Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Girlfriend Getaway" Expeditions

A travel market niche, known as "Girlfriend Getaways", has been growing in the last few years, and I recently had some first-hand experience in getting to plan and participate in a "Girlfriend Getaway", so I will be sharing my experiences with a few photographs and comments. With the proliferation of information available on the Internet, it is not surprising that there is a website, devoted entirely to the subject, with the address of Likewise, Lisa Kasanicky has written a book on the subject, called The Complete Idiot's Guide to Girlfriend Getaways. In it, she discussed the dynamics of why women travel together, and gives some step by step instructions for planning such an event.
Frequently, a particular theme or group activity is the "centerpiece" of an all-girl trip. The photo above gives a clue as to what my most recent trip involved---a professional hockey game---in a large performance venue. In our case, we had tickets for the "club level" of the match between the St. Louis Blues vs. The Colorado Avalanche, in the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. "Club level" seats mean that the price includes all the food and beverage you would like, plus a "waitress" comes to your seat to take your order and delivers the food to you as well. The photo shows the four "girls" on our trip (Tricia, Anna, Lila, and Eva) as well as the vivacious young woman who assisted us with our food and beverage orders. The advantage of "club level tickets" for our group, was that it meant you did not have to wonder about how much your meal would cost, or how much your snacks during the game would cost, because it was all covered in the price of admission. A couple of years ago, I attended a different kind of event in this same Scottrade Center, which was equally enjoyable. That event was a "Women of Faith" conference, which is an example of another type of group activity that can serve as a "centerpiece" for a Girfriend Getaway. There are numerous faith-based ministries and non-profit organizations that offer weekend or week-long events that cater to women, so check their websites for upcoming events.
When choosing a location for your all-girl travel experience, consider concurrent visitor attractions that can be combined with the "centerpiece" or theme of the trip. In the photo above, the gals are shown in the magnificent hotel lobby of the St. Louis Union Station, which is nearby the Scottrade Center. One can not only experience shopping and dining at Union Station, but also it might be considered as one gigantic museum, because it has so many exhibits relating to its historic past. That is yet another reason that it is a frequent choice for school groups on tour.
Assuming your Girlfriend Getaway is going to include an overnight stay, you will want to consider activities that can be enjoyed on the second day of your trip. It would be helpful if you had both a "Plan A" for nice weather and a "Plan B" for less suitable weather. Such decisions are easily accommodated by visiting a location such as Forest Park in St. Louis. There are so many museums in the park, that one could escape any rain deluges, if necessary. Likewise, there are such numerous activities suitable for great weather outside, that the choices are endless. Plus, the great thing about Forest Park, and St. Louis in general, is that it boasts more free attractions than any other city of its size in the country. This is a definite bonus for people who still want to travel, but are limited in the amount that can be spent on entry fees for attractions at their destination. The photo above shows the St. Louis Art Museum (a FANTASTIC attraction at any time, but especially if the weather is bad outside!) presiding over the Emerson Grand Basin, a delightful area for outdoor strolling, when weather is suitable for such activities. The reading I did preparing to write this particular blog post, often referred to the "reasons" females like to travel together, and how travel providers can cater to those reasons when getting out publicity about their particular activity. I was reminded of a Bible verse that addresses this issue, and did so centuries before it became a topic of public relations professionals. The passages in verses 9 - 12 of the fourth chapter of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament have this sage advice: "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up. . . . Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." That sounds like a good reason to plan another "Girlfriend Getaway" in the very near future! If YOU would like some ideas to get you started on planning, I can think of no better place to begin, than by visiting for some terrific ideas on making your trip both fun, educational, and full of good memories! Miles of smiles! Tricia