Summer is perfect for a girls' getaway.
The girls-only holiday – this is a trip that shouts fun, fun, fun!
We've all done it at some stage or another and whether you head off yearly for a friends-only jaunt or save your travels for special occasions, spending time with your best friends and letting your hair down is often the best kind of holiday. No ties, no responsibilities, no need to please anyone but yourselves. Unfortunately, there are a few pitfalls that can plague this kind of break and if you’re the unfortunate one left to organize it; you’re probably in for a bit of stress and worry until the big day arrives.
When you have a group of strong-minded individuals all going away together, the planning stages are often the most stressful. Once you get to the airport, trying to keep everyone together and get them to where they need to be, especially when the bar comes into play, can be a challenge to say the least. (Not my friends, of course! We’re all talking hypotheticals here, right?)
It’s best to be prepared as much as possible before departure, which is a go-to tactic I find always works. Checking your up-to-date flight times in the days leading up to your trip will give you the official and real-time status on your flight, such as which terminal you need to be at, and what time etc. I also love the app Gate Guru for doing a little advanced research on where different services and amenities are located in the airport. Pass along the info, but let your friends be responsible for themselves. You can’t herd everyone like sheep to the right place if they’re hell-bent on heading somewhere else, like the bar! Look after yourself and get to where you need to be, that’s all you can control!
Planning out a few activities is a good start to this kind of break, but getting everyone to agree is often the hardest part. I would say put a few suggestions out there and go with the majority; the old adage of ‘you can’t please everyone’ is the truth here. If you plan different options for group and individual activities and excursions for different times of day it will help a lot with flexibility. And if everyone is responsible for their tickets and passes (as opposed to having one individual responsible for all the paperwork), individuals can break off and go solo and regroup with everyone else later. Some perfect destinations that suit every group include.
Lanzarote: One of the beautiful Canary Islands, Lanzarote will check every box if you have warm weather and seaside adventures on your life. This area is renowned for amazing snorkelling and scuba and surfing and those with adventurous friends in their group can even try hang gliding. The volcano soil from eruptions of centuries past is still very much in evidence here and you can have meals in volcanic caves, go for camel rides over volcanic fields and explore Timanfaya National Park. (And while this is a post about girls’ travel, I do have a tip from a boy. Ryan would like to point out Dr Who: Kill The Moon did filming here!)
Paris: The City of Lights is almost a cliché recommendation when talking about a girls’ getaway and I’m sure it’s on everyone else’s list as well. But I’m not adding it here for stereotypical “girly” activities like shopping. Paris is a great all-rounder destination. You can come here for sports – I went with my friends to run the Paris Marathon in 2006 – for cooking classes, for writing retreats, or gallery tours. Paris can run on the expensive side if you don’t mind your costs and I always recommend studying your map while choosing your accommodations. You’ll want to balance the less expensive rents and hotel costs outside the city center with the increased costs of transportation to find a good fit for your group.
Istanbul- THIS is the city I’d recommend for shopping! Even if clothing or jewellery is not your thing, there’s still plenty to look at and buy (or not) in Istanbul and the Spice Market and Grand Bazaar are fascinating enough to spend half a day exploring them. Istanbul’s my top choice for souvenirs like peppercorn and saffron and scarves and soaps and household items like lamps. It also provides the perfect counter balance to the chaos of the markets in the serenity of its Turkish baths. Granted, depending on the treatment you choose, they might not be so much relaxing as reinvigorating but they’re always perfect for bonding with friends.
Arranging this kind of holiday takes patience and a cast-iron ability to grit your teeth (again, not that I’m talking about anyone in particular!) If you can do that, the resulting holiday will be full of fun and frolics and will create enough memories to last a lifetime.
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