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How to plan a girls-only vacation

Carol Test is a fiction writer and magazine editor in Scottsdale, Arizona. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona in 2005, and is a 2006 recipient of an Arizona Commission on the Arts Award.

Ultimate girls getaway tips

What's cheaper than therapy and better than a quick lunch? A getaway with your best girlfriends, of course.

Make the most of your time

Shared adventures strengthen friendships. Yet the older we get, the less time we seem to have for catching up with the women in our lives. Setting aside girls-only time will allow you and your friends the chance to relax and enjoy one another. Whether it's shopping, the beach, a weekend of museums and galleries, or hiking and massage, here are some tips to ensure you enjoy your ultimate girls' getaway.

How to plan your girlfriend getaway

  • As a group, decide the optimal date, location and budget for your getaway. Nominate one person to collect deposits, another person to make reservations, etc.
  • Be sensitive to the needs of others when planning your trip. Ensure meal arrangements are made for your vegetarian pal, and that you book accommodations each member of the group can reasonably afford.
  • Rotate who gets to be in charge of duties and activities. Let each person in the group take a turn planning a meal (if you will be making your own food), or selecting a restaurant (if you will be eating out).
  • Step outside your comfort zone. The adrenaline rush of trying something new -- and a little bit dangerous -- will bring you and your friends closer together. Consider an adventure vacation, such as white-water rafting, or a midnight dip in the Pacific.
  • Don't hyper-schedule. You don't want to come home from your vacation and need a vacation. Allow time for spontaneity as well as scheduled activities.
  • Resolve to make long car rides or even lines at the airport fun. Keep a positive attitude and some tasty snacks on hand. Give each other hand massages with lotion. Make a playlist or mix CD ahead of time, and have everyone contribute a few favorite songs.
  • Consider a mini-getaway, if you can't afford to spend more than a night away. Book a suite at local hotel and throw a grown-up slumber party – stay up late to gossip, play games, read magazines.

Remember, it's time spent together in idle moments that strengthens the bonds of friendship. You'll be surprised how much fun you can have with a little planning and a lot of camaraderie.

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