• Keeping Friends

Girlfriend Getaways: Time to reconnect and recharge

Published: April 12, 2009 | Last Updated: June 4, 2023 By | Reply Continue Reading

Marybeth Bond has written 11 women’s travel books, including 50 Best Girlfriend Getaways (National Geographic). I thought she would be the perfect person to answer my questions (and hopefully yours) about how these excursions can recharge both our friendships and our lives.

Marybeth, why are girlfriend getaways so popular? Why are they important for women?

We are better educated and better paid; we like adventure and new experiences; and we enjoy the company of our girlfriends. Women today understand the supportive and healing power of spending time with girlfriends.

Through my travels, I’ve learned that girlfriends are ready to laugh and cry with me, about the good and the bad stuff in my life.  When we travel together, we laugh ‘til our sides ache, sometimes we cry together, and we return home rejuvenated, recharged and stronger.

Why do we get so much out of our gal pal time? Quite simply, our time together is nurturing. We relax in the accepting company of our gal pals.  Going away from our partners is also good for those relationships. We appreciate our significant other more when we have some breathing space.

We come back recharged, rejuvenated and recommitted to our careers, our lives, our mates, and our marriages. Often we need to get away to appreciate all that we have.

What kinds of destinations work best for such getaways?

Nowadays there’s a girlfriends’ getaway for virtually every interest – from spa, theatre, and farmers’ markets to vintage shopping, river rafting, and winery tours. Fortunately, there’s a range of price points too. When you’re organizing a getaway, start by assessing the budgets of everyone in the group and the amount of time you have.

Deciding these factors will, of course, tell you whether you’re in “save” or “splurge” mode. If you’re on budget, travel on weekdays (Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday are usually the cheapest days for flying, she says); during the off-season; and either visit less touristy destinations or stay outside the city. Another option: renting. You can rent an apartment, even for four days, and it’s cheaper than staying in a hotel. You’ll save money by eating some meals in and there’s a natural place for the group to gather and hang out, which can be hard to find in a hotel.

What are some of the basics before and after?

Before the trip, set some ground rules. You need to communicate about how much you’re going to spend, whether you snore, whether you prefer to have your own room.

During the trip, make sure you incorporate some “alone” time into every day so that each person has a chance to fully pursue her own interests and everyone gets a break from the group. Also consider putting money in a kitty for expenses so you aren’t nickel and diming each other.

Given all your experience, what makes the perfect girlfriend getaway?

Any place where there is time to talk; a beautiful, remote location that is a reasonable drive from the city, lovely accommodations, perhaps a Spa, great food, wine, a pool, hiking, mountain biking, and of course a peaceful environment that invites relaxation and deep conversation.

I described some of my very favorite getaways in my books, including Paris, San Francisco, New York, Bali, heli-hiking in the Canadian Rockies, hiking at Whistler, and a cultural escape to Quebec.

The perfect getaway offers friends time together without responsibilities.

If you’ve been on a girlfriends’ getaway, feel free to post your comments/experiences.

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