and tasty brews are on offer virtually everywhere, and don’t even get us started on the beaches – miles and miles of white sandy shores, picturesque coves, and lush hillsides. In fact, take us back with you! When planning your trip just remember that the Southern Hemisphere’s summer is opposite to ours. October till April are ideal months to visit.”

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Words and interview: Larkin Clark
Photography:Courtesy of Kirstin Winkler and Ana Tiwathia, 3 Days*

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