For many Saudi girls, the beginning of summer means the chance of spending a vacation abroad after convincing their parents to allow them to travel. Their favored destinations include France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Britain and Germany.
A report in Al-Riyadh newspaper says that Saudi women are more willing to travel than men.
However, one challenge facing many Saudi women is being granted their parents’ permission.
In order to convince their parents to grant them permission to travel abroad, many girls say that other girls’ parents have granted their daughters permission to travel.
In a recent opinion poll on young Saudi women and their favorite summer destinations, one woman who was polled, Maha Saad, said that she would like to visit Turkey, France or Britain this summer.
Another woman, Afaf, expressed her love for Spain where, after her first visit, she was impressed by the Islamic architecture in Andalusia. She said traveling had enriched her life and she learned much about the world’s different civilizations and their way of life.
Another woman who was polled, Siham Muhammad, underlined the need to plan the vacation, especially long vacations, and said that both her parents work for a certain institution which helps them afford holidays. She also said that she prefers traveling to France, Germany and Spain.
Amira Youssef managed to fulfill her dream of traveling after convincing her parents to visit her brother who is studying in Pennsylvania in the United States. Amira was impressed by the charm of American nature and lots of shopping options.
Yes for domestic tourism even at home
Al Riyadh Newspaper also reported on many Saudi girls who are interested in domestic tourism despite the seemingly limited destinations in the kingdom.
Abir Fahed said she spends the summer engaging in many activities like going to the beach with her parents once a week.
Like other young women, Jalila Abdul Wahab did not hide her frustration at the lack of facilities in the city which makes it hard for girls to spend long vacations in.
In order to make the time pass without tediousness, Jalila said that she often spends her free time reading. She sometimes helps cook, apart from watching movies and TV shows or surfing the internet.
Al-Anoud Abdul Rahman said that during her summer vacation she “sometimes goes to the sea because my father enjoys fishing.
Between Maghreb prayer and dinner, I play ball with my sisters and brothers. We can no longer swim as we used to in the past so we tend to spend our time on long walks and meeting other girls on the beach until my father and brothers arrive with their catch. I love traveling within, especially Abha. The kingdom’s coastlines must be preserved because they are perfect dinning places for holiday-makers.”
Souad Saleh said that some Saudi women spend their summer vacation surfing the internet and reading “because of a lack of activities suitable for girls.” She wonders “why can’t large schools be transformed into summer centers for girls where they can practice all types of activities?”
Ghada Khaled prefers to spend her time in her city without overly socializing with friends. She said that a summer vacation is a chance to break from the daily routine and she can spend the time reading novels and constructive books that she hasn’t had a chance to read during the academic year.
Maha Abdullah talked about her work experience last year where she was employed in a women’s store and how she learned much from mingling with senior staff members.