Now in its second year, Women’s Travel Fest attracts women (and some brave men) from the United States and Canada. This was my first time attending this annual event that empowers and inspires women’s travel. Last years inaugural debut took place in New York, while this years conference took place at the San Francisco Design Center in San Francisco, California. This multi-day event offered insights from many women in travel. Here are six things that I learned at Women’s Travel Fest.

 

Patricia Schultz, author

Patricia Schultz Author 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Photo ©  Nancy D. Brown

 

I. Always stop for homemade pie when you travel

“Always stop for homemade pie,” laughs Patricia Schultz Author of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. “Always stop for an authentic experience that lets you peek into the back door of the place you are going to.”

2. Solo Travel

“If it can go wrong, it probably will, so fix it now!” says Felicity Aston, the first woman to ski across Antarctica alone. She learned many things about herself during her travels, but said that the most important lesson learned was the power of perseverance. The hardest thing about her journey was not the blizzards, the crevasses or the frostbite, it was getting out of her tent every morning. Her life lesson take away, “if you chip away at something, you will eventually make progress. So keep getting out of the tent!”

Felicity Aston, solo travel

Felicity Aston on solo travel. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

 

3. Poshtels and travel

Do you know about Poshtels? “When you are traveling and looking for a hotel deal, think about Poshtels,” notes Travel Expert Courtney Scott. They are posh hostels. It’s like staying in a boutique hotel, but at the price of a hostel. Generator is one of the best brands leading the charge with a new property opened in Paris, France.

Paula Froelich, Laura Ling

Paula Froelich of Yahoo! Travel and Laura Ling of E! Network; how to stay safe while traveling. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

 

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4. Pack light when you travel

Whether you are a woman traveling solo or on a river cruise in Europe, packing light is an important key to travel. For safety reasons, you don’t want to be lugging multiple suitcases on your journey, as you don’t want to be perceived as a vulnerable target. Beth Whitman of Wanderlust and Lipstick says, “my big travel safety tip is to pack light. Most importantly, never carry more than two pairs of shoes no matter wear you are going.”

5. Safety travel tip

“Take your street smarts with you,” says California-based writer Marybeth Bond of Gutsy Traveler. “Trust your instincts, but don’t stay home!”

Mickela Mallozzi, Women's Travel Fest, San Francisco

Travel does not end when you have children. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

 

6. Traveling with kids

“Travel does not end when you have children,” said Mara Gorman author of The Family Travelers Handbook. “In fact, it can be the beginning of some of the best adventures you’ll ever have in your entire life. The best way to teach your children about the world and different cultures is to take them with you on the road.”

When’s the last time you attended a travel show? Next year, the Women’s Travel Fest will take place in New York. I hope to see you there! Thanks to Go! Girl Guides for inviting me to cover Women’s Travel Fest and Expedia for sponsoring the conference. I look forward to learning and speaking about travel with you.

If You Go:

Women’s Travel Fest www.womenstravelfest.com