Travel light friendship quote

 If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears. ~Cesare Pavese

Today I could really use a vacation. A real vacation. Not just a trip to a conference. I love those, don’t get me wrong, but today I need a vacation. A sitting quietly, having someone bring me umbrella drinks, vacation. I’ll probably settle for a five minute snuggle with the dog (which is close but not quite the same).

But I can’t help thinking about planning a girlfriend getaway. A time to relax with my girlfriends and ease back into contentment and friendship. Girlfriend Guru MAIRE HUNTER shares some great planning ideas with us to help make our girlfriend vacation everything we want it to be.

Planning a girlfriends’ getaway: Who should I take? Where should I go? And when?

As an adult, the majority of vacations you take will likely be with your family, whether that includes your kids, spouse, parents, siblings—or all of the above. Chances are, you don’t have many opportunities to get out of Dodge with your closest girlfriends very often, but doing so can be tremendously beneficial for your mental health and well-being. Once you decide to take the plunge on a girlfriends’ getaway, here are a few tips to get you started on the planning process.

Decide on your travel companions

With whom you choose to travel is just as important a consideration as where you go. Even your closest friend might not make the best travel companion for you, so give the matter some serious thought before you start putting out feelers. If your sister loves to spend her vacations getting up at 6 a.m. and sightseeing for 7 hours but your idea of a vacation is lying on a beach all day long, chances are you won’t be compatible travelers.

Budgets are another consideration; ideally, you and your vacation buddies will all have similar cash flows available for the trip. Asking your forever-broke single mom friend to join you on a whirlwind tour of Europe might be pointless — or, worse yet, insensitive. Similarly, your friend who loves all the finer things in life might not be entirely on board with your plan to rough it at a cabin in the woods for a week. Ultimately, your travel companions can make or break your vacation experience, so be sure to choose wisely. Don’t give in to sentiments … or you may regret it.

Where to go

Now that you’ve decided who should accompany you on your girlfriends’ getaway, it’s time to decide where to go. Depending on your aforementioned budget, that might be anywhere from the beach in Florida to a swanky hotel in the Swiss Alps. You might alter your destination depending on the time of year. For example, the off-season in Paris (July and August) is completely different from that in Costa Rica (late April through May and September through November). Doing a little research before settling on your vacation destination can save you a lot of grief in the long run.

Safety considerations

Women travelers have a different set of considerations than men or families when it comes to travel safety. Staying safe can be as simple—or as complex—as using basic street smarts. Carry your cash and identification in a money belt under your clothes to prevent theft. Figure out directions before you leave your hotel to avoid being that obvious tourist standing on the corner holding a giant, unfolded map in your hands. And if you’ll be traveling in a country where English isn’t the common language, carry a dictionary and try to learn some basic phrases in the foreign tongue.

Another consideration while you’re away—and particularly if you’re going overseas—is the issue of your physical health. Will your health insurance cover you where you’re going? If you’re traveling abroad, chances are, the answer is no—so consider looking into an individual or group travel health insurance policy to cover you for the duration of your trip. Also, do a little research before you leave to find the closest hospital to where you’ll be staying; you never know if or when you might need that information, and you don’t want to be without it in the event of an emergency.

A girlfriends’ getaway can be the perfect way to escape the daily grind and regain some of your sanity. Follow the above tips and use a bit of common sense during the planning stages and you’re ensured the perfect, stress-free vacation.

MAIRE HUNTER is a blogger and travel enthusiast who lives in Indianapolis when she’s not off gallivanting around the world. She enjoys sharing her travel tips and adventures with her readers on behalf of HCC Medical. She’s also an animal lover and shares a domicile with her gigantic orange cat, Walter.

Where do you want your next girlfriend get-away to be?

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