Just as men plan time to be with the “boys” on game and fishing trips, more women are planning to spend time with the “girls,” on adventure trips. Most leading tour companies now include a women’s division to meet the demand. Other companies, such as Aviva Travel Group, started as travel organizers for women and continue to do so.
“I started in the business by arranging literary retreat for members of my reading group,” says retired law librarian Ruth Bridges of Aviva. One of the first literary retreats was to Savannah, Georgia, the setting for the book and movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”
The combination of her love for books and travel was such a winning match that, “from then on these literary tours became a regular part of our clubs itinerary,” added Bridges, who spent 35 years as a librarian before retiring in 2016. While literary settings are not always her agency’s destination, books play a significant part in their explorations. Some trips are bound to where sister book clubs exists, such as Charlestown, SC, or where authors for whom they want to meet reside, such as a cruise to Trinidad, where they had lunch with author Roslyn Carrrington.
“Women who travel with me are book club women, avid readers, and they enjoy meeting each other,” explained the New York native, from her Phoenix base. When her groups travel, they often include museum, bookstores, and libraries on their stop list.