Cheryl Swaby is the founder of the Buddies4travel site which matches solo women travellers who would prefer to travel in the company of a female buddy with similar interests, destination preferences and budget.
1 What is the aim of your business?
The aim of Buddies4travel.co.uk is to promote safer travel 4 women by providng a like minded Buddy to travel with.
2 What prompted you to set up your own business?
During my travels to Lake Garda, Italy, I met several lone women who said they would travel more often if they had someone to go with. Often friends or relatives cannot make the dates, don’t like the chosen travel destination, unable to afford or are unsuitable buddies as they may prefer to stay all day on the beach when in fact an exciting adventure was required of the holiday. During my Lake Garda holiday I organised the ladies to meet up for sightseeing tours and evening meals . We even saved money sharing taxis together. That’s when the idea for Buddies4travel came up.
3 What’s been the hardest aspect of running your own business?
Juggling loads of things at once can be the hardest .
4 What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you running your business?
After a full spread feature of a national Sunday supplement, I received and email from a man who wanted to be my Buddy.The email message was nice until i read his surname..”Sutcliffe” isn’t that the name of that Jack the Ripper who is now behind bars? I think somebody was having a laugh that day.
5 What would you have done differently with hindsight?
I would have changed my first “webdesigner” a lot sooner instead of waiting weeks and weeks and no work being done on my website.
My comments – I think that there is demand for a service like this. Some women are quite happy to travel solo, whereas others would prefer female companionship. I travel quite bit on my own and it’s the evenings that can be lonely sometimes. I don’t like eating out on my own in the evening. I know that travelling solo can be more expensive especially with whopping single room supplements.