As hotels become more and more stingy forcing guests to use communal soap and providing half-cleaned dingy rooms to weary travelers – many folks are saying “no thanks” and choosing to stay at an Airbnb instead.
But as the number of solo female travelers continues to rise, many women fear for their safety staying at an Airbnb and are looking for an alternative.
To help cater to this group of women, a new vacation rental platform called “Go Lightly” was recently released, marketed to women only.
The goal of this new platform is to convince women they can travel often and safely by booking with them, but there is a catch.
Their Business Model
This vacation rental platform is seeking to appeal to a certain kind of woman.
Go Lightly describes themselves as an “invite only club” for “professional women.”
All the vacation homes available to rent are owned by women, and in order for a woman to be able to book a home, she has to be invited by someone who is already a member of Go Lightly.
But each member only gets 5 invites, so she needs to choose carefully which women she’ll invite.
If a woman really wants to join but hasn’t received an invite, she can apply through the website and go through a screening process.
When applying, each woman has to include things like her LinkedIn profile or other professional websites, and link her social media accounts.
Oh, and they’re requiring women to fork over $100 for a lifetime membership (currently waived until the end of February 2020) and additional transaction fees (10 percent for guests and 5 percent for hosts).
Will It Work?
This new platform assumes renting out a home to a woman is safer…
… but this isn’t necessarily the case.
Females can still have parties and trash places.
Even “vetted” females who know someone who is a member aren’t a sure bet.
Most ladies have that one crazy friend. Or sister. Or aunt. You get the idea.
Not to mention this platform still allows women to travel with men…
…which kind of defeats the whole “women only” mantra if you ask me.
As long as the female books it, she can travel with whoever she wants – including children and men.
So a woman who is renting her property and concerned about men making a mess might have a female book the place, and travel with other men.
How does this eliminate the problem?
And since the platform is invite only, getting people to get on board could be a challenge, although the site does have a vetting process for those who weren’t invited by someone personally.
Not to mention the wording of the site calling all “professional women.”
What about the stay at home mom who might not have a LinkedIn account or other “professional website”?
Should she be excluded from this new “women only” site?
Or how about the elderly woman who wants to travel who is retired – is she excluded too?
Of course pro-woman advocates would likely say no, but it’s something to think about.
Female Travelers Are On The Rise
Thanks to the popularity of Google maps and Instagram, many women are becoming inspired to travel the world.
The “wanderlust” mentality is extremely popular now, and it’s becoming a bit of a status symbol to travel to remote places off the grid – or discover hidden gems.
But once the membership fee hits it will be interesting to see how many women choose Go Lightly.
The marketing of this site appeals to a woman’s desire to feel safe while traveling and it could actually work.
But personally, as a female traveler who has traveled solo many times – safety is an illusion.
Yes, females can and should take precautions while traveling, like not walking around outside in the dark alone and being observant of their surroundings.
Smart behaviors like these lesson the chance of danger, but they don’t eliminate it.
Traveling is a risk in itself.
And just because something is marketed as “female only” (when it actually even isn’t because men can still travel with women) doesn’t make it safe.
It will be interesting to see how this new site does in the days to come.
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