Women’s Travel Fest: San Francisco 2015


womens travel festWomen are the biggest group of decision-makers in the United States travel industry, yet millions of women are intimidated to travel by themselves and choose simply to stay home. A ground-breaking event called the Women’s Travel Fest is here to help change that.

After the 2014 inaugural Women’s Travel Fest sold-out to over 350+ women in New York City, the event is moving to San Francisco Feb. 28-March 1, 2015 to inspire, empower and connect women through travel. The Women’s Travel Fest is a consumer event that helps women to explore the world and discover deeper meaning in their travels.

This year’s festival has been expanded to a two-day event, offering opportunities for smaller break-out sessions on more focused travel segments (LGBTQ travel, Family Travel, Travel Writing, etc ), in addition to a main day event that includes a marketplace and keynotes by some of the travel industry’s leading ladies. Schedule below.

This year’s keynote speakers include: Laura Ling, award-winning journalist who spent 140 days imprisoned in North Korea; Patricia Schultz, international best-selling author of 1,000 places To See Before You Die; and Felicity Aston, the first and only woman to cross-country ski Antarctica solo.

The Women’s Travel Fest (sponsored by Expedia) will go beyond the boundaries of your average travel event, giving women newfound travel connections and empowering them to take on the world. Topics of discussion include everything from travel logistics to women’s health and safety abroad.

The event also includes a travel marketplace with vendors & giveaways, lunch, a happy hour designed for optimum networking, and a kick-off party on Friday, February 27th to help celebrate a weekend of women in travel. Get your ticket now at www.WomensTravelFest.com !


10:00 am – 10:15 am




Intro & Welcome

We’re so glad you’re here! Now, let’s get this party started right!

10:15 am – 11:45 am




Go Further For Less: Budget Travel Tips

What are the tricks pros use to score cheap flights? How can you have an amazing adventure on a limited budget? What’s an easy way to score miles and rack up points without going into debt? In this awesome panel you’ll find out all this and more from travel pros  Deidre Mathis, author & traveler who spent 12 months traveling on 10k, Courtney Scott, senior editor for Travelocity, and Kaeli Conforti, digital editor at Budget Travel magazine. They’ll share all, so you get on the road faster!

5665 Courtney Scott Travel Host Kaeli_CrazyHorse

11:15 am – 12:00 pm




Staying Safe Abroad

Safety is one of the biggest concerns women have when traveling the world, and in this panel, we’ll talk openly and honestly about staying safe abroad. What tools can you use to keep safe? What issues do you need to think about when it comes to your health? Get first-hand tips from Natasha Bhuyan, M.D., who will talk about women’s health issue & address the Ebola scare with hard facts.

WNT set

12:15 pm – 1:00 pm




Kicking Ass in Antarctica with Felicity Aston

British explorer Felicity Aston is the first and only woman in the world to ski across Antarctica alone. The 1084-mile, 59-day journey completed in January 2012 also made her the first person in the world to do so purely by muscle power without the aid of kites or machines. ‘Outside Magazine’ – the most popular adventure sport magazine in the US – named her a 2012 Adventurer of the Year and in 2014 she was presented with the Women of Discovery Courage Award.

How cool is that?!

The Commonwealth Woman's Antarctic Expedition (CWAE) selection and training camp in Norway, March '09.

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm





Enjoy a tasty lunch and take this time to get to know the awesome women around you.  Visit our global marketplace, where vendors are offering more information on travel-related products and services and hosting lots of fun giveaways!

2:00 pm – 2:45 pm




Travel the World with Patricia Schultz

Patricia Schultz is the author of the international bestsellers 1,000 Places to See Before You Die (now with over 3 million copies in print and translated into 25 languages) and 1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die. A veteran travel journalist with over 25 years of experience, she has written for The Wall Street Journal, Everyday with Rachel Ray, and Travel Weekly. She also executive-produced a Travel Channel television show based on her book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Her home base is New York City.


3:00 pm – 3:45 pm




Dangerous Territory with Laura Ling, Paula Froelich & Julia Cosgrove

In this important and relevant discussion, we will discuss traveling to remote areas, and the challenges and triumphs that come with it. This roundtable discussion will include journalist Laura Ling, Paula Froelich, editor-in-chief of Yahoo! Travel and creator of the A Broad Abroad series, and Julia Cosgrove, EIC of AFAR magazine, and will talk about some destinations that are considered “dangerous” or taboo- and debunk those myths. Skiing in Afghanistan? Trekking in Nepal? It’s a big, beautiful world. We’ll get you thinking about out-of-the-box destinations in a whole new light, and have you ready to plan a trip some place you’ve never thought of!

LING, LAURA - Hi Res headshot17782 Julia Cosgrove - AFAR - Photo

4:00pm – 4:45 pm




Breaking Free to Travel: Changing the Landscape

In this inspiring, empowering panel, we’ll talk with women who have overcome obstacles in order to travel the world. For some, that means making the bold choice to leave dead-end jobs or marriages. For others, it means breaking the stereotype of the stay-at-home mom and embracing life, and travel, with your kids. This important and powerful panel is great for reminding you that life is what you make it–and that the world is just waiting for you to explore it.

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm




It’s time to Paaaartay!

We’ve covered almost everything today, now it’s time to relax! Enjoy our open bar and network with other like-minded ladies as we host giveaways, celebrate strong women and plot our next adventures!

First Women’s Travel Fest: March 8, 2014 in NYC


The Women’s Travel Fest is a one-day event that aims to inspire & empower women to travel the world, and help them make newfound travel connections.

The idea was born in 2011 while founder Kelly Lewis was on a press trip in Thailand along with Jerri Stephenson of Do It While You’re Young. Both women’s travel writers, the two started wondering why a festival like this had never been done, but it wasn’t until 2013, after Kelly had completed a successful cross-country book tour, that the wheels began turning.

While on tour, Kelly connected with women of all ages (from 12-82!) who were in different phases of life but were equally as interested in finding out more about traveling safely. She heard the same thing over and over again, “I want to travel, but…” and as she worked her way across the country, the inspiration and energy that came from these discussions gave her goosebumps.


KellyKelly Lewis: Founder 

Originally from Hawaii, Kelly is the founder of Go! Girl Guides, which publishes the world’s first series of travel guidebooks made just for women. The company was created in early 2011 and is dedicated to helping women travel the world safely and affordably. Go! Girl Guides has published titles on Thailand, Mexico, Argentina and London, with titles on NYC and Costa Rica forth-coming.




Mickela Mallozzi Overlook headshot Mickela Mallozzi: Director

Originally the assistant to one of the world’s most famous metal rock bands (Slipknot), Mickela quit her job to start a journey around the world, taking her camera with her to follow dance in the lives of everyday people wherever she went. She is the host and producer of Bare Feet™ , a travel/dance web series where she ‘experiences the world, one dance at a time.’  She is a classically trained dancer as well as a trained musician and is very much inspired by folk dances from around the globe. Mickela and the Bare Feet™ web series have been featured in The New York TimesDance MagazineYahoo! TravelTravel + EscapeAmerican ExpressAFAR MediaMatador, Expedia, Travelocity and more!  She has performed on various television shows including Sesame Street, The Doctor Oz ShowTBS’s Movie and a Makeover, and she has performed in prestigious venues such as Central Park’s Summer Stage and the Kaufmann Concert Hall.


Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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