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Recent years have seen a remarkable change in adventure travel, which has gone from a pursuit for adrenaline junkies to one enjoyed by a wide variety of travellers, including women, of all ages. And now, a recent Icelandair study has revealed women in the UK are increasingly embracing adventure travel.

The appetite for adventure and outdoor activities in 2024 is growing, with 56% of women in the UK seeking outdoor adventure activities this year, and 1 in 2 saying such holidays boost their confidence and give them a sense of fulfilment.

According to the Icelandair research, 56% of women express a strong desire to participate in outdoor adventurous activities, while 55% expressed an interest in trying more adventurous outdoor activities while maintaining a conscious focus on safety.

According to the study, 43% of women prefer holidays that combine moderate/extreme activities with relaxation, rather than simply relaxing by the pool or beach. In a surprising turn of events, 48% of female respondents said they felt more adventurous on vacation, challenging the notion that holidays are just for relaxing.

Safety emerged as a paramount consideration, with 55% of women expressing a desire to try more adventurous outdoor activities but with a conscientious approach to safety. A further 36% agreed with this sentiment, highlighting the critical role of safety in shaping women’s travel choices.

According to the study, 49% of women claim that participating in adventurous activities boosts their confidence, while 48% report feeling a profound sense of accomplishment and fulfilment as a result. A study revealed that women between the ages of 25 and 34 feel the most adventurous, with 39% saying they do.

In addition to highlighting the growing interest of women in adventure travel, the survey also underscores the importance of safety during these adventures. Exploring new places, trying new experiences, and engaging in physical adventures are among the most popular hobbies among women.

There is a clear need to create more women-centric adventure travel experiences that prioritise safety while still delivering thrills as the travel industry continues to evolve. Travel providers and adventure planners can use this guide to better understand and cater to the preferences of ever-growing segments of adventure-seeking women.

Woman Exploring Ice Cave In Iceland - Adventure Travel For Women

Speaking exclusively to The Women’s Journal about the research, Global Brand Manager for Icelandair, Lára Möller said: “A significant aspect of travel is self-discovery, empowerment, pushing boundaries, and embracing the unexpected, especially in adventure travel – so it’s no surprise that many women are seeking adventure travel experiences this year and beyond.

“Iceland is an excellent destination for all travellers, including adventurous women and female solo travellers. Whether travelling alone or with company. With its diverse landscapes and thrilling activities, Iceland caters to adventurers of all levels and offers activities such as horse riding, kayaking, and mountain biking. Additionally, Iceland’s commitment to safety adds to its appeal as a top destination for women seeking adventure.”

Female Solo Traveller Walking Through Forest Alone - Adventure Travel For Women
Adventure Travel - Female Solo Traveller Trekking Up Mountain Alone

Evolution of Adventure Travel

The Traditional Perception

Women were traditionally relegated to more conventional forms of travel because adventure travel was associated with rugged exploration and risky endeavours, often perceived as exclusive to male adventurers and explorers.

Changing Dynamics

Recent years have seen a significant shift in perceptions of adventure travel. Social media and the increased visibility of female adventurers have challenged the notion that adventure is solely for men. Today, women are actively seeking out adventures, breaking down barriers, and reinventing what it means to explore the world by seeking out adventurous experiences.

Empowerment Through Exploration

Adventure travel is more than a thrill-seeking endeavour for many women; it’s a form of empowerment for many. When women step outside of their comfort zones and conquer challenges, they gain confidence, resilience, and a sense of independence that transcends their travels.

Benefits of Adventure Travel For Women

Adventure travel offers a myriad of benefits for women, including personal growth, cultural immersion, physical fitness, and unforgettable experiences. It fosters camaraderie among fellow female travellers and provides opportunities for self-discovery and reflection.

Challenges Faced by Women Seeking Adventure

Despite its many benefits, women encounter unique challenges when it comes to adventure travel. Safety concerns, societal expectations, and the lack of representation can deter women from pursuing their adventurous aspirations. However, with proper planning and preparation, these challenges can be overcome.

Safety Measures

Choosing Reputable Providers

When embarking on adventure travel, safety should always be a top priority. Women should research and select reputable tour operators and adventure providers with a proven track record of prioritising safety and adhering to best practices.

Equipping Yourself

To ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure travel experience, it is imperative to equip yourself with essential safety equipment, obtain relevant training, and be aware of local customs and regulations.

Group Adventure Travel Expeditions

For those who prefer group travel camaraderie, organised adventure expeditions catered specifically for women are gaining popularity. These trips offer the perfect balance of adventure, companionship, and expert guidance, allowing women to explore new horizons with like-minded individuals.


  • Jennifer Read-Dominguez

    Jennifer Read-Dominguez is founder of The Women's Journal and a digital editorial director with over ten years experience in the media and publishing industry. Jennifer has led the digital transformation strategies for many market-leading lifestyle magazines putting SEO and e-commerce at the forefront. She is also founder of Jeneration Public Relations - a UK digital-first public relations and communications consultancy that provides strategic coverage for clients.

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