by Nancy Bestor
As I write this story, my mother-in-law is traveling through India with a girlfriend that she has known for 45 years. This has got me thinking about traveling with friends (as opposed to significant others and/or family) and how fortunate I am to have great female companions that I can travel with. About 11 years ago, I started going on an annual trip with three friends, and although the trip changes from year to year, and some years not everyone can make it, we’ve managed to travel somewhere together every single year for a decade. I think that’s pretty amazing.
“Girlfriend Getaways” have grown in popularity over the last 10 years. More and more women are apparently hitting the beach, or the slopes, or the big city, with other women. There are websites dedicated to the idea, rankings for the top 10 or 15 girlfriend getaways, and story after story about where and how women should travel together.
Over the years, my girlfriends and I have tried several types of getaways. The most popular for us has been the beach getaway, whether in Mexico, the Bahamas, or even the Dominican Republic. But we’ve also tried the outdoor/hiking getaway, in Lake Tahoe. And the big city getaway, in New York and San Francisco. One year, we even took our spouses along to San Diego for the beginning of our trip, then shooed them home after a few days.
It’s great to reconnect with my friends, and get caught up on the details of their lives, even though I live across the street from one of them. True story, I live directly across the street from one of my closest friends, and can literally go days—and sometimes even weeks—without seeing her and talking to her. I think I can safely say that all of us bring little or no agenda to our getaway, other than getting to spend quality time together. Ideally, I like it when we can throw in some form of activity, whether it’s hiking, walking, or doing yoga/exercise in a fitness center. Frilly drinks must somehow enter the equation as well. We’ve been known to get a little silly, probably thanks to the frilly drinks. But I can say without hesitation that we have never woken up to a tiger in our bathroom. Thank God.
A common denominator in the girlfriend getaway stories I’ve read seems to be “stress-free.” Little cooking, little cleaning, lots of relaxing. That’s about how our girl trips go. We cook as little as possible, choosing to eat out or “make” appetizers instead of a full meal. And other than some form of exercise—walking, yoga, hiking, etc.—we spend our time under a cabana or an umbrella, or sitting around a table, talking, laughing, reading, and drinking. But not necessarily in that order.
We like having a kitchen on our trips, so we can make pot after pot of coffee in the morning, and pop bread in the toaster for breakfast. And a blender comes in handy for cocktails after
five noon. When we first started our girls’ trips, we’d willingly cram four of us into a one bedroom condo/hotel room. Two of us would share a bed in the bedroom, and two would share a pullout bed in the living room. Alas, we’re older now, and really all prefer and are willing to spring for our own bed. Other than separate beds and toasters/coffee pots/blenders, the rest is negotiable. Being together is our number one priority.
Thirty years from now, I hope my girlfriends and I are still traveling together, getting silly and drinking fruity drinks. Because the older I get, the more I realize that my friendships with other women are just as important as my relationships with my husband and daughters. We all know, my husband doesn’t want to listen to me ramble on and on about my feelings, but my girlfriends? They’re right there with me, feeling all the feels at the same time.