Growing up as a child of two Army officers who moved cities often, Garima Pande loved exploring new places and understanding the people and their culture.

After working in the corporate world for nearly a decade, she decided to follow her passion for travel and quit her job in 2017.

Along with her cousin Akshat Sharma, she started Wandering Jane — a Bengaluru-based travel startup that aims to empower solo female travellers and promote women-owned enterprises.

“Whenever my cousin and I sat down, we would discuss how even today, many women are not allowed to travel freely. I was fortunate enough to have travelled so much, but I know many who don’t even get a chance to. I wanted to do something for them,” she says.

The company provides a comprehensive travel itinerary with access to ‘local experts’ who are certified and trained to make the travel experience for women safe and secure.

“There is a small training process that involves equipping the local experts with how to deal with guests, cater to their needs, and make them feel safe,” she explains.

Around 85 percent of the 500 local experts are women, informs Garima.

“Ninety percent of the businesses we support are women-owned — right from homestays and restaurants to activities such as yoga and boat rides. We prefer businesses owned by women in all cases,” she says.

The travel itineraries are available for places in India and abroad — like Vietnam, Maldives, Bhutan, Bali, and parts of Europe including Croatia, Spain, and Ireland.

The company promotes both solo and women group travellers. And so far, they have hosted over 250 solo women’s travels from across the country.