By Nancy Schretter, Family Travel Network
Girlfriend getaways are popular with today’s vacationers. According to an American Express survey, over half of women travelers in the United States take these kinds of trips. Since relaxing and enjoying activities together is what’s important, it’s no surprise that cruising is one of the favorite choices for girlfriend getaway vacations.
If you are planning a girlfriend getaway cruise this fall, here are five tips to help make your vacation a “let’s do it again” success:
1. Choose your traveling companions wisely. Girlfriend getaways are a good way to bond and unwind. It’s easier to travel with people who are flexible, like-minded and enjoy the same level of activity on a trip like this, so select your group carefully. In addition, think about the right number of people to bring. Too many friends can make the trip rather impersonal, while too few can be confining. When booking staterooms, combine roommates with similar sleep preferences, habits and personalities. Group cruises are much more fun when night owls and early risers are together with friends of a similar nature.
2. Brainstorm and plan your trip together. The most successful group vacations are those that involve everyone in choosing the destination and planning their trip. Working together helps cement the “buy-in” process. Find a cruise built around a theme everyone enjoys or select an itinerary with ports everyone will love. For example, if your group of girlfriends is made up of foodies who also enjoy perfect wine pairings, check out the Wine, Dine & Music Cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas. Departing from Tampa this November, the Wine, Dine & Music cruise features seven wineries, nightly shows by legendary recording artists like Kenny Loggins, great celebrity chefs and special menus. In addition, a free bottle of wine will be delivered nightly to each stateroom so guests can sample select vintages from each of the seven wineries.
3. Discuss expectations in advance. Get together for lunch or dinner to talk about what you’re looking forward to doing on your cruise. If you have specific expectations – such as eating all your meals together or planning group shore excursions in every port, make sure to go over those before the trip. It’s also important to talk about expectations for group activities that involve additional expenditures, such as transportation to your cruise’s departure port, group spa treatments, and optional lunches ashore in ports of call.
4. Determine a budget that everyone can afford. Girlfriend getaway cruises don’t have to be expensive. The best vacations are those that are designed with your personalities, needs and interests in mind. Decide on a comfortable budget for your trip and make sure to include such items as souvenirs, tips, and a few unexpected activities or necessities. When calculating the group’s budget, be careful to consider the needs of your traveling companions and cut corners wisely. Go over your final itinerary with the entire group and make sure everyone feels comfortable with your travel plans. Sites such as Bonvoy and TripIt can help with the group’s trip planning.
5. Build in group activities as well as time apart. While the goal of your girlfriend getaway is to have fun together, it’s also important to remember that people need to spend some time alone. Space is a good thing. Cruises and all-inclusive resorts are popular girlfriend getaway options for this reason. They offer travelers plenty of opportunities to enjoy activities separately during the day and get together in the evenings for drinks, dinners and entertainment.
If You Go:
- For more information on the Wine, Dine & Music Cruise, visit https://www.winedineandmusiccruise.com.
- To make trip planning and communicating all the details easy, take a look at sites like TripIt.
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