A black woman about to travel abroad
A black woman about to travel abroad. © bevangoldswain - Fotolia.com

There is nothing more rewarding than being able to sneak away for some quality time with your girlfriends. How amazing is it to put family, work and all of life’s strains to the side for an unforgettable moment in time with the best women you know? The trend is called the “girlfriend getaway.” The rewards of this kind of sisterhood are plentiful.

According to the Girlfriend Travel Research Project conducted by the AAA, the girlfriend getaway market consists of four percent of all U.S. travel spending, which amounts to approximately  $200 million a year. This burgeoning trend has encouraged many travel suppliers to start acknowledging its growth and begin to provide numerous options and opportunities for women traveling in groups.

From a sunset cruise under the tropical Caribbean sun, to taking a road trip to that gorgeous city you’ve been so eager to visit, the possibilities are endless.

Kicking off your girlfriend getaway tradition will surely be exciting, so we’ve laid out the top five steps to get you started in the right direction.

Step 1: Gather the troop-ettes

This is a critical first step to planning your girlfriend getaway outing. Stephanie Oswald, editor-in-chief of Travelgirl magazine believes the “who” is more important than the “where.”

“[W]omen are more concerned with who they are traveling with, rather than where they are traveling to,” Oswald states.

We love our girlfriends; however, there are some that require engagement in small dosages. You know who they are. So choose wisely and confirm that you are able to spend long amounts of time together.

Step 2: Plan, budget and commit

Planning your girlfriend getaway in advance will help ease the anxiety of not knowing what to expect — or thinking you just can’t afford it. From a super-charged adventure parasailing above the Atlantic Ocean, to a low-key tropical paradise swimming with the dolphins, your decision comes prior to any bookings or reservations.

Once you’ve confirmed with all the ladies and they’re all up for the adventure, it’s always a good idea to have a kick-off meeting. Have an open discussion about the possible destination. Do you want to go far, or keep it closer to home? Discuss the budget and how everyone will contribute to the trip.

This is the time you want to make sure to accommodate all the personalities. Remember to advise everyone to be flexible. Thinking outside your comfort zone may not be a bad idea and may teach you something extraordinary about yourself. Of course, life will happen and you may be tempted to postpone your girlfriend getaway.

Don’t do it. You deserve the quality time. So, commit!

Step 3: Start slow

Find solace in knowing that although starting a girlfriend getaway tradition may be new territory, you won’t be alone.

According to a recent Harris Interactive Poll, 43 percent of adults travel with friends at least once a year. At least 74 percent prefer to take a road trip when they do. So, if this is new for you, booking a 14-day trip to the Himalayas may be a tad ambitious.

Therefore, consider getting together locally first to build the momentum — perhaps take in a local wine tasting event, or a drive to the next city for a weekend adventure. In no time, that Himalaya trip may seem more possible than you think.

Step 4: Have fun and enjoy the moment

You’ve made it this far. You have managed to get all your girls together for that girlfriend getaway extravaganza. While you all raise your tropical umbrella drinks and toast to sisterhood, let’s bring it all full circle. Enjoy this unique opportunity to engage, re-discover and reconnect.

Some people believe that gathering your girlfriends for a quick getaway not only strengthens intimate life-long friendships, but also brings a sense of unity and harmony to your health and life.

Share a few highlights of the year including accomplishments and accolades. Talk about goals and aspirations for the upcoming year. Above all, have fun!

Step 5: Prepare to do it over again next year!

The most unique component of a girlfriend getaway is the potential “tradition” factor.

Learn from this first run and plan something a little different the next time around. The world is huge and full of hidden gems that are perfect for a girlfriend getaway trip.

It’s never too late to start planning your one-of-a-kind group trip. Will you and your closest be joining in on the trend?

Wanjira Banfield writes about travel and entertainment for theGrio. You can find her at  www.wanjirasworld.com and follow her on Twitter @wanjirasworld.