In airports across the world there is always a sight that lifts my spirits. Girlfriend trips! A group of women, especially older women, traveling together. They block out everything around them creating their own universe of travel.
Someone is passing around the hand sanitizer while another is organizing the coffee order. One woman is usually asking what’s on the agenda and the woman with all the details in her planner is sharing information like an enthusiastic summer camp director. It’s a perfectly organized nurturing family of women, working seamlessly on their goal: The Best Girlfriend Trip.
How do Girlfriend Trips Save Your Life?
Turns out that we need friends. Like, really really need them. A study at Michigan State found that friendships may have a bigger positive impact on our health than family relationships. William Chopik conducted studies with 280,000 people and found that as we age friendships are a stronger predictor of health and happiness.
“Friendships become even more important as we age. Keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and well-being. So it’s smart to invest in the friendships that make you happiest.” Chopik
If you’ve been on a girl trip you know why it keeps you healthy. On a girl trip there is more laughter, more crying, and more listening. Girlfriend trips are filled with sharing ideas and solving problems. It means lingering over lunch, stopping to smell the roses, and staying up late to solve all the troubles of the world. We would have world peace if we could just all go on girlfriend trips.
Who should go on a girl trip?
Are you female? Do you have friends? Ok, so that second question can be a tricky one. Maybe you feel like you don’t have friends. We all feel that way at times. Normal. But think about who you would like to travel with. Unless you are thinking of a celebrity (Hello Oprah!) you’ve probably identified a good friend to travel with.
Small groups often provide the best dynamics and variety. Groups of 4 are easiest. Easy to get hotel rooms, seating at a restaurant, and easier group dynamics. Of course you can always have more than 4 women, but from my many girl friend trips I have found, 4 is the magic number.
There are all kinds of friend groups, however, these are my favorite ones to travel with:
- The Fancy Ladies – with designer purses and color coordinated travel accessories. Passing by in a cloud of delicious perfume and sparkling jewelry, they are confident, friendly and happy to have a conversation with you. They often have endearing names for each other: honey, dearest, darling and will double kiss when meeting.
- The Adventurers – wearing hydration packs and technical gear. Efficient and cheerful, they are quick to help each other (and you too!) carry heavy equipment and emanate a healthy can-do attitude. Always willing to share tips on where to go and what to do. Follow them to find the airport food that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to go.
- The Moms – So thrilled to get away from their young crew that they are apt to laugh over the smallest thing. Each is prepared with wet wipes, granola bars, and first aid kits. They have an incredible ability to multitask: cleaning up spills, checking into fights, moving quickly to the gate, all while reassuring you that everything will be fine.
- Expats – they have packing light down to a science and can do a 2 week trip with a carry-on and daypack. You’ll see them sharing the latest currency and maps apps while popping probiotics to protect their digestive system. They can roll with the punches and are kind when negotiating in the local markets, which can be stressful.
Please don’t feel bad if you don’t see your friend group here. There are so many wonderful women that don’t fit into any group. If that is the case, it’s time to make your own!
Where should we go? What should we do?
This is the fun part! The planning! It’s a big world out there and you have endless options.
Limited on time? How about a weekend in New York City? Two perfect days of food, art, theatre and shopping. There truly is something for everyone in New York City.
What about a themed trip? If you love Jane Austen consider attending the Jane Austen Regency Week in England. With costumes, parties, lectures, dinners and even dances you may want to spend two weeks!
Has India been on your list? India gets a bad rap for girlfriend trips. However, you can safely and easily travel India with girlfriends. Hiring a private driver, staying in reputable hotels, and basic street smarts (don’t get drunk in public places, don’t stay out late at night, travel in groups), can all help you feel safe in India.
Are you a foodie? How about a Parisian Pastry Crawl? It’s laid out for you in this trip report. Is there a better way to seal a friendship than over pastries in Paris? I don’t think so.
Do you have an adventurous soul? Off the beaten track travel is a wonderful girlfriend trip. Uzbekistan is a delightful. I went with 5 girlfriends (breaking my rule of 4 but we could include one more amazing woman!). We loved the salads, the textiles, the gardens (gardens with girlfriends are the best!), and the culture. It was a lot of work and a lot of travel, but I highly recommend it!
Is shopping your sport?
Often, girlfriend trips involve shopping. I can’t tell you how many times my friends have said, “I don’t want to spend time shopping” and then they are the ones that get stuck in the market in Karnataka searching for the perfect silk scarf. No matter where you go there will always be amazing souvenirs for you to remember the precious times with your girlfriends. I usually pack a collapsible bag in case I find the perfect chandelier or flower pot that needs to come home with me.
Save your life – go on a girlfriend trip!
Next time you are in an airport look for the traveling girlfriends. You will be able to spot them in no time. They will be laughing, or counseling each other, or eating enormous amounts of food. You may want to join in! But better yet, plan your own trip.
Here’s to a long and healthy life full of girlfriend trips!
Global Women Travel has a slew of itineraries that can be adapted for girlfriend travel. Check out this trip to Bali for some culture and amazing shopping. Or if you want to get your blood pumping try climbing Mount Fuji in Japan. Feel like roadtripping? Head through NZ and leave your bras in Bradrona! Or may just lounge around the beach and enjoy clear water pools in Palawan, Philippines. No matter what you and your girlfriends love, we have something here for you.