A new website aims to make women feel safer when traveling alone, or in a country they're unfamiliar with.
Women are more likely than men to travel alone, but that can come with risks. The website Greether aims to empower more women to go solo and do it safely.
There's nothing quite as exciting as visiting a new city or country.
"I've been traveling alone for almost 20 years now," said Jen Emery, who got bitten by the travel bug early.
But traveling alone as a woman does come with risks, which Emery is well aware of.
"At nighttime, you get a little nervous if you want to go out, or if you're at a museum too long, and night starts to fall, like getting back to your hotel room, or maybe even streets that you don't know that maybe you shouldn't go down, versus others," said Emery. "Those are things that even on my 50th country, still go through my head as I go somewhere new."
It's those feelings that prompted Vanessa Karel, an avid traveler herself, to create the website Greether.
"I just was tired of people telling me 'Don't go to Egypt because as a woman you shouldn't go alone. Don't go to Guatemala because it's unsafe,'" said Karel.
Greether matches female travelers with female tour guides.
"And we do this by vetting everybody, including you as a traveler," said Karel.
Jen Emery hired a tour guide through Greether for trips to Chile and Amsterdam.
Users can hire their greeter for an entire day or for just a few hours. That female local guide will not only show the traveler what her city has to offer, she will share safety tips, from which streets and neighborhoods can be dangerous to how to use public transportation safely.
They are currently in 90 countries and 550 cities.
"We're seeing a lot of bookings in Mexico and Morocco, Istanbul, which are destinations that are spiking a little bit more safety concerns for travelers," said Karel.
"The first thing I'm telling my guests, Don't feel like I'm a guide or I'm a tour guide. I want you to see me as a sister," said Fatima Zahra, a Greether tour guide in Morocco.
"Just the fact that I'm being a woman, it means a lot," said Zahra. "Like women meet women, it brings the good energy and it's always about safety and it's about trust."
What you'll pay depends on the city you're visiting. Two and half hours with a Greether in San Francisco will cost you around $75, whereas the same amount of time in Mexico will cost you $55.
While Greether is geared toward solo travelers, it can accommodate groups of up to six women.
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