Hatteras Island is a wonderful location for a weekend or week-long girlfriends getaway.

Shore Details can customize your girls trip based on length of stay, amenities desired and the number of ladies participating in the girls retreat. First, decide if your time together will be adventuresome or purely relaxing or a combination of the two. Shore Details can help you plan a kayak tour, stand-up paddle board lessons, jet ski rentals and an off-shore fishing trip for adventure seeking girlfriends. If relaxation is the focus, Shore Details will arrange for a massage therapist or yoga instructor to come to your vacation home to provide personalized services. Likewise, Shore Details can arrange a private chef to prepare some or all your meals.

For example, Kathy and Deborah from West Virginia build an annual one-week girls trip into their calendar. They’ve been taking trips every year for the past decade. The last three years, they have visited the Outer Banks. Deborah explained that the OBX has so many things to see and do, they couldn’t experience everything and still have enough beach time the first year they visited. With each return visit Kathy says the trips are a chance to relax without being responsible for anyone.

Discover the perks of a trip with the gals – and find out how to make it happen

“Let go of guilt”, says Laura Manske, travel journalist and author of Family Travel: The Farther You Go, the Closer You Get. “Just the thought of ducking out on your family – even for a little while – is enough to make you feel bad. And once that guilt creeps in, you can say goodbye to allowing yourself a little girl time. The truth is, there’s nothing to feel guilty about. You may think that by traveling with friends you’re taking something away from your family. But the opposite is true. Focusing on yourself and the joy of camaraderie increases your sense of fulfillment, confidence and resiliency. You become a better wife and, if you have kids, a better mom.” Manske offers the following tips to break free of the guilt for good.

  • Write yourself a permission slip. At the top of a piece of paper, write I AM WORTH IT! Then list the good things you expect to gain from your getaway: I’ll take naps… restore my energy… laugh a lot… strengthen friendships, etc. And make sure you add a few activities to the mix. Eye this list whenever doubt clouds your plans.
  • Get your family on board.Nip guilt trips in the bud by playing up how much fun your kids will have with their dad or how your husband will be able to kick back with the guys.
  • Give your trip more meaning.If the lure of relaxation isn’t enough to convince you to go, tie the vacation to an important celebration: a job promotion, a retirement, a college reunion or a birthday.
  • Go for quality over quantity.If you just can’t handle the guilt (or expense) of being away for a week, then keep it short.
  • Work Out the Nuts + Bolts. Pick the right friends and dealing with the nitty-gritty of planning a trip will be easier. Ask yourself: Who shares some of my interests, has a similar energy level and makes me laugh?That person is likely an ideal travel companion.
  • What’s the ideal group size?It’s easiest to arrange a trip with one friend, yet a bunch of buddies can heighten the fun. But steer clear of trios. Once the pals are picked, it’s time to get down to business.
  • Decide the date.Of course, the calendar will affect where you go. However, some off-season options can dish up big bargains.
  • Divvy the duties.Decide who will do what right from the start. Perhaps your Web-savviest pal can research package deals; the culture buff can suggest entertainment; the foodie can find great restaurants. To keep everyone in the loop, create an online message board, like a Facebook Group It’s a centralized place where you all can post questions, discuss options and confirm decisions.
  • Sum up the budget.Be upfront about how much you each can spend and pick an amount that works for all of you. Next, discuss how costs will be divided, and aim for fairness.
  • Settle on sleeping arrangements.If you do opt to rent a condo or house, figure out who’ll sleep where before you go.
  • Sketch a basic itinerary.Whoever’s handling the to-dos should get input from everyone. Also, plan the big things that require reservations— a spa treatment, a show, a tour—but leave plenty of leisure hours to put your feet up.
  • Now Go Have a Good Time. You’ve finally arrived in paradise. Here’s how to make the most out of it.
  • Have realistic expectations. Don’t expect everything to be perfect with your friends and just because you’re on vacation together doesn’t mean you have to be joined at the hip; time along every day will help each of you recharge.
  • Tame the tech. Agree to limit phoning, texting or emailing. Your family knows how to get in touch with you if an emergency comes up. Focus on being present for one another.

Manske emphasizes, “Even if all is right in your world, vacationing with girlfriends is energizing and empowering.”

Consequently, the travel industry has taken notice with books and guides for girls trips. “It goes beyond girls just wanting to have fun. Women traveling without men or families is a sign they feel entitled to take time off from caregiving,” says Heather Gibson, a professor of tourism at the University of Florida who studies female travel. Many women who work maintain most of the responsibilities at home. Gibson’s research helps us understand how we can best juggle work and life. “There has to be some space in life where people get a chance to talk to one other and to feel connected,” she says. There is no time like the present to start building or continuing your own legacy of loyalty and laughter with your girlfriends by reserving a vacation rental and using our Vacation Concierge Service at Shore Details. Happy New Year!