Featured Post

Trust: Missing in action where it counts

Whom do you trust? That's a big, loaded question. And at least one organisation has been putting out a Trust Barometer for 14 years now...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Globetrot with soul-sisters

If you are an experienced woman traveller who knows how to traipse around the world like a pro but yet there are moments when you just don’t want to be around members of the opposite sex because you are recovering from a broken heart or some illness, then there is another opportunity for you.

Ofcourse, first-time solo female travellers would jump at the idea of the WOW Club, The word ‘Wow’ standing for Women on Wanderlust. This Club conducts women-only tours and was started in 2005 by an intrepid globetrotter, Sumitra Senapathy. She’s bitten by the travel bug and has been to most places on the world map as she points out on her website http://www.wowsumitra.com/ She’s written about her sojourns as well in many publications.

She realized that women were looking to expand their horizons and were willing to step outdoors without spouses/boyfriends/part-time lovers dogging their shadow. So, that’s just what she gives them. Foreign jaunts with the least amount of male interference!

This year she’s is doing trips to Egypt, Ladakh, Italy, Turkey, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Budapest and Poland. In the past, she’s taken people to South Africa and Egypt as well and in the future she may include China on her itinerary. So, far her ‘travellers’ congregate at meeting points like Mumbai and Delhi and then fly out together. She’s going to add Bangalore to this list soon.

But her tours are not cheap because as she says, her club is “situated between the Fiat and Mercedes price points”. So, she may not be as expensive as Cox and King and Thomas Cook but she doesn’t do bare-bones budget tours either because she admits “Indians are not ready for backpacking kind of trips.”

So, a trip to Egypt which has already taken off on February 14 this year costs around Rs 1,35,000 not including the costs of domestic flying or hotel expenses (if they have to stay overnight for any reason) that people will have to do if they are coming in from other parts of India to the point of embarkation – either Delhi or Mumbai. All in all, these trips will come out to cost almost as much as bigger travel agencies charge.

The difference being that the big tour operators factor in all these costs into their packages and take care of everything for you. All you have to do is show up on the appointed day! The WOW Club, on the other hand has to differentiate in some way from the more established names so Sumitra has plans to introduce memberships to her club.

She told me that it would cost each member Rs 3,500 and it will be valid for 3 years. Members will get a 2% cash discount and will enjoy preferred pricing on select lifestyle products/services. She’s also going to organize discounted trips of a shorter duration (2-3 days) for her members. There are also plans for her club members to enjoy, for instance, six wine evenings in three months and other such events in various cities. She says this would be a great way for her regulars to bond and meet, after having met up on her tours for the first time. She also added that the WOW Club is popular with a lot of NRIs, who have taken her tours with their relatives.

So, if you are interested in hotstepping abroad with some soul-sisters, then join this club at http://www.wowsumitra.com/contact_us.htm and enjoy a rollicking time.

1 comment:

alok said...

wow...! can only hope s'thing similar for men exist (may be called MOW...:P)