The number of women going on holiday with their friends rather their partners has seen a marked rise.
In the past six years, there has been a 230 percent increase in the number of women-only travel companies – presumably prompted by consumer demand. The girls-only getaway arena is a lucrative market, accounting for four percent of all US travel spending – around $200 million a year.
There’s a perception that the older we get, we shouldn’t need to go on holiday with our female friends anymore – that those carefree times should be restricted to our twenties and teens. Trips away with friends tend to be replaced by couple getaways and, then later, family breaks.
But it would seem that women are increasingly seeing the value of holidays with their friends. While trashy, binge-drinking breaks spent in hostels getting horribly sunburnt might not seem as appealing as they once were, a good all-women holiday can be an enriching experience indeed because, frankly, female bonding doesn’t age.
In fact, as many of us stay unmarried for longer, it comes as no surprise that our friends should become our primary life partners who are there to see us through the good and bad – the ones who move us out of old homes, that lend an ear when we have a break-up or help us celebrate new jobs. There’s no engagement or wedding to prove how fulfilling or vital these friendships are, so perhaps a holiday – your precious, rare time – is still the biggest form of recognition.
With that in mind, we make the case for the adult girls holiday.
You’ll strengthen your friendship
There’s nothing like the intimacy of a week or weekend away with a friend to strengthen your relationship. As we get older and the sleepovers and long nights out peter off, it’s easy to fall into the habit of only seeing your friends in bite-size chunks – for dinner or drinks when you spend the majority of the evening catching up on what you’ve both been up to in the interim. But friendship is based on experiences, memories and the kind of chat that spans the silly, the deep and the frustrating. You won’t cover all that with a few hours in the pub, but you will with a holiday away. It’s all very well to reminisce, but you need more to fuel that friendship fire than that now ancient time you got drunk and danced on tables in your teenage years.
It’s wildly freeing
There’s nothing that feels more freeing than getting on a plane with a best friend or two. There’s something very liberating about removing yourself from domesticity. It doesn’t matter how happy your relationship is, spending quality time in an unfamiliar location, whether on a Sicilian beach or in a beautiful castle in Wales, makes us all feel younger – reminding us of the carefree joy of school and university. All there is to worry about is making sure you’re wearing enough sun cream and where you’re going for dinner that night. While you might have put your binge-drinking days behind you, that ‘fuck it, we’re on holiday’ attitude still applies.
You’re more likely to meet new people
When you’re with your friends, you’re more open to chatting to new people and that doesn’t necessarily have to mean romantic potentials (although it could). Couples understandably tend to be more cocooned and less open to meeting anyone outside their bubble. In all-female company, you will do more – you’ll see more of the nightlife because partying with your boyfriend is not the same. There’s far more chance you’ll do stuff you didn’t expect – whether driving mopeds through an island without a license to partying until the sun comes up.
You will party more
While it’s enriching to spend a day seeing local attractions, you’ve truthfully only seen half a city or a destination until you’ve experienced it by night. Places have different personalities when the sun goes down, and you’re definitely more likely to make an effort to explore nightlife if you’re with friends, rather than a boyfriend. Days just last longer with your friends – where you might go for dinner and a drink with your boyfriend before going back to the hotel to continue your evening, nights with girl friends tend to go on later – whether you dance the night away or just spend the evening talking about the universe over a long dinner.
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You’ll remember why you became such good friends in the first place
In the same way that going on a romantic break can revitalise a romantic relationship, going on holiday with friends can help you remember why you first became friends. You’re seeing your best women at their most relaxed, away from the pressures of normal life. It’s everyone’s respite away from the daily grind, so you’re more likely to be on good form.
You’ll talk through each other’s life problems
Women have incomparable ability to talk about everything, but sometimes when we meet up for a quick dinner or drink, there isn’t time to go through our deepest worries or problems, and definitely not how to solve them. With unlimited time on your hands, you can both work out how your friend is going to get out of that job she hates, or that niggling issue you have you’re your boyfriend. There’s time to be mutually, fully supportive.
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You’ll have a holiday song that will make you smile forever
There will be that one song that you play over and over again, whether by the pool, on the dance-floor or in the car, and every time you hear it, it’ll make you smile and remind you of why the main women in your life are as important as family.
From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK