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About Us

Sights and Soul Travels is a boutique tour operator specializing in luxury tours and vacations for women, with destinations in Europe, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The small group tours incorporate historical and cultural exploration, outdoor activities, fine dining, wine tastings, spas and luxury hotels, and cultural activities. The company is based in Germantown, Maryland, in the greater Washington, DC area. Sights and Soul Travels was founded in 2004, and currently has 6 full time employees who cooperate with several off-site partners and Tour Directors.

The story of Sights and Soul Travels

It’s been amazing! We have no other words to describe the past fourteen years. Even before the idea of a women-only tour company became a reality, we have been dreaming, planning and traveling to countries around the world, gathering ideas and information, making contacts and mental checklists. In 2004, we managed to turn our passion into reality and Sights and Soul Travels, Tours and Vacations for Women was born. 

We started out with great hopes, very little money and no clients, but with lots of determination and a strong belief that there are women out there who will appreciate this approach to travel. The first year was challenging. Many people were puzzled by the idea of women-only travel. We did a lot of explaining. 

Meanwhile, we were slowly laying out the groundwork for what was to become the most trusted women-only tour operator. Soon, the demand exceeded the spaces we had on our tours and we had to resist the temptation to add more tours, so that we could maintain the “friends traveling together” quality. But with time, we gathered a dedicated team of devoted travel professionals focused on building bridges between cultures and introducing more women to the wonders of world travel, and we could increase our offer. It’s this dream team, who puts together our tours and sets the stage for our tour directors, is what allows us to provide awesome experiences to more and more women. And yes, we are both very proud and very thankful… Today, Sights and Soul Travels runs over 50 tours a year, we have welcomed more than 4,000 guests, many of them several times and we made just as many friends. Our scale might have changed, but our original intention holds true: to share with other women the incredible experience of discovering the world, and to do so with heart and dedication, providing unique journeys and authentic experiences to each and every woman who trusts us with her dream.

All our tours are defined by high style and in-depth cultural exploration, and each is tailor-made to highlight the most captivating aspects of its destination, but also meticulously paced, so that we can savor every intriguing stop on our itinerary. Add in our inspiring guides, awesome tour directors, like-minded fellow travelers, truly fine dining, beautiful hotels and access to extraordinary places and special experiences, and you'll get a luxury, yet mind-expanding adventure like no other.

High quality experiences tend to attract high quality people. As we meet so many amazing women, we are grateful for and cherish each friendship and each connection we make. We are honored that you trust us with your vacation time and we love getting to know each woman who travels with us. We are thankful to those who share Sights and Soul with others, as we wouldn't be where we are today without your continued support. If you're only starting to get familiar with us, please know that we look forward to hearing from you. We answer each email within a day and answer each phone call in person. We love chatting about travel and helping you with turning your travel plans into reality.

What Others Are Saying about Us

YOLANTA BARNES, Executive Director 

Yolanta is the force behind Sights and Soul Travels. With traveling and passion for people having always been essential in her life, designing travel experiences for women is her dream job. As the Executive Director of Sights and Soul Travels, her responsibilities include destination research, tour development and itinerary implementation, marketing and customer relations. Yolanta’s background in the arts is ever present in her choices of destinations, authenticity, and informed attention to all details. The tours which she designs are infused with spirit for life and zest for exploration, and her focus is on experiences particularly appealing to women. As an experienced world traveler, she understands the needs of women-on-the-road and is committed to making the tours enjoyable, comfortable and fun. When not planning new adventures, Yolanta enjoys being home, gardening and re-reading the classics. She can also mix a mean martini.

Latest journey: Bali
Favorite destination: South Africa
Bucket list trips: South Korea, Mongolia
What travel means to me: In 2004, Sights and Soul Travels, a tour company geared solely for women travel, was founded and soon it took over my life and became my great passion. With the tremendous help of our office staff of Tour Managers and Tour Coordinators and our star quality Tour Directors, I create dream journeys for women. What could be better than the ability to make someone's dream come true? Because Sights and Soul Travels has become a part of my identity, I don't see travel in terms of personal journeys any more, but rather as a calling that allows me to make travel possible for other women. And I love every single day doing this. Because women travel differently then men do, designing tours for women is very different from scheduling typical tours. We like to get to the bottom of issues, take our time to discover and appreciate cultural differences and get to know the people, not only see the sights. We also like to relax and be pampered. So at Sights and Soul Travels, we combine cultural and historical explorations with activities which make travel a true vacation: spa visits, wine tours, walks along beaches and hikes in the mountains, leisurely dinners with good conversations, musical performances, cooking classes, and of course laughter, new friends and lifetime memories.