Grab some girlfriends and have a great time, writes Lauren Jones.
There's often nothing better than a weekend away with the girls. When work is wearing you down a girl's weekend is the perfect mix of spontaneity and relaxation. Whether you want a glam spa weekend or a boot camp to kick start your fitness journey, we've compiled a list of ideas and inspiration so you can get planning.
If you're looking for a completely chilled out escape, a mindfulness retreat could be just what the doctor ordered. With yoga, meditation, massages and spa treatments on offer, you're sure to find some inner peace. New York-based Mindful Health put on women's retreats annually, one at an eco retreat on the beach in Tulum, Mexico, and another that's lakeside in Aurora, New York. Closer to home, Te Wahi Ora offers affordable retreats for women, by women, at Auckland's beautiful Piha Beach. Accommodation options range from deluxe sea-view suites to a groovy restored caravan.
If you're a water baby, a surf camp is a great way to stay active while enjoying a laid-back vibe. Grab a few girlfriends who are similarly inclined and head to a great surf location for a retreat. Escape Haven, founded by New Zealander Janine Hall, offers women's-only luxury surf and yoga retreats in Bali, Byron Bay and beyond, and was voted the Best Women's Retreat by Harper's Bazaar. If you're looking to really get away, Swell Women offers some awesome retreats in far-flung destinations including Nicaragua, El Salvador and Sri Lanka — hang 10!
If you're over the hot weather (though to be fair there hasn't been that much), a getaway to some crisp mountain air may suit you. Plus, a girls' trip that involves learning to ski or snowboard is bound to be hilarious and make for some great photos. Cheap flights to Asia abound so try Goddess Retreats' women's wellness ski trip in Hakuba, in the Japanese Alps. As well as ski and snowboard lessons, the package includes three visits to a traditional Onsen (bath house), to experience rejuvenation and zen after a day on the slopes.
One of the downsides of a girls-only holiday is feeling guilty because you ate way too much and sipped on a few too many cocktails. So why not mix it up with a fitness retreat in a beautiful location — keeping in shape, learning some new routines and inspiring your girlfriends is a win for all. Resolution Retreats offers a range of programs at Ridge Country Retreat, among 14ha of native bush in the hills behind Mt Maunganui. Whether you go for three days or two weeks, there's a package to suit everyone — no excuses.
A weekend away with your mum is probably the ultimate girls' escape - whether you're best friends already or looking to strengthen your bond, it's bound to be really special and create some amazing memories. For a retreat that's close to home, Gaia Retreat and Spa in New South Wales — owned by Olivia Newton-John — offers a three-day package for mothers and daughters. This includes gourmet meals, spa treatments and daily yoga sessions, with added emphasis on pampering and bonding.