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Traveling with Friends: Girlfriend Getaways

If “The Real Housewives of Wherever” are any indication, girlfriend getaways are becoming just as popular as the classic, Griswold-style family vacation. In fact, a recent TripAdvisor survey found that nearly a quarter of travelers are planning to take a trip with friends this year, and resorts and travel companies are taking note.

Our Deal Experts have a slew of offers this week that should entice you to call up your friends and leave the husband and kids at home. And since you can pick your own travel companions rather than Bravo picking them for you, the drama should be at a minimum.

  • New York City: Spend a weekend in the Big Apple and stay blocks from Bloomingdale’s and Fifth Avenue shopping at the 4-star Fitzpatrick hotel. While you’re there, have drinks and appetizers in the lounge before a Broadway show like “Chicago,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Rent” or  “End of the Rainbow.” Local Deals for Zagat-praised dinners, luxurious spa services, bike rentals and even a picnic in Central Park are all great options to round out the weekend.
  • Chicago: The Windy City comes alive in the summer, with residents flocking to the city’s many beaches and lively weekend festivals. Weeknight stays at the Omni Hotel Chicago start at $169, where the Apple Store and Cole Haan are literally right outside your door and Oak Street Beach is a short walk up the Magnificent Mile. Entertainment options abound, including "Cirque Shanghai" at Navy Pier, massages and Champagne at the JW Marriott and a bus tour of all the hot spots for $19.
  • Orlando: This family-oriented destination can be lots of fun for adults, too. Just tell the kids you’re visiting grandma and book a room at an Orlando-area Hilton starting at $87 per night, or treat yourselves at the AAA 4-Diamond Sheraton for $159-$179. If you’re theme parked-out, take a short drive to the charming Winter Park neighborhood for a nice dinner at local favorite Chez Vincent.
  • Paris: It may be one of the most romantic cities on earth, but the fashion, art, cafes and wine make Paris a fabulous choice for girlfriends, too. You and your amies can stay at the Millennium Hotel Paris, Opera for $184 per night or at one of four Concorde Hotels starting at $115. Check Fly.com for the best dates to jet set this summer.
  • Miami: Summer is a great time to score deals in hot climates, including this one at the luxurious Four Seasons in downtown Miami for $199 per night on weekends. Room nights include access to the posh pools and fitness center with free classes, and you’re a short cab ride away from rooftop cocktails on Collins Avenue and massages at the Hilton on Ocean Drive.

For the guys: The ladies aren’t the only ones taking more trips with friends these days. Men looking for a break from the daily grind can hit Vegas for as little as $39 per night at the Hooters Casino Hotel or $99 per night in the posh HRH Tower at the Hard Rock Las Vegas with six drinks at Treasure Island for $25 and a round of golf in nearby Henderson with lunch and a beer for $39. Or head to Seattle for an all-day fishing trip or round of golf starting at $69 for two.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, Chicago
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
See more Tips from
Erica Wacker