Frequently Asked Questions

On this page, we answer some of the most commonly asked questions but you’ll find trip-specific FAQs a the bottom of each trip page for specific trip FAQs.

Why SFT Tours

What makes SFT Tours unique?

We are a for profit travel company with a social impact mission. As such, there are a few things that make us like no other:

1. We know exactly what you want. We have been traveling on our own for more than 20 years and our Founders have been to over 150 countries. We also manage a community with more than 220,000 women from all over the world who discuss solo female travel every day. Lastly, we run the largest survey on solo female travel trends every year since 2020.

2. No female guide, no tour. Our tours are never led by men because we did not start tours to make money, we started them to support and employ women at the destinations we visit. We offer tours to lesser known destinations such as Sudan, or to countries where there are fewer women in the travel industry, and where our tours can help shape the industry to be a more equal space. The only way to see a more equitable industry for women is to create employment opportunities for them. When women get together and support each other, magic happens.

3. We take you places we know VERY well for immersive experiences. Either we have visited many times, have lived there, worked there or come from there. You won’t find cookie-cutter itineraries on our list of trips, instead, you’ll explore places you never thought of or see popular destinations through the eyes of local women. Even famous places like Barcelona or Tuscany have a local hidden side and we want to help you discover it. Many of the experiences we offer cannot be organized on your own, because they aren’t tourist activities. Visits to local homes, family homes of our guides, or businesses that don’t take visitors.

Because we know what you want and we love traveling, we can design trips that are just amazing. Read more about what makes us different in the Why us section.

What is your mission?

Our mission is to empower women through travel.

The “woman” word in our mission refers equal parts to our guests and the women we support with our tours.

Our guests: We empower them to see the world even if they don’t have a partner to go with and are not yet ready or keen to travel solo independently. Maybe you are always in charge of organising everything in your life so, when it’s time to go on holidays, isn’t it nice to have someone to do all the planning for you?

The women we support with our tours: We want to see a more equitable travel industry and the best way we can accomplish this is by amplifying the efforts of, and supporting, female owned or led businesses. All tour are led by a local female guide. We also prioritise female owned hotels, restaurants and activity leaders and 80% of the local companies we engage on our tours are female owned or led. In many countries, we also work to amplify the efforts of other women in tourism who are working tirelessly to get more women to join the industry. For example, in Tanzania, we support the Tanzania Women Guides Foundation and our Kilimanjaro climb helps pay for the Mountain Guide tuition cost of future female guides.

Our guests

Why only womxn?

We decided to focus on female-only and female-powered tours because we wanted to support womxn and offer extraordinary experiences by womxn and for womxn. We wanted to bridge cultures by bringing together womxn from around the world to learn from each other.

We know that great things happen when we get together and we want to recreate some of that magic on our trips.

Our guests come alone and leave with new friendships; they come with an open mind and leave with countless stories to share. They may have joined solo but they have newfound travel buddies for their next adventure and a new understanding of the world around us.

When you say womxn, what do you mean?

Womxn is a term we use to include all self-identifying female guests. We know the term womxn is not understood in the same way by everyone but to us, it refers to female guests and excludes male guests.

SFT Tours is an inclusive company and we welcome everyone. If you want to read more about the womxn term here is an article that goes into its history ad presents the perspective we share.

Who comes on your trips?

Anyone and everyone is welcome.

We welcome all ages, opinions, nationalities, beliefs, ethnicities, race, etc. Our guests are married, single, divorced, widowed, stay at home mums, high-flying professionals, entrepreneurs, businesswomen, computer nerds, outdoors lovers, beach bums, dreamers, chefs, drivers, consultants….you name it.

The majority of our guests are between the ages of 30 and 60 but every trip has younger and older guests. We find that a wide age range makes the trips more interesting and our guests agree with that.

We don’t ask our guests what they do for a living but our itineraries and philosophy attract a certain type of person who is open-minded, friendly, keen to learn, a lover of a good adventure and of the good life, and someone who is not afraid to conquer her fears. Our guests enjoy luxury lodges as much as they seek real adventures where they can get down and dirty.

As per the SFT Tours team, our co-founders are from Australia and Spain and have jointly visited 150 countries, more than 50 on their own, and have lived in 10 countries. Most of our local guides are in their 30s and 40s, some are married, some are single, some have children and some don’t, some are Christian, others are Muslim, Hindu or agnostic… in one word, we are multi-cultural too!

Why solo?

Our roots are firmly grounded around solo female travel, this is where we were born in July 2015 and this is where our community thrives.

We know that many women travel solo because they prefer it and many others because they can’t find a suitable travel buddy. Many of our guests love that everything is done for them and they do not need to plan anything on their own. Because women already take the bulk of the family planning and day to day organization, take a holiday that is just for you with us.

If you’d like to know more about why women travel on their own, check out our annual Solo Female Travel survey.

Regardless of the reason why you travel solo, we wanted to create a space where solo travelers were the focus rather than the exception, so you never have to pay a single supplement again and where making new friends and meeting strangers is the default for everyone and not a meal-time activity you find yourself forced into.

Can I bring my partner or a friend on a trip or are your trips for solo travelers?

By all means, the more the merrier!

While we design the trips with solo female travelers in mind, you don’t have to come solo, you can bring a friend, family member or female partner and share a room with them.

I want to bring my daughter

How wonderful! Our minimum age is 16 depending, if she is above this age, we will be glad to have her with us.

What is the average age of your guests?

We do not have any age restriction. This fact is not an afterthought, but a conscious choice. While we know that we all want and need different things at different stages of our life, we also know that women seek the same regardless of their age.

And to be honest, some of the most interesting and enriching conversations we have ever had happened when there was a diverse group of people coming together. This diversity in age brings new perspectives and opens the mind, and that is what travel is all about for us.

That said, most of our guests are between 30 and 60 years old, but every trip has guests who are older and younger. We find that the oldest guest always gets along the best with the youngest.

Not convinced? Spend some time in our online community and you’ll see what we mean!

What is the size of your trips?

We keep our groups rather small and most of them go ahead with as few as 6 guest. Our maximum number of guests per trip is 14 but very few trips with the exception of our sailing trips to Seychelles and Greece where we charter our own boat and can accommodate as many as 39 guests.

Our commitment

Are all your guides female?

Our philosophy is: No female guide, no tour.

We started Solo Female Travelers Tours to empower women through travel so we don’t run a tour unless we can have a female guide. Our tours are designed to support them and other women in the travel industry, so without them, our tours have no reason to be.

By employing female guides, we make the profession viable for women and contribute to creating more female guide role models for girls who may not think being a guide is for them. We also provide our guests with the opportunity to meet local women and learn about life at the destination through cultural exchanges that makes travel a unique passport to peace and understanding.

In some very specific cases, we engage the services of families where they hold particular knowledge about a destination or activity that is not provided by any woman. This is the case in Tuscany where there are no women offering truffle hunting experiences and where we instead get hosted by a local family.

How do your trips help local communities?

We believe that travel can be a force for good and we work with local travel companies in almost every country we offer tours in. We believe that, by doing that, we can help make a difference and ensure that the tourism dollars benefit the local communities.

We don’t fly in foreign guides to lead or host our tours and work with as many locally-owned lodges, hotels and tourism businesses as possible. Each trip’s FAQ contains details of our local operator so you can read more about them and understand their local roots.

In many cases, we work with small female owned tour operators and guides who are passionate about female empowerment and whom we can support in their growth and expansion journey. By hiring them, we also enable them to hire more women to become guides and help build a virtuous cycle for women in tourism.

Our flexibility

Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?

We aim to accommodate guests requirements as much as possible and we can typically make sure that vegetarians and celiac guests are well catered for. However, this is not always possible and some trips, such as our Barcelona & Costa Brava or our Tuscan gastronomic trip, due to their nature, make this a challenge.

Please discuss your requirements at the time of booking so we can make sure you will have an amazing time.

Can I have a room to myself?

Our tours are designed for solo female travelers and hence, all prices are considered on a sharing basis with two guests per room in twin bedding to avoid single supplements.

We offer the option of upgrading to a single room on almost all of our trips, reach out to us to find out more or check the FAQ on each trip page. You can often book a single room directly via the booking links.

Will there be free time on your tours?

Because our trips are designed for solo female travelers, we make sure that you always have some free time to customise the trip and make it yours. Typically, there is a bit of free time daily for you to add on any activity, book a slot at the hotel spa, go wander a city on your own or choose how much or how little you want to eat.

For example, our safari tours always have free time during the day to lounge by the pool, read a book or take a nap; our immersive Barcelona and Tuscany trips have free time to wander the back alleys of small Medieval villages and evenings to add on some extra beach walks or museum visits. We don’t like to rush you and we firm believers in Slow Travel so you will always have some time to take it all in.

Your wellbeing

What measures do you take to ensure everyone is safe during COVID times?

We care deeply about the wellbeing of our guests and our trips follow all the local regulations of the destination country.

In addition, we require our guests to be fully vaccinated to join our tours. A copy of the vaccination certificate is required as proof no less than 14 days before the start of the tour.

What if I cannot travel because of COVID restrictions?

These are uncertain times which is why to reserve your post, we ask for a 30% deposit. This deposit is refundable if the trip is cancelled because we do not reach the minimum number of guests. This deposit is not refundable but will be used as a credit for the same trip in the future if we need to cancel.

If a trip cannot go ahead after the 30% payment has been made, we will move it to a later date and all balances will be carried forward.

What travel insurance should I get?

Our trips do not include travel insurance coverage unless it is specified, such as helicopter evacuation insurance in the case of the Kilimanjaro trek. We recommend you get the most comprehensive travel and medical insurance that would cover you in the event of trip cancellation or in case you need to be evacuated.

You may check with an aggregator such as Travel Insurance Master to compare quotes and coverages and on this article we discuss various travel insurance companies and provide recommendations.

What happens if I get sick?

The prospect of getting sick while alone in a foreign country is daunting, this is why we require all our guests have comprehensive travel and medical insurance that includes international evacuation. If you are not familiar with medical evacuation insurance, you can learn more in this article.

We will request that you provide details of your medical and evacuation insurance before the trip so we can ensure you receive the required medical attention in case of an emergency.

Do I need any vaccines to join your trips?

We do not request any other vaccinations than COVID. However, you should make an appointment with your doctor to confirm any travel inoculations and other medications that you may need to take before and during the trip, including those to prevent malaria or yellow fever in the case of our trips to East Africa.

You may also check the CDC website for more details.

The important details

What is included in your trips?

Most of our trips are at least full board, and all activities mentioned and ground transportation are almost always included in the price. We make all the inclusions clear and transparently advertised on each tour page so there are no surprises.

In some cases, optional activities are listed and may be bookable before the trip, like with the hot air balloon safari in Tanzania, in other cases the optional activities are to be booked directly by you with the provider, as is the case if you wanted to visit a museum in Costa Brava in your free evenings.

In cases where some meals are not included, this is to provide guests with the flexibility of customizing their trip, exploring the destination on their own or choosing to have a light dinner after a lazy and filling lunch.

None of our trips include airfare and this is because our guests come from all over the world.

What kind of photography will I be getting?

Some of our trips are accompanied by a professional photographer who will take images of the guests and share them with you after the trip. These images will be provided to you 3-4 weeks after the trip and will include a mixture of individual and group shots that are for you to take home, keep or share.

Money matters

What is your cancellation policy?

You can see the terms and conditions of each trip on our T&C page here. Most of our trips require a 30% deposit to book your spot and the final balance is only paid closer to the date, 90 to 120 days before the trip starts

The initial deposit is refundable if the trip is cancelled because it does not reach the minimum number of guests.

If the trip cannot go ahead because of changes in border controls, the trip dates will be moved and we would carry forward any balances paid to a later date.

Can I pay the trip cost in instalments?

Yes. After the 30% deposit has been paid, you can choose to pay any amounts until the due date for the balance payment. You can do that easily on our portal. Pay as little or as much as you like as often as you like.

Can I pay by credit card?

All our trips can be paid by credit card for an extra fee. You can also pay by wire transfer to avoid the fee.

Helping you beyond the trip

Will you send packing list before each trip?

Once your trip is confirmed, we will send you a detailed packing list with suggestions on what we recommend you take on each trip. You can also see all the trip resources with useful travel tips.

Do I need a visa to join the trips? And if so, do you provide visa support?

Visa and passport requirement are your responsibility but we can provide support where possible and facilitate visa requirements by making a recommendation on how best to obtain the necessary travel documents.

Additionally, in cases where a visa is required for all travelers and where permits need to be obtained locally, we will provide the necessary support via our locals partners. This may carry an extra fee.

I want to extend my trip, can you help me?

Usually, our local partners at each destination are able to help with any extensions, pre-trip excursions, hotel bookings or even flight reservations, especially in the most remote and unusual destinations. Please inquire with us.