Traveling alone can be a liberating and rewarding experience for both men and women, but a common concern that prevents most women from being solo travelers is safety. This is why the founders of the housing accommodation site Overnight, and the founder of the organization Girls LOVE Travel, have collaborated.
Overnight is an app similar to Airbnb or VRBO, but it allows travelers and hosts to use private networks when booking homes. Every host is verified and is required to go through an extensive background check, before being approved by Overnight. The networks and groups make the experience a more trusted one, and hosts give travelers in their network special pricing and discounts.
The app launched in March and is already operating in California, New York, Nevada, Texas, Illinois, and even London! Their goal is to create a community of open-minded hosts who can offer reliable, last-minute travel options.
Girls LOVE Travel is an organization that was founded in December 2015 by Haley Woods. Their mission is to empower women to help each other travel safely by joining their private Facebook group to connect with other women travelers.
“Girls LOVE Travel is more than just a closed Facebook group–it is more like a traveling sisterhood,” says Woods on the Girls LOVE Travel Facebook page. “It is for those who identify female only, so please add any of your other travel loving friends!”
The Girls LOVE Travel website features stories from women’s travels, like “Top 5 Places to See in Iceland” and “Traveling the Silk Road.” There are also helpful articles on budgeting, solo travel, tips for women traveling with anxiety or depression, as well as stories on food and culture. Every article is by an ordinary traveling woman, and anyone can submit their own travel stories by email.
“Within the Girls LOVE Travel community, we empower women to go out, travel, and explore the world. The problem is that, when choosing to house-swap or couch-share with a stranger, safety can be a real concern for many of our members. Alternatives such as hotels or hostels can often be pricey, and may delay trips due to budget,” says Woods.
Overnight has launched a group specifically for the Girls LOVE Travel network, which consists of over 400 thousand women. The feature will connect women with female Overnight hosts, and rates will be exclusive to group members.
“Building this partnership between Girls LOVE Travel and Overnight presents members with a peer-to-peer network platform to help answer those concerns by providing members a cost-effective opportunity to stay with ladies they have met within our online community,” says Woods. “Overnight provides our members the added benefit of moving beyond the computer with other female travelers, and creating lasting relationships.”
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