Part of living life to the fullest is maintaining the flexibility and initiative to make time for friends—and just friends. As any loving mother, father, or child can understand, family is the most important thing. But human beings are social by nature, and the desire to spend some time with your friends is perfectly natural at any stage in life. Friendships do require time and work, though, just like family relationships! It’s for this reason that I’d advocate for the so-called “girls’ weekend” away. It’s something that can nurture friendships, keep you sane and happy, and really be flat-out fun.
If this sounds like something you’d like to start up with your friends in the near future, here are four of my best ideas for a girls’ weekend away!
Big City Living
For this sort of getaway, you and your friends simply have to adopt a “Treat Yo Self” mentality. For those of you who don’t watch Parks & Recreation, this basically translates to “spend recklessly and treat yourself to a special weekend, and worry about the consequences later.” Granted, that’s not always the most responsible way for a family woman to vacation, but you only have to take it so far. The basic idea still applies: book a nice hotel room in a big city like New York, Miami, or Chicago, do touristy things together and enjoy some fine dining, shopping, and/or nightlife. It doesn’t have to be extremely expensive, but splurging for a few perks here and there can be a great way to dive into your vacation and really have some bonding time.
Beach House Relaxation
If you and your friends are more low-key, or if you’ve simply been stressed out lately, a beach house (or lake house) getaway is the best option. In my book, these are quite simply the most relaxing kinds of vacation on the planet. Renting a house with a group can be quite affordable, and once it’s done all you need is a trip to the grocery store to stock the cupboards, and you’re all set. It’s just you, your friends, a cozy house, and the beach for however many days and nights you have. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy quality time without distractions. As for where specifically you should go, here’s some inspiration: Forbes’ list of America’s top-10 beaches of 2014!
Resort & Casino Thrills
If yours is a daring group, or can’t decide between big city excitement and beachside relaxation, a casino town (as in, Atlantic City or Las Vegas) may be the perfect solution. Such destinations offer world-class spas and amenities in even the more affordable resorts, giving you the chance to pamper yourselves to your heart’s content. But the casinos themselves can also be a whole lot of fun with friends. Betfair’s poker site offers a thorough how-to guide for beginning poker players, which is probably a good place to start if you and your friends are casual about your casino gaming. But once you have the basics down, playing your way through poker tables as a group is a lot of fun. Just avoid the high-stakes rooms unless you know what you’re doing!
Activity & Adventure
Finally, if you’re an active bunch, find a legitimate outdoor activity or adventure to enjoy on your weekend getaway. For adventurous types, there’s no better group/bonding activity than getting out to experience the wild together, and you can do it almost anywhere. To get you started on ideas, though, I’d recommend taking a look at U.S. News & Travel’s exciting list of the 17 best adventure vacations in the U.S. Activities such as hiking the Grand Canyon, scuba diving the U.S. Virgin Islands, or skiing at Lake Tahoe all sound pretty irresistible.
No matter who you are or how busy your life may be, time away with friends is absolutely essential. And any of these vacation ideas can give you and your friends a great way to reconnect and relax together away from everyday life.