The travel world has a lot to offer. It is the world’s largest market. It is growing faster than many other industries. And yet it consistently falls short on its largest demographic: women.
Women make 80% of travel decisions. 2 out of every 3 travelers are female. 11% of the entire travel market is occupied by the solo female traveler. And yet, women’s travel is consistently considered a niche in the travel industry, which fails to consider real concerns women face when traveling, especially alone: cultural nuances and gender norms, safety, the female body.
But what if women could guide each other, in real time, wherever they are around the world? That’s the premise of Wanderful, an international sisterhood of women who meet online and in person to help one another travel the world.
Beth isn’t just making travel easier for women. She’s changing the way the entire travel industry operates.
With a background in international development, thoughtful community building and social enterprise, Beth Santos is out to change the landscape of travel for women worldwide.
In 2009, while cruising her blue motorcycle through the streets of São Tomé and Príncipe, Beth created the first iteration of Wanderful as a travel blog aimed to explore the diverse and shared experiences of women traveling the world. Today, Wanderful has exploded to an international community and social network with the active participation of over 40,000 women and nonbinary people of all ages and backgrounds. This is manifested through an active online platform, chapter events in over 30 global cities worldwide, annual community trips, and the first-ever identity-verified women’s homesharing network.
The group’s success has attracted partnerships with well-known travel and lifestyle brands such as TripAdvisor, Schwinn, Kiva, Wordpress, Samsonite, Rail Europe, Turkish Airlines, and numerous tourism boards.
In 2014, Beth created the Women in Travel Summit (WITS), the leading event for female travel influencers, creative entrepreneurs, and industry to use their voices to champion change in the travel industry. This event has earned international acclaim and attracted top talent in the travel industry and beyond, and led to the recently launched Wanderful Creator Collective to support and empower travel influencers to create and nurture their authentic voices and build engaged, thoughtful communities.
Wanderfest, WITS’ sister venture, is an annual retreat for 100 inspired travel lovers build soul sisterhood through travel workshops, excursions, yoga and dance classes, story slams, and more. The next Wanderfest is taking place in Austin, Texas from February 1-4, 2019.
Wanderful’s newest venture is the creation of an identity-verified homesharing network that helps women travelers to meet, connect, and stay with other women — wherever they are in the world.
Wanderful has been recognized in top publications such as Skift, Lonely Planet, the Boston Globe, the South China Morning Post, and the Chicago Tribune.
Beth has been recognized as a Chicago Scholars 35 Under 35 Young Leader Making an Impact, a Zell Fellow (a prestigious fellowship for entrepreneurs pursuing their MBA), and an alumna of the Babson WIN Lab. She was recognized by the Obama Administration as one of the top 100 travel bloggers in the US.
Beth is the co-founder of #AtTheTable, an initiative focused on bringing together female founders from different industries to build community, strength and resources. She is a keynote speaker and an entrepreneurship and marketing consultant who thrives on building lasting, impactful communities.
She has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA from Wellesley College. When she’s not traveling the world, she’s refinishing furniture in her home in Boston.