By Candyce H. Stapen
No doubt about it: girlfriends bunking together bond in a special way. It works for female buddies of any age, whether twentysomethings or “ageless” wonders with years of perspective on life’s quirks.
Indeed, staying with girlfriends turns a vacation getaway into something of a pajama party. And a vacation rental home provides the perfect space for connecting. You can sprawl on your home’s couches, sip wine and share confidences about first loves, high school memories or husband quandaries.
After all, it’s impossible to be embarrassed in front of a close girlfriend. She’s seen you at your best and worst. That’s why it’s easy to try new things with her on vacation, such as kite boarding, sailing or mountain biking.
Girlfriends can also share the joys of shopping in a new locale, and they will be honest about whether that reinforced tummy panel of the bathing suit you squeezed into really does make last night’s cheesecake disappear.
To make sure you have a getaway that brings you closer rather than splinters the friendship, communicate about vacation basics ahead of time with this girls’ getaway guide.
Tip 1: Select a destination with something for each of you.
If one of you loves the beach and the others want a shopping hotspot, consider destinations where no one has to sacrifice, such as Hilton Head or Charleston’s Islands in South Carolina.
Tip 2: Book big enough lodging.
Although sharing a bedroom might be fine for a few days, it could prove fatal for a week, especially if you prefer dark and quiet at night but your buddy must read and check her email before dozing off.
Tip 3: Discuss trip expenses.
Make sure everyone is comfortable with how lodging, groceries and rental fees will be shared. Agree on how many times you might dine out and whether it will be cheap eats or fine fare. Even close friends live on different budgets.
Tip 4: Talk about how to share cooking and dish duties.
If your idea of eating-in runs to salads and sandwiches, but your buddy uses six pots to make her special pasta with seafood, will you be grateful or resentful about cleaning up?
Tip 5: Decide what outings to do together.
Having time apart gives everyone breathing space. Just make sure that your friend won’t be disappointed when you remain on the beach instead of driving 90 minutes inland with her to the botanical gardens.
Get started on finding the right rental for your getaway with the girls.
Long-time family travel guru Candyce H. Stapen writes for many publications and outlets. She has written 30 travel guidebooks, including two for National Geographic.