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sunlover Jun 29th, 2003 07:58 PM

Ever done a Maupintour/Gutsy Women Trip?
I am a 30 yo female who will be doing a solo trip in March/April. Beacause I am going by myself I have been looking at doing an escorted tour especially with a "Women Only" group (There are several out there)

At any rate, I know Maupintours has a good reputation of being a more upscale tour group (as opposed to Trafalgar) but they have a new division called "Gutsy Women Travel" which are women only groups and have less than 25 people in a group. They do a roomate matching and apaprently the tours are similar to regular Maupintours except they have more shopping/girly activities including spa visits according to the brochure at least.

Just wondering if anybody had any more info on these or had done one before.

nataliemm Jun 29th, 2003 09:27 PM

Just completed my first Maupintour in May, I'm 32. I was amazed by how many others have been using this tour company (one gent had used Maupin 23 times!) over the years. For several people it had been their 3rd or 4th tour. Unfortunately I don't have any personal knowledge of the Gutsy Women Travel but our tour director did mention this division was doing well.

Regarding Maupin in General I can only say the best things. Hotels were first rate and although very expensive it was definitely much cheaper than trying to stay at these hotels on our own. Our tour guide was just wonderful. Very knowledgeable (has been workig for Maupin 20+ years) and would do anything to make the tour the most enjoyable for all the passengers.
Also, if you don't already know there are several online travel companies that offer 5% off the land rates. Hope this helps.

sandi Jun 30th, 2003 04:36 AM

Sunlover -
I've checked out the Gutsy Women itineraries, but find that they are overpriced for the service you get. Maybe they have to do this as they usually send a guide along with the group and someone has to pay for her air, hotel and meals.

What trip itinerary and cost, in particular, were you thinking of? There might be an alterative at less costly price.

Reason I mention this, as I had been looking at their trip to SEAsia last year and they were charging more for the 1-wk trip than we spendt for 2-wks at 5* accommodations.

This is just my feelings.

sunlover Jun 30th, 2003 01:34 PM

Thanks for the replies! I don't have a particular itinerary in mind but was looking at doing soemthing in France or Italy. I was looking at using them because I wanted to do a "women only" group and didn't want to stay at budget hotels ont he outskirts. The reason I guess I would be doing an escorted tour ( I have been to Europe before and actually can get along speaking French even) is because I don't want to go by myself. My trip last year was supposed to be my sister, my best friend and me. My good friend was involved in all the planning but when it came down to putting up the dposit she backed out. She has expressed interest in my next trip but can't really count on her and my sister can't afford to go again so I would be traveling alone. I am a people person, a chatty Kathy, so to speak so the idea of going alone seems terribly boring to me. If you have other ides for women's groups, plese let me know. I have been searching the entire internet, not just Fodors for the past month and Gutsy Women seems to be the best I found, I just need some firsthand feedback to confirm.

sunlover Jun 30th, 2003 03:01 PM

Another thought (an please no one take offense or think I discriminate) this is a tour group for all ladies (not lesbians)isn't it? A co-worker told me to be sure and ask as the thought to ask would never have crossed my mind. You can only the comedic potentil if I a VERY heterosexual female went on a trip with an all lesbian group and signed up for the roomate matching service without a clue!

Douglas Jun 30th, 2003 05:11 PM

Since Maupintour is a "main stream" tour company I think they would make it very clear if a tour is being marketed to the lesbian community.

anitafla Jun 30th, 2003 06:33 PM


There is a travel company out of Miami that is for women only. Their website is My friend works for them and they have upscale trips to Europe, US, spas, South America, Africa, etc. Check out their website - it might be something you are interested in.

Lesli Jun 30th, 2003 08:03 PM

I have not used this company (prefer to travel independently and have no problem with doing so solo), so I could be completely wrong. But my guess is that the average age of the "Gutsy Woman" is probably at least 50. If you enjoy the company of women of all ages, great, but if you're looking for people your own age, this might not be the right fit for you.

A friend of mine who does not enjoy traveling alone has been on several trips with Backroads and speaks very highly of them. These trips are mostly "active" vacations involving at least some walking, biking, or whatever, so seem to attract a fair number of people (of both sexes) in their 30s and 40s. They are fairly expensive - 4 star hotels are typical.

sandi Jul 1st, 2003 04:51 AM

Sunlover - Gutsy Women gets women of all ages, they're small groups, so any particular group might have one age group, or a mix of ages.

Not unlike other posters, the first response from many is "lesbians" - but this is rarely the case. Lesbians actually would prefer to travel with their own. However, when we were in Australia, in a group of strangers (about 10 people) on a day-trip, there were two young women (late 20s or early 30s), friends since childhood, who met in OZ, and they readily admitted to being lesbians - they were the funniest and great to have with our very mixed group and no one gave it a thought.

If you're looking for another group, try to locate: "Wild Women Travel" or something along that line, if they're still in business, they were located out on West Coast and do trips similar to Gutsy Women, but also in the same price range.

But, if as you explain, you don't want to travel on your own, these types of groups are what you're looking for as their programs are good.

lweber Jul 1st, 2003 05:56 AM

one way to travel solo and not be alone is to sign up for some time of local school. Culinary, language, etc. You have immediate friends in your classmates but are still on your own. Many times you can stay with local families thus cutting costs dramatically and gainng a great experience. I have done this manty times and love it.

sunlover Jul 1st, 2003 04:40 PM

Thanks for the great replies! I am looking into the other groups you mentioned and I found another group which has week long city stays in Paris, London or Venice that look good as well. They have some "planned" activities such as dinners out (at VERY nice retaurants) but you get free time as well. As implied by the name they put a lot of emphasis on the shopping and style side, I think you even get to attend a fashion show while in Paris which sounds right up my alley bu tI don't hae any info on the company though. At least I feel safe using Gutsy Women because it is a division of Maupintours which has a great reputation in the industry. Any further comments welcomed! Even though I am heading to the Caribbean in August (a family reunion trip0 I am already planning my spring trip to Europe!

andy Jul 1st, 2003 05:35 PM

Lesli- Just a heads up=-
A friend of mine ( female-age 54) did a biking tour with Back Roads last year thru Canada--

She was one of 2 unattached females-NOT GAY! and she was amongst 5 other couples- She had a blast and the ages were all varied-from 35-60!

Lesli Jul 1st, 2003 06:06 PM

Andy -

My point exactly, that Backroads might skew slightly younger. My friend whose traveled with them is a 30-something female. (Somehow the terms "gutsy" when applied to women traveling on an escorted tour just implies an older crowd to me. Again, I may well be wrong.)

Sunlover - If you haven't seen them yet, you might want to check out these sites for further ideas:

Lesli Jul 1st, 2003 06:14 PM

Argh! Make that "My friend who *has* traveled with them." (I am now officially cringing....)

Intrepid Jul 1st, 2003 06:41 PM

Frankly, I wouldn't worry too much about the sexual orientation aspects of any of these one-gender group tours. Sunlover seems to be making an assumption that lesbians would be "interested" in a straight woman (another assumption) which doesn't make a lot of sense since I doubt straight women would be "interested" in a lesbian.
No matter which group you travel with there may be those of other orientations in the group but I think you are wise to continue focusing on the activities, itineraries, etc., that interest you. Any group, especially composed of people you have never met, including THIS board, can always be dicey.

sunlover Jul 2nd, 2003 05:39 AM

Egads! I knew my earlier comment would be misconstrued by someone! I am not worrying about traveling with a mixed group of gay and straight, I have plenty of friends who are gay and I never assumed a lesbian wouold be interested in a straight female. What I was worried about was signing up for an ALL lesbian trip. If that was the case most would likely assume that I was too. Sure they would find out otherwise at some ppoint and no longer be intested (hopefully) but there could be some initial uncomfortableness in the beginning when they don't know and I am too naive to know! Anyway, its not something I am worried about with Gutsy Women anymore (who by the way shows plenty of 30s age women in the brochure) or which is devoted pretty much to girly activities including shopping, fashion shows, salons etc. Not everyone there may be straight but certianly not a group of all non-straight! Thanksagain for hte replies!

sandi Jul 2nd, 2003 10:49 AM

Sunlover - Why not just ask Gutsy Women for references that you can contact directly - and ask, these contacts about the trip, hotels, guides, type of women, from where, stay-at-home moms or business women. I would also ask whomever you speak with at the GW organization, "the lesbian question" - hey, you're thinking of putting down your money and you have every right to inquire.

From what I've been able to discern about their trips, they are short trips - long weekends, & rarely more than 7-days - ideal for women who want to get away for a few days from work, home, children, etc.

nataliemm Jul 2nd, 2003 03:01 PM

I think these tours are geared towards professional women, wealthy divorcees, and those in retirement.

sunlover Jul 3rd, 2003 02:11 PM

Thanks for all the replies! Right now the Gutsy women London and English countryside looks like it may fit (9 days) or
I am also thinking about using for 7 nights (9 day trip basd out of London). I went to Ireland last year but never made it over to England. I really wanted to do France but so far I have yet to find a group with an itinerary I am intersted in. I would like to do about 5 or 6 nights in Paris and 2 or 3 nights in the south of France (travel by TGV) oh well, that can wait until the next trip I guess!

sunlover Jul 12th, 2003 06:55 AM

Topping to see if anyone else has comments!

Intrepid Jul 12th, 2003 07:31 AM

As a follow-on, most all lesbian trips are advertised as such so there wouldn't be any difficulty there I am sure. I think perhaps you're learning that there may be very limited travel possibilities for groups of women and for a variety of both legit and very non-legit reasons.
Your plan for visiting France sometime sounds like a good start...if you weren't absolutely determined to do this in a group situation I think you might enjoy doing that on your own or perhaps with another interested individual...not nearly as difficult to arrange as some would have you believe. A lot of the group tours are marketed with the either stated, on not quite stated, "message" that traveling in a group eliminates a lot of hassle and worry. However, there isn't always as much hassle, if any, to making the various arrangements as they sometimes lead you to believe. One strategy is to look at a group tour itinerary and then imitate it on your own...I've done and as a result was a lot more satisfied. Anyway, I do hope you have a great trip and that this works out successfully for you.

skimom53 Sep 14th, 2003 03:41 PM

Hi, I am celebrating my 50th with trip to Italy. None of my friends could go, but because I am into art and fashion, I signed up with Fashion Perspective Tours out of Richmond, leaving October 1 for Rome, Florence, and Venice. The groups are small, and overwhelmingly female. Their references were excellent, and I found the demographics varied; you could be traveling with Junior Leaguers from Houston with deep pockets, as well as fashion students from VCU on tight budgets. The company schedules trips on shoulder seasons when weather is good but crowds are smaller, and the prices are reasonable for what you get---all airfare, transfers, tours listed, and three star hotels that are centrally located and recommended everywhere. There's also free time built in to the itinerary to do your own thing. I cannot wait to go. Take a look at

welig12 Oct 21st, 2006 01:22 PM


Has anyone done a Gutsy Women Tour? I am considering one to Italy, next Fall and would like to hear from someone that has gone on one of their tours?

Julie_Hurst Oct 22nd, 2006 05:28 AM

In reviewing this thread, I noticed that sharing a hotel room is part of the tour. Thought I might mention some sharing problems I've seen on other boards:

1. room mates who are not supposed to smoke in the room, but do so anyway. There's no guard to prevent so; tour guides do not want to play social worker.
2. room mates who have various sleeping schedules - rise at 4am & shower/lights on, etc; go to bed at 1am leaving tv, lights, shower on, etc. Afterall, it's their room also & they paid the same amount.
3. room mates who were unsocial; refused to answer questions or exchange social graces; refuse to give scheduling info for bath, etc; verbally abusive.

I'm sure there are more - these are just from memory. Of course there were lots of warm, great stories of making a new friend. Just want to be sure you consider all possible consequences - usually spend a lot of money on these trips!

Good luck, Julie

suze Oct 22nd, 2006 10:11 AM

If I couldn't get my own room (by paying single supplement) I wouldn't go.

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