Kelsie is a UGA student and entrepreneur who has traveled to 13 countries and 32 US States! She started Sisterhood of the Traveling 20s, a way for women to go on Girls Trips without all the hassle of planning or going by themselves.
We caught up with her to find out about how she got started and where Sisterhood of the Traveling 20s is headed.
A Little About Kelsie Pearson
I’ve learned there are new ways of doing life than what I’m used to and different definitions of happiness and success than my society advertises.
I come from a long line of travelers with my great-grandparents taking their whole family of 21 to six continents on the “Kennedy Family Trip Around the World” before the internet had become public domain and my parents who made it a priority to educate me on different cultures and encourage me to be “the most interesting person in a room”.
My dream career is to become a travel advisor and continue making travel accessible on a larger scale, following in my family’s footsteps to instill a love of travel in others.
How did the idea for Sisterhood of the Traveling 20s come to be?
I became so frustrated that young women were missing out on seeing the beauty I’ve known in the world just because they didn’t have anyone to go with or didn’t know how to plan it themselves. I created a service where girls are able to sign up and solo travel without actually having to travel solo.
I wanted to make travel more accessible for women in their 20s in a world that is becoming increasingly more dangerous for solo female travelers and in a technological age that makes forming new female friendships so difficult. I have personally felt the frustrations of both of these and decided to do something about it.
What Made You Want to Turn This Into a Business?
I discovered a gap in the group travel market: there are really only large corporations taking a mixed gender group of 20 individuals on trips where only certain activities are booked leaving travelers to worry about booking their own excursions and spending more money than advertised & luxury travel services that college students simply can’t afford.
I saw that the market was successful and wanted to put my own spin on things to create a service tailored to young women. Being in their same age group and personally handling all client relations, I offer girls the unique experience of being able to openly communicate with their Sister Ambassador (what I call our guides) to create a comfortable exchange for each traveler.
What's Your Goal Long-term/Short-term with Sisterhood of the Traveling 20s?
My current short-term goal is to facilitate travel for a girl who has never been out of the States before. The look on her face as she experiences the world will make everything worth it!
Long-term I would like to scale to bring on more Sister Ambassadors to lead trips of their own. This will help me reach the later 20s audience who aren’t confined to college breaks and also allow multiple trips to go on at a time when I am leading another. They won’t be hired on as traditional employees, but instead paid a percentage of the trip they come on to lead. Once I receive it, I’d like to use my travel advisor certification to make these trips more profitable, and also further market my personal trip planning services for Greek events, Bachelorette Parties, and other girls’ trips.
Where is Sisterhood of the Traveling 20s Now and Where is it Going?
Sisterhood of the Traveling 20s actually just recently launched two months ago so we haven’t taken our first adventure yet. But! We have already filled the spots for our first trip.
These girls will be experiencing a European Christmas in Belgium & Paris this December! We have also just completed voting for our Spring Break Trip the first week of March; our followers have chosen Rome & Florence, Italy.
I have some special trips in the works for Summer including international destinations like Island hopping in Greece and Lake Como & Maggiore, Italy along with domestic sites such as Bar Harbor Maine & a Northwest road trip along the coasts of Oregon and Washington.
What's the Process to go on a Girls Trip Like and Can Anyone Go?
Girls sign up for trips by filling out an Interest Form in our Instagram Bio. This Google form will collect info such as email and age then allow me to connect with participants on deposits and scheduling. I plan and book everything for these girls so all they have to do is book their own flight and send me a confirmation by the due date.
These trips are ALL first come first serve. The only criteria is to be a woman in her 20s by the date of the trip; I do not hand select participants. All are welcome :)
If You Could Tell Someone Hoping to Go on a Girls Trip One Thing, What Would it Be?
For the young woman feeling discouraged because she knows there has to be more out there in the world: there is, and now you have a whole community of girls who feel the same way waiting to meet you and explore the world with you.
What's Your Fave Place to Visit and Why?
My favorite place to visit is a tie between Austria & Italy.
Austria envelopes you in beauty and culture like you’ve never experienced. The locals are so incredibly friendly and there’s no shortage of pride for their heritage.
Italy leaves you awestruck by its art and food scene. I could personally spend hours in their museums soaking in every ounce of art and history. And if you ever go to Florence, you must try Boar’s meat ragu.. to die for!
To find out more info about Sisterhood of the Traveling 20s and upcoming girls trips, check them out on IG @sisterhoodofthetraveling20s!