Trip Coach: June 13, 2006
Pam Grout answered your questions about girlfriend getaways
Pam Grout: Hi everybody--Thanks for joining me to talk about girlfriend getaways, one of my favorite topics of conversation.
Miami, FL: Can you give your suggestions for cooking school vacations in Italy?
Pam Grout: There's a great website with all sorts of Italian cooking schools. It's cookitaly.com. What a great way to spend a vacation.
Sacramento, CA: Hi Pam, I am a single woman whose girlfriends are all married or otherwise coupled, and cannot go on getaways due to time or money issues. I have gone on vacation solo before, but I'd really like to travel with some other friends and be with a small group of people with similar interests. How can I find other singles who'd want to travel together to Hawaii who live in my area? Thanks for your assistance. Vanessa
Pam Grout: There are a bunch of websites and outfits that hook singles up to travel together. I'm partial to the ones that team you with girlfriends with similar interests. I have a whole section in the back of my book about these, but here are a couple off the top of my head: womentraveltips.com, journeywoman.com
Orchard Park, NY: My three college friends and I get together every fall ... this year's trip is scheduled for the weekend of November 3-5. We had settled on NYC, but then they went and changed their minds on me, and now are making me go to Skaneateles, NY to the Mirbeau spa, which is luxurious and decadent, and very expensive. Please, find something positive about this for me ... what is there to do in Skaneateles, NY besides get a facial ... which I can do here in Orchard Park just fine. Help me. I can't back out, it's criminal. Signed, 36 and still meeting annually...
Pam Grout: Well, I really don't care where I travel with my girlfriends just as long as they're with me. I realize money can be an issue (and that's probably not quite fair if one of you doesn't have access to the same resources), but overall, the value of a girlfriends getaway is not the destination, but the journey--the chance to talk and just commune.
Osan, South Korea: I'm getting ready to move back to the US, specifically Montana. A few of my friends have talked about traveling up there so we can go to a dude ranch. Any suggestions for a group of females on where to get that experience? Marla
Pam Grout: There's a dude ranch association that will put you in touch with dude ranches in all 50 states--yes, believe it or not, every state has at least one dude ranch. I had a great experience in Montana at the Sweet Grass Rancher's association. They invite folks to live at their ranches--some of the ranches have a whole home, some it's a trailer by the river. But it's a great chance to really meet some Montana folks whose families have been there for generations. Talk about a reality vacation.
Palmer, AK: A girlfriend & I are thinking of going to NYC while the Christmas decorations are up. We have never been there before--how many days do you think we should go for & what should we use for transportation? Thanks
Pam Grout: The thing I love about New York is you can get pretty much anywhere by subway. Every now and again, it's handy to take a taxi, but I love getting around in New York. As for number of days, you will never get bored. Go for as many days as you can afford. The shopping, the shows--I'm telling you, you could live the rest of your life there and never run out of things to do.
Kirkland, WA: Six girlfriends will be renting a house in San Miguel Allende the first week in July. It will be hard to do a lot of things as a group but I was thinking maybe we could all visit a spa together. Any recommendations? Thanks
Pam Grout: Spafinder.com has suggestions for spas in any destination. It's pretty easy to find a spa nearly anywhere you go. I even wrote about a spa once in a town in Kansas that had a population of 600 folks. Gotta love those ubiquitous spas.
Auburn Hills, MI: Tell us about one of your favorite girlfriend getaways and what made it so special. What is the max you like to include in your girlfriend getaways?
Pam Grout: I have loved every girlfriend getaway I've ever been on. I tend to travel with some of the same girlfriends so I know what to expect. Usually it's just three or four of us. If you take too many girlfriends, it can be a bit problematic. As for what made it special, it's just that chance to be together--away from all the pressure of family and housework and jobs and all those things that keep us from communing with special friends. As I say in the book, I think a yearly girlfriend getaway should be mandatory for every girlfriend over 18.