Girlfriend Getaways

Girlfriend getaways — where women travel with other women and leave the menfolk home — are booming!

You’re all grown up now, so it’s time to leave the slumber parties in the past and take a real vacation with your favorite ladies. And it’s not just about young girls on spring break or at bachelorette parties…women are taking advantage of a variety of destinations to reconnect with other women.

Not so many years ago, women didn’t vacation without their families — a woman who did travel without her husband was asked whether there was something wrong in the marriage. Meanwhile, men went on golfing, fishing and camping trips. Not so much anymore.

Most women who do take girlfriends’ getaways are married, just taking a well-deserved break from their husbands and kids. Many of them work these days and can afford travel. Going away with other women is an opportunity to reconnect and recharge. In many cases men encourage their significant others to travel with other women to enjoy activities they may not be interested in, such as cooking classes, shopping or trips to a museum. And they get rewarded with hours of “guilt free” time on the golf course.

One of the most popular groups of girls in Jackson who travel quite frequently is Trustmark’s “Prime of Life Group.” Led by the always effervescent and enthusiastic Mary Ann Elliott, this group is comprised of mostly senior women who find themselves at a time in their life where they have more free time, so they are opting to travel.

And travel they do! They have been to some fantastic destinations, including a luxuriousMediterranean cruise, a X-MAS trip to Paris & Provence, an Alaskan adventure, and several excursions on the QM2, to name a few. Next year they will be traveling on the brand new Celebrity Solstice Ship, which is so fancy, it even has an English Garden onboard.

They will venture on a Wine Cruise starting in Canada and visiting wineries in California and in August will attend the ever-popular Opera in Santa Fe. And this is just a sample of some of the trips they will be enjoying together.

Many of these women travel with their childhood best friend, or a mother will take her daughter or granddaughter on a trip for a special occasion, or just go solo and join in the wonderful camaraderie shared by these lovely ladies. Men are certainly invited and are welcome to share in the fun with these spectacular women.

Depending on your interest, time constraints and budget, a fabulous girl’s getaway can be arranged. Here are some examples of the types of trips that are available.

Adventure

From biking trips to great destinations such as Napa Valley and Maine or a surfing camp in Hawaii, the choices are limitless. Probably one of the more popular adventure girl’s getaways is a ski trip. Many ski resorts, such as Vail Resorts, has specific weeks designated that are tailored to women skiers of all levels. Just think of flying down the slopes and not being intimidated by a group of highly competitive men! And at the end of a vigorous day, enjoy a glass of wine by the fireplace with your best buddies.

Pampering

Spas certainly are the most ideal place to provide an amazing atmosphere that lends itself to girls being able to share stories, spend time together and get pampered along the way. Many spas offer a specific “Girls Getaway” package. For example, Lake Austin Spa Resort invites you to “lasso your girlfriends and discover your inner cowgirl” during special dates throughout the year.

This past year I went to Canyon Ranch with a good friend of mine in the beginning of December. Not only was it a less expensive time to go, but it was also a great way to de-stress and gear up for the holiday season. We had a blast getting “whipped” into shape and felt less guilty about overindulging during the holidays.

Many hotels are offering slumber parties for girlfriends and will pamper you with some unique treats that can be arranged, such as a midnight refrigerator raid (access to the executive kitchen and hot fudge-sundae fixings), in-room manicures or a hangover kit of aspirin, bottled waters and under-eye concealer.

Big Cities

Places like Chicago, Las Vegas and New York are always popular choices for the girls to escape. Many of them are very accessible and there’s lots to do — shopping, museums, nightlife.

A memorable time was enjoyed by a glamorous group of Jackson women during a surprise birthday party held in Chicago. The flight was an easy non-stop from Jackson, the hotel was in the perfect location close to Michigan Avenue, and the birthday dinner held at a famous Chicago eatery. A great time was had by all! And it certainly eased the pain of the honoree celebrating a significant birthday.

With its ever-growing array of ultra-chic hotels and nightclubs, lavish spas, world-class restaurants and over the top entertainments, Las Vegas is built for the ultimate girlfriend getaway.  How much fun would it be to have a great spa day at Canyon Ranch in the Venetian Hotel, followed by dinner at a fabulous restaurant at The Wynne and ending your evening with a performance by Bette Midler?

The choices are amazing. Just be sure to remind your gal pals that whatever happens, it all stays in Vegas.

You can always have a blast in New York, the city that never sleeps.

Shop for high-priced designer fashions or pursue designer knock-offs in the back room of a Chinatown Shop. You and your girlfriends will have new duds to show off when you go out on the town to experience the city’s exciting nightlife. Maybe you can meet your limo and “Sex and the City” tour guide for an evening of seeing the hotspots.

Special Interest

You can arrange niche trips focusing on specific interests from wine tasting to knitting trips in places like Scotland and England. Or perhaps a trip to Florence would be perfect for girls that crave culture — some of the world’s most important works of art and architecture reside here. Or maybe a cooking pilgrimage to France’s foremost food region, Provence, would appeal to you and your girlfriends. You could gather local ingredients from centuries-old markets, learn some cooking techniques from master chefs, and wine and dine with your friends at Michelin-starred restaurants.

A girlfriend getaway can be a weekend with your sister, a once-in-a lifetime trip with your mom or best friend, a celebration with a group of your college classmates…the possibilities are endless. No matter the occasion, there’s nothing like a girl getaway to bond women together.