Female travel group Wild Terrains is looking ahead to 2021 with the launch of their new destination — Argentina.
Wild Terrains, which already offers trips to Portugal and Mexico City, announced an epic 2021 trip to South America, including stops in Buenos Aires, Patagonia, and Mendoza, the company exclusively shared with Travel + Leisure.
"I’m starting to see that people are looking for something to look forward to next year," Wild Terrains’ founder and CEO Lauren Bates told T+L of launching the new destination, even as the COVID-19 pandemic still hinders travel around the world.
Originally planned to launch in April, Bates — who founded the company in 2018 after she was laid off from a previous job — told us that she decided to hold off on the announcement as the coronavirus spread and their 2020 customers inevitably started to reschedule.
Now, for the Argentina trip, which is available for women of all ages to book now, travelers can choose from a 10-day itinerary that includes Buenos Aires, Patagonia, and Mendoza, or a shorter six-day, two-stop version that includes Buenos Aires and either Patagonia or Mendoza.
Activities, including Argentinian wine tasting, horseback riding, learning to cook empanadas, hiking in Patagonia, and relaxing at a spa, are all hosted by female business owners. Wild Terrains’ tour guides are also all women.
This time around, travelers will also get a peek into how Bates’ caught the travel bug, as they’ll stop by the home of artist Ivonne Jacob, a woman who the CEO lived with during her time studying abroad in Buenos Aires.
"They’ve all really struggled financially through COVID," Bates said of the businesses Wild Terrains partners with on its trips. "So, I think it’s the time to launch, and it also gives all of those Argentina partners a semblance of normalcy that’s to come and a little bit of guaranteed income next year, which I think they’re all really excited about."
And among the Wild Terrains’ travelers — who are mostly American, but also come from Mexico, Canada, and Europe — are repeat customers who have been looking forward to a new destination.
"It was kind of quiet in March, April, May, and June, but then in July and August, I started to have a lot of past travelers reach out and ask, 'What’s going to be on the schedule for 2021?' People were even asking for 2022," Bates recalled. "It had never been our experience before that people were planning that far out, but people are really looking forward to having something on the calendar."
She added, "I never saw travelers having that much flexibility in their schedule before. I think that's a symptom of having to do deal with all of the rescheduling through COVID."
Wild Terrains, which already keeps their tour groups small with a limit of 12 women on each trip, will now also allow travelers to change their trip date or destination for free up until 60 days before departure, providing more flexibility if needed.
The company even received a stamp of approval from the World Travel & Tourism Council.
And since Bates founded Wild Terrains with the purpose of connecting and uplifting women through travel, these trips might just be what we need right now.
"If it's safe to travel by [April], it's a way that you can travel with a small group of women that you know have similar interests to you, and maybe you make a few new friends," Bates said. "I think that's definitely something people are craving — community and connection."
Editor's note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.
Christine Burroni is Travel + Leisure’s Digital News Editor. Find her keeping up with just about everything on Twitter or see what she’s up to in NYC or on her latest trip on Instagram.
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