UA alum guides travel for women
One cool December evening, a self-empowered, travel-obsessed UA graduate was lying in bed dreaming about her travels. Little did she know, this particular dream would lead her down the path of a lifetime to her very own travel guidebook business, “Go! Girl Guides.”
This dreamer, Kelly Lewis, remembers looking at a travel guidebook specifically geared toward women in her dream.
“In my dream, I was kicking myself for not thinking of the idea and then I woke up and realized I did,” Lewis said. “It hit me and I was like ‘Oh my God, I have to do this,’ and so I did.”
After months of working three jobs to save for the business, Lewis created a website for the idea. With help from fellow travel bloggers and friends, she began working on the first guidebook centering on Thailand.
The book, which will be released on Sept. 17, includes valuable information for female travelers.
“I think that women face some pretty unique challenges by traveling. It is totally safe to travel; it’s just that we have some extra things to worry about. For instance, we talked to a Thai gynecologist for this book and asked him questions about women’s health in Thailand,” Lewis said, in case a female traveler needed immediate attention, information about where to purchase women’s health needs or where to go for help.
The book also contains a recipe section with different Thai recipes, how to order common dishes and what ingredients are in that exotic fare (in case all of the menus are in Thai).
A lodging section is also included in the book, teaching female travelers where they can stay and feel safe, which places are most affordable, how to stay safe in hostels and which places have the nicest owners, night guards or sturdy lofts.
The safety portions of the book teach travelers how to keep their belongings from being stolen, common scams to watch out for, how to use taxis, cultural etiquette, how to travel safely on a budget and where the best and safest places are to volunteer in Thailand.
The “Go! Girl Guides” idea is one of the first of its kind as a guidebook exclusively for women. Lewis said she hopes the books will inspire other women to travel, volunteer and experience life in other cultures.
“Traveling has changed my life in so many ways and I think it’s just such an important experience,” Lewis said. “I hope our books are a useful tool for other girls.”