I love to travel, and getting a good deal makes a sweet escape even sweeter. Everyone knows that summer is the peak season for travel, which means a spike in prices and everything travel related. However, an early fall escape with a fun group of girlfriends can serve as a way to steal a little "me time" before heading into the whirlwind of holiday season.
Depending on your tastes, a vacation with your best girlfriends could be a long, relaxing weekend in the Texas wine country, or a raucous good time in Las Vegas. Here are a few of my top tips – from what to do, where to stay and what to bring – for each.
Cutting Loose in Las Vegas
When it comes to planning a girls’ getaway to Las Vegas, keep in mind that you can’t please everyone – especially if you have a large group. Scout out an assortment of activities that appeal to the majority. Plan to see a show or two, shop the Las Vegas Premium Outlets, and have dinner as a group. If you’re feeling adventurous, test your mettle with the Richard Petty Driving Experience, zipline down Freemont Street, or SkyJump at the Stratosphere. Just be careful to not to go overboard as activities director; you want to incorporate some free time for everyone to relax or explore on their own. If you are in a big group and don't feel like staying along the busy strip, you can always rent a house and split the cost.
Pack the perfect bag
Even as a seasoned traveler, I still dread packing, which is why I’ve gotten it down to a science. The secret is start by considering your planned activities, and then to choose your shoes first. For Las Vegas you’ll need comfy flats or athletic shoes for your daytime excursions, sexy high heels for your nights out and a foldable/packable pair of flip flops or ballet flats for the end of the night when your heels have turned against you. The non-stop combination of walking and dancing in Vegas will have your feet begging for mercy by the time your evening ends. That’s when you break out your auxiliary shoes (think Dr. Scholl’s for Her Fast Flats) to save you from braving The Strip in your bare feet. After choosing shoes, build out your wardrobe from there with interchangeable pieces that are versatile to keep your fashion options open. Maxi dresses are a favorite because they can be dressed up or down depending on your accessories. Tailored shorts and bold blouses are stylish options for day that won’t leave you looking too casual. Bring along a few LBD or cocktail dresses to turn up the appeal for your nights out. Finally, don’t forget your swimsuit, a chic cover-up and of course your favorite sunglasses.
Don’t break the girl code - A girls getaway in Sin City always comes with a few must-follow rules:
- No tagging your friends on social media without permission
- If you break from the group let someone know where you’re going
- Don’t forget your comfy shoes (check!)
- Remember to hydrate
- What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas (and not on Instagram!)
Kicking back in Texas wine country
When considering wine country, Texas isn’t exactly a place that comes to mind. However, a pretty significant wine-producing region is tucked away in the Texas Hill Country, the central and southern region in the lone star state. Small cities including Fredericksburg, Wimberley and Driftwood are full of character, southern charm, and yes, wine.
You’ll want spacious accommodations, and since this is Texas we’re talking about, why not stay in a historic ranch house with a pool and tennis courts on property? Vacation rentals are a girls getaway staple, and there are lots of gorgeous (and affordable!) options around town. A major plus, no one will be forced to bunk up since many of the ranch homes in the area have 4+ bedrooms and generous living areas.
To whet your palette, Wine Road 290 (US 290) in Fredericksburg delivers a whopping 13 wineries along the stretch. The best way to experience it is on a guided tour, and Heart of Texas Wine Tours is a traveler favorite. The usual itinerary can fit 3 to 5 wineries in one tour, but the option to plan a custom tour is available. Be sure to snap some photos of longhorn cattle, a Texas icon, on one of the many working farms nearby.
Even if you’re headed to Wimberley for the wine, you must visit Jacob’s Well. It is an artesian spring that flows from one of the longest underwater caves in Texas. It serves as the headwaters to Cypress Creek and supplies several bodies of water in the area. One look at the photos, and it’s not to be believed. Even if you’re not daring enough to dive in for yourself, it’s a natural wonder worth seeing.
If staying in Wimberley, capture your inner frontierswoman at an ultra-modern log cabin. It’s a two-story, stacked-log wonder overlooking Cypress Creek with three bedrooms, two baths and all the modern comforts of home.
When it comes to wardrobe, you won’t find too many folks walking around in “dress Westerns,” but there are plenty of straw cowboy hats, boots and denim. Jeans and tees will serve you just fine in this relaxed part of the region, but consider a sundress with a tiny floral or avian print for a change of pace. Cowboy boots aren’t just welcomed, they’re encouraged, and go ahead and buy that straw cowboy hat, too. You’ll fit right in. The leisurely pace of the Texas Hill Country is perfect for no-hassle apparel.
No matter the preferred tempo of your girls’ getaway, it’s always worthwhile to spend time bonding with friends and getting in a little “me time.” Have fun planning your adventure. Where would you consider doing your girls’ getaway?
Author: Quia Querisma