Whether you call them women's weekends, girls' getaways, or something else, one thing is certain: Females are enjoying them in ever-greater numbers. According to Deanna Keahey, founder of a relatively new company named Adventurous Wench, 17 percent of women travelers took leisure trips without their families last year. "Men tend to be more competitive and faster paced, while women want to connect and absorb," Keahey says. "Now we can look at the wildflowers as long as we want." As those trips continue to grow in popularity, so do their variety. Some examples:
-- Adventurous Wench specializes in soft-adventure outings to several destinations at varying prices. For instance, participants in a five-day Santa Fe & Taos Walking Trip, Sept. 19-23, explore cliff dwellings, visit an ancient pueblo, hike through stunning scenery, and have their choice of one of these: rafting the Rio Grande, learning Southwestern cooking, or luxuriating in a hot tub after a spa massage. The price of $1,695 includes four nights' accommodations, most meals and snacks, the services of trip leaders, ground transportation (but not air fare), and entry fees.
Visit www.adventurouswench.com or call 866-41-WENCH.
-- St. Augustine, Fla., offers an arty escape with its three-night Women's Escape to the Inns & Arts of St. Augustine, Sept. 24-26, at a choice of 27 historic inns. On that weekend, there will be art exhibits, performances, and workshops (pottery, stained glass, furniture painting, sculpting, batik, watercolor, and jewelry making) at the Art District at San Sebastian. Guests will receive a welcome package that includes the "Women's Escape Breakfast Collection." The escape, limited to 75 participants, costs $125, including breakfast daily. There will be charges for some events.
Call 800-611-2880 or visit www.staugustineinns.com.
-- By the end of March, a club called Women Traveling Together had seen more reservations for this year than for all of 2003. One of several trips is a long weekend in San Antonio, Sept. 17-20, with a trolley tour, a boat tour, and a River Walk excursion among the highlights. The cost is $628 for nonmembers and $578 for members (annual membership is $45). Included are rooms, breakfasts, the trolley ticket, and the services of a tour leader. Air fare is extra.
Visit www.women-traveling.com or call 800-795-7135.
-- The Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver offers a PMS Package. PMS, of course, stands for pralines, martinis, and shopping. The getaway includes a night's accommodation, pralines, martinis in Herons Lounge, and a discount shopping booklet for Waterfront Center Shops and Pacific Center. Rates start from about $202 per room May-September and about $159 the rest of the year.
Call 866-540-4509 or visit www.fairmont.com, click Package Finder, and search PMS.
-- The Women's Travel Club lays claim to being the largest such organization in North America. One of its more exotic trips will take women to the remote regions of Rajasthan, India, Oct. 24-Nov. 7. The 13-night trip includes rooms, several meals, flights within the country, and ground transportation. The price is $2,640, double occupancy. Air fare from Kennedy Airport is $1,210 plus taxes of around $100. Travel Club membership is $35 a year.
Visit www.womenstravelclub.com or call 800-480-4448.
And one for the guys The Westin at Our Lucaya features a Guys' Getaway, during which the fellas can go on a Bahamian fishing trip, play unlimited golf, spend time at the casino, and visit the cigar bar, perhaps for a Cuban smoke. The three-night package with daily breakfast, unlimited golf, and one half-day fishing trip costs $460 per person double occupancy.
Palm Beach coupons Go to www.palmbeachfl.com to order or download the booklet "$1000 Worth of the Palm Beaches for Free," which contains discount certificates for shopping, dining, sports, and attractions, sightseeing cruises, bike rentals; and two-for-one theater tickets and museum admissions.
Vienna and Venice Two of the world's favorite cities are combined in Austrian Airlines' "Vienna, Venice, Vacation" six-night package at $1,219 per person, double occupancy, from New York, Sept. 1-Oct. 31. Participants spend three nights in Vienna, then fly to Venice for three more nights. Included are flights, hotels, and breakfast buffets.
Vietnam and Cambodia An eight-night trip to Vietnam and Cambodia, including air fare from the West Coast, costs $1,298 per person, double occupancy. The trip includes a night in Singapore, after which participants fly to either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City for four nights, then spend the last three in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The price includes the flights mentioned, four-star hotels, breakfast, tours, and transfers. It does not include airport taxes, fuel surcharges, and visa fees, which can add more than $100 to the cost.
Call Sayang Holidays at 888-4-SAYANG.