Women-Only Vacation Rental Service Launches to Ensure Safety for Female Travelers
One new travel service hopes to remove worries from the equation for women with wanderlust.
Named Golightly, the Austin, Texas–based vacation rental platform launched on Wednesday, looking to offer female travelers peace of mind when booking a place to stay.
It’s a private, invite-only club that currently includes more than 350 properties around the world — each owned or managed by women and only available to female guests, although men can travel with the member.
“We want women to travel often, stay safely and go lightly,” reads the company’s official website.
Founder and CEO Victoria O’Connell created the company to cultivate a community of women eager for a sense of security while traveling.
The concept stemmed from a bad experience O’Connell herself had in 2017 when she rented out her London residence through the popular vacation rental platform Airbnb. The group of male guests burglarized and damaged the property, according to Golightly’s About page.
“I felt that I would never be comfortable renting out my home again, and I wanted to figure out a way to change that and feel safe again,” she said in a press release.
O’Connell added: “I travel frequently and also stay in vacation rentals often, so I had to find a way to get back to it.”
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Every host and guest using Golightly can see how they are connected to one another, since everything is invite-only. Members get five invites to send to other women, then prospective members, as well as listings, are vetted and verified.
Listings include domestic and international vacation hot spots, including Dubai, London and Italy, with prices for some private rooms as low as $80 in Miami and more than $1,000 per night in Ireland.
Aside from a $100 lifetime membership fee upon joining Golightly, there’s also a 10 percent transaction fee for guests and a 5 percent fee for hosts. To attract initial members, the company is waiving the membership fee charge through the end of February.
“Whether traveling for work or leisure, it should always be a pleasure,” reads the Golightly website. “We hope to take some of the stress out of booking and listing vacation rentals so you can leave life’s baggage behind and go lightly.”