Some tips to guide gal getaways

March 4, 2012 11:15 am
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Be flexible, compromise when needed, be a team player and try not to complain. But most of all -- have fun.

These are some of the basic rules of thumb for anyone heading out of town with their gal-pals for a girls getaway.

Although most national surveys on this travel niche were done a few years ago, indications from the special travel deals marketed to women show that girlfriend trips are surging in popularity.

"I would say it's definitely growing," said Joanne Letcher, who with Peggy Westbrook, founded JustLadies Travel Club in Carnegie in 2006. "We're seeing more divisions of tour companies being for women. With the economy, the JustLadies end has been pretty strong."

Dian Emery of Toronto founded Girlsgetaway.com, her Web magazine of travel information, tips, advice and deals, two years ago after she was looking for resources for women-only vacations and couldn't find much.

"I like my girl getaways," she said. "This is a niche that needs to be addressed. Women do like to travel with their friends."

The most popular destinations for such trips, she's found, are Las Vegas, Napa Valley in California, New York City and "anywhere there's a beach."

But whether groups are large or small, old or young, active adventurers or lounging beachcombers or night owls or early birds, some special planning is helpful to ensure a smooth trip.

Ms. Emery offers these 10 tips based on her own travels and those of her travel experts at girlsgetaway.com:

1. Set basic ground rules before you leave. This can be done via email, phone, Skype or if you all live in the same city, at a local coffeehouse or bar. No matter the size of the group, decide on the basics: What, where, how, why and when (which can be the hardest because everyone is busy). "I find that lots of upfront planning and clear expectations can help in the success of a trip," Ms. Emery says.

2. Travel personalities. Early risers, night owls, party divas and introverts. How can they all get along? If the group is large and schedules are flexible, a diverse group can work well. With a smaller group you have to be more careful about matching travel personalities. If two women are traveling together and one wants to lounge on the beach all day and turn in early and the other wants to party all night at a club, they're not going to be compatible.

Virginia Linn: vlinn@post-gazette.com; 412-263-1662.
First Published 2012-03-03 23:25:38

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