Leading Ladies: 10 Women in Travel to Watch

Photo: Courtesy of Naya Traveler

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re showcasing 10 women who are changing the landscape of travel with forward thinking, unique offerings and more.

Photo: Courtesy of Ananda in the Himalayas

Neelam Khanna – Co-Founder, Ananda in the Himalayas

With experience in art, design and wellness, Neelam co-founded India’s pioneer destination spa and world-class wellness retreat Ananda in the Himalayas with her husband two decades ago. The multi-award-winning retreat is located in the Himalayan foothills, the birthplace of yoga, meditation and Ayurveda. In 2008, she launched the Ananda Spa Institute which trains students from India and several international countries as certified therapists in Ayurveda and other traditional wellness therapies. anandaspa.com

To honor women worldwide, Ananda in the Himalayas is offering women a free consultation with Dr. Vidhi, Ananda’s wellness consultant and Ayurvedic physician. The complimentary consultation is available throughout the month of March via Skype or phone.

Sarah Casewit, Marta Tucci and Sofia Mascotena (left to right) Photo: Courtesy of Naya Traveler

Sarah Casewit, Sofia Mascotena, Marta Tucci – Co-Founders, Naya Traveler

Launched in 2016, Naya Traveler offers highly personalized journeys rooted in authenticity and the founders’ personal experiences. The program was founded by Morocco native Sarah Casewit who developed a love for the transformative power of travel by studying religion and traveling throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East; Argentina native Sofia Mascotena, who has a background in humanitarian and cultural studies and tourism; and Marta Tucci, a documentary photographer who enjoys exploring a place’s cultural landscape and engaging with locals. nayatraveler.com

Photo: Courtesy of Traveling Spoon

Aashi Vel and Steph Lawrence – Co-Founders, Traveling Spoon

Award-winning food blogger and photographer with a background in marketing and business strategy Steph Lawrence met food and travel enthusiast Aashi Vel who boasts 11 years as an industrial design professional during their time at Haas School of Business. After realizing their similar passions for food and travel, the duo founded award-winning company Traveling Spoon in 2013. Now operating in 65 countries, the solely female-owned company connects travelers with authentic food experiences like market tours and home-cooked meals through locally hosted private experiences. In fact, more than 80-percent of their hosts are women who are all 100-percent vetted. travelingspoon.com

Traveling Spoon is offering a 5-percent discount for all experiences booked from March 1- 8 using promo code WOMENSDAY2020 with 2-percent of sales being donated to La Cocina.

Photo: Courtesy of Pilota

Saniya Shah – CEO and Co-Founder, Pilota

Combining her background in engineering (she even boasts an MBA from Cornell Tech) and her love for travel (she’s visited 50+ countries), Saniya co-founded the travel tech startup Pilota, created as a solution to help travelers avoid flight delays and cancellations. Pilota uses state-of-the-art machine-learning algorithms to predict impending flight delays and cancellations and gets travelers a free new flight to their destination during expected disruptions so they can spend less time at the airport and more time at their destination. flypilota.com

Photo: Courtesy of Casa Delphine

Amanda Keidan – Owner, Casa Delphine

Los Angeles designer and founder of Keidan Jewelry, Amanda Keidan designed and opened boutique hotel Casa Delphine in April 2019. Located in San Miguel de Allende, the hotel reflects her passion for design through its intimate and elegant spaces. In 2020, Casa Delphine will host retreats catering to women, including design and architecture tours, wellness cooking courses, meditation retreats and more. casadelphine.com

For all women travelers, enjoy 15-percent off stays at Casa Delphine for the entire month of March 2020. Use booking code WOMEN20 at checkout.

Photo: Courtesy of Eat Like a Local Mexico City

Rocio Vazquez Landeta – Founder and Owner, Eat Like a Local Mexico City

Born and raised in Mexico City, Rocio has always been a world traveler, having visited more than 23 countries. After fleeing a life-threatening domestic violence situation, Rocio transformed her company into an all-women team offering top wages, health insurance benefits, fitness club memberships and rewards. Eat Like a Local Mexico City has received certification from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and is the only Mexican-founded food tour agency that promotes economic growth and creates opportunities for families within the traditional markets. Rocio provides English lessons for children, free tours for Mexican senior citizens, English lessons for stall owners in the markets, donations to improve the markets, a zero-hunger program and more. eatlikealocal.com.mx

Photo: Courtesy of Navy Beach Hospitality

Leyla Marchetto – Partner, Navy Beach Hospitality

With a degree in Psychology and French from Georgetown, Leyla Marchetto has been in and out of the hospitality and design industry throughout her career. After growing up in New York City, she lived shortly in Los Angeles where she worked with celebrities and at Jeffrey Best Events at the Cannes Film Festival and Sundance. After meeting her now-husband and business partners, she returned to New York and opened Navy Beach Montauk in 2010. Since then she’s played a critical role in the brand’s expansion to the Caribbean with Navy Beach St. Thomas opening in December and Navy Beach St. Maarten opening this month. navybeachhospitality.com

Navy Beach St. Thomas will add $1 to each dining check for the entire month of March in support of the Family Resource Center in St. Thomas (formerly the Women’s Resource Center).

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