The Traveling Women’s Guide to Getting Back There


When the team at Women Who Travel decided last fall to put together a collection of stories about dipping our toes back into travel, we had no idea what January 2021 would look like. Presidential election remained a looming worry, and the deployment of not one, but two approved COVID-19 vaccines was yet to be a reality. In the end, pandemic life is pretty much like it was in the fall, but with the vaccine slowly rolling out, we can finally enjoy something new: a glimmer of hope.

While the prospect of returning to travel is joyous, it is also, in many ways, overwhelming. That’s why we wanted the seven stories below to go way beyond your standard packing advice (although we’ve got a whole host of travel-friendly gear and product recommendations as well). Jessica Poitevien, for example, reports on the impact of the pandemic on travel anxiety and tells travelers how they are dealing with it. Megan Spurrell reflects on what the past year has taught her about comfort zones, and Meredith Carey talks to flight attendants about what it’s like to get off leave. Wondering how to meet new people after a year of isolation? Well, Alex Erdekian has put together a whole guide dedicated to just that.

And for those looking for a little planning inspiration, Priya Krishna calls on some of our favorite female chefs for the meals they can’t wait to travel to, and our editors share the places they’re dreaming of going right now. , anywhere from upstate New York to southern Japan. Because if there’s one thing we can all agree on in 2021, it’s that a change of scenery is bound to be the most exciting part. —Lale Arikoglu

“Last year forced us to protect our comfort zones,” writes Megan Spurrell. “This year, I plan to continue.”

From a hiking backpack that fits an editor-approved Diva Cup, we’ve rounded up the items that make being a woman on the road easier.

Editor Ashlea Halpern plans to drive through southern Japan, stopping at the heated Ibusuki sand baths in Kagoshima.

Yiming Chen/Getty

Whether they are far or close to home, they all have one thing in common: a change of scenery.

“It’s not like a switch flips and we can walk back to work,” says a flight attendant.

Thanks to the ongoing pandemic, travel and anxiety now go hand in hand. Here’s how travelers are dealing with it.

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