Coming to you from the women’s lounge of the Love Boat.
We absolutely loved this interview by the way. Make sure to tune in.
In this episode, we talk to Holli Rovenger about travel trips for Baby Boomer women. Holli puts together trips of a lifetime that you simply have to check out.
She says, “Just because something is listed as the finest resort, doesn’t mean it’s going to feel homey or first class to you.” Sometimes it’s can end up feeling cold and austere like a hotel that was recommended to her in Lake Como, Italy.
Small and quaint hotels are usually much nicer. She realized that you have to investigate places. The same goes for restaurants. It’s a good idea to speak to the locals to find out what they recommend rather than depend on reviews.
Holli brings together groups of women over 50 for an experiential travel experience. Her trips immerse them in the culture of the area they are visiting. They learn about the people, their food, and have experiences that they would normally not have on their own.
She also found that hiring private guides enhances a trip. The right guide can take you to the front of the line and into places many tourists are unable to see.
“They’re definitely not cookie cutter vacations.”
A dietician by trade, she never loved the clinical side. Her focus is on weight management and wellness. Methods include behavior modification and empowering her clients to take responsibility.
She’s been divorced for six years. Eight years ago she found out her ex had spent every penny they had. This led her to write a book about financial empowerment for women. Since then, she has became an “expert” empowering women. She took everything she learned and now combines it with travel.
Her business philosophy
Traveling with groups of women you see things differently than in a mixed group. Her initial plan was to only include single Boomer women but she found there were women whose husbands either could not or did not want to travel.
“When women are together, magic happens.”
It’s important to have women friends. As we all know, women outlast their spouses by 83% and need female friends for support. Some have no idea how to manage their finances or even write a check. Occasionally it’s the opposite. There are men who don’t know how to manage their money or write checks.
The perfect itinerary for an “Exclusive Luxury Experience”
Holli’s trips include cultural events and foodie experiences. She tries to book a cooking class for every trip. Her group takes time to talk to locals to see what their lives are like, the political climate, daily routine, etc.
Her upcoming Italy trip in May will include cooking classes, olive oil -cheese and wine tastings, hiking, and a spa day. The group will stay exclusively in Tuscany at a converted farm house. (upscale bed and breakfast) They will visit Florence, Siena, Cinque Terra, and other nearby towns. Each night they’ll have dinner and wine at the farm house because she says the owner cooks better than any restaurant in the area.
Holli also includes a strategic infusion of personal development on every trip, although it will be subtle.
In the fall, she will be leading a trip to Santa Fe where she will spend three hours teaching wellness techniques to her group. They will experience it as well by taking a dip in the hot springs.
Holli’s excursions never feel rushed like you are on a cruise ship expedition where you are just “seeing” things but not immersing yourself in the experience.
She will be publishing a travel journal soon called “The Ultimate Travel Journal.” It will be a planner and journal all in one and will include travel tips on how to get the most of any journey you take.
Traveling on the off season, to Italy for example, can be much nicer than during the busy summer. May or October are perfect for Italy, although Rebecca was there in Nov and December and it was quite comfortable. The Italians are much friendlier to tourists on the off season. Holli mentions that when you travel to Italy in January, the entire country goes on sale. It’s a great time to shop and stay in higher end hotels at a discounted rate.
Holli is also a speaker. She’s says if you give her a mic she may never give it back.
Holli took a survey to see where people wanted to go. As a result, she is considering an African Safari, the Carolinas, Paris, the French wine country, Australia-New Zealand and New York City. Her goal is to take groups on 2 trips per year. One would be in the U.S. and one abroad. Eventually she may add up to four trips per year. Much time and energy is taken to craft each trip to make them special.
She calls her trips “Women’s Inner Circle Experiences.”
Please visit Holli’s websites at: