Girls Getaway!: Why Leaving It All Behind is Healthy

Photo credit: Essence

Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Berlin, London – all places I’m considering for a fabulous New Year’s vacation with the girls. With the first official day of summer this week, you’ve probably got more BBQs and bikinis on the brain than noisemakers and Auld Lang Syne, but you might want to start looking up flight deals once you hear how a vay-cay with your girls can help ease stress and improve your relationships.

A survey completed last year by the American Resort Development Association indicated 38% of women respondents had taken a female-only vacation, and 63% said they planned to take one by 2012. Women traveling together on vacation is nothing new, but there has been an uptick in the past few years as we’re seeing more career women with expendable income. Women have less family responsibility as well with nearly half of college-educated, Generation X females choosing to put off motherhood. It’s no surprise that many women find themselves busy, stressed and tired from breaking glass ceilings every day and a getaway with the girls gives them a much-needed chance to recharge, reconnect and focus on their own well-being.

Vacations ought to be viewed as more than indulgences because they can have very real and serious effects on your health. Whereas men who don’t take vacations are 32% more likely to die of heart attacks, women are 50% more likely to do so and face double the rate of depression. On the other hand, post-vay-cay, you can gain an hour per night of quality sleep and improve reaction times. Still, one-third of employed U.S. adults usually do not take all of their earned vacation days each year, according to a survey by Expedia.

Of course we should count ourselves lucky to have the luxury of taking any vacation at all, whether with our families, significant other, or solo. However, I can attest to the power of a girlfriend getaway as a unique, must-have experience. While you love your parents, kids and partner, there’s no shame in admitting that they can contribute to the stress and pressure in your life. Not only will hitting the road with your girls allow you to leave it all behind, but you’ll be more likely to venture outside of your comfort zone – trying new activities or food.

Earlier this year, I took a weekend jaunt up to Toronto with one of my girls and we had fun reconnecting with one another, exploring a new city, laughing at our run-ins with the culture and partying the night away. We’ve already planned another well-deserved girls’ trip to the Caribbean and just knowing that the resort is booked has me breathing easier through the workweek.

If you can swing it, I suggest you call up your girls – from the old college roommates to the new friend you’ve been meaning to get to know better – and start planning your getaway. Check out this guide to girlfriend getaways from the travel experts at Frommer’s and you’ll be on your way to a stress-free vacation: Girlfriend Getaways.