So you and your girlfriends have talked about that awesome girls trip you should make, but it never went further than the planning stage. Well, 2016 is the year to execute the plan. As we grow older, we continue to have new priorities – work, marriage, kids, etc – but it’s always good to take some time off to make memories with your posse of good friends!
Here are the top 5 destinations that guaranteed will give you and your friends good time. They are tried and tested destinations, from the cheapest to the most luxurious.
Bromo, Indonesia – US$100 for weekend trip
Looking for a weekend getaway? The volcanic Bromo is your go-to place. It is an all-year destination, but March is the best time to view the mountain, when the trees at Teletubbies Hill are at their greenest and welcoming.
Jakarta-Surabaya flights can be as cheap as 200K rupiahs (US$20) and from the East Java capital city you can rent a car including the driver for around 700K-800K rupiah. At Bromo you can stay overnight at one of the guesthouses. The most important part of every Bromo trip is the jeep! Your jeep and the jeep driver will be the highlight of the trip that brings you to the beautiful places around and to Mt. Bromo. I suggest starting your Jeep journey at 3 A.M. by going to Penjanjakan first. Spend about an hour there watching the sky, enjoying the pretty stars, adoring the universe until the sun finally comes up. Saying “good morning” to your friends is never the same again.
Boracay, Philippines – US$450 for 4 days trip
If you have more budget and more time, Boracay is the best affordable and visa-free destination for your girls’ trip. Cheap booze, pretty beaches, yummy dishes and fun activities! The two highlights in Boracay are the Mermaid School and Ariel’s Point, both guarantee good times at the sea.
At Ariel’s Point you can jump off the cliff to the sea. Choose to dive from one of the three options: at 3m, 5m or 8m height. You have to join a half-day excursion trip that includes a boat trip, a buffet BBQ lunch, free-flow booze and unlimited cliff jumping. If you don’t fancy an adrenaline-fueled activity, you can go to the Mermaid school where they will teach you how to flip and swim like a real mermaid, and where, of course, you can work on your mermaid poses on the beach. Perfect Instagram material!
There are a number of budget airlines that flies to Kalibo, from which you can take an hour-long bus to Boracay. If you decide to fly to Manila, I recommend continue flying to Caticlan, which is the closest airport to Boracay Island.
Gifu Prefecture, Japan – US$1200 for a week trip
I’ve never met anybody who doesn’t like Japan and, personally, I think Japan is the most tourist friendly destination on earth. Fly to Tokyo and take a bullet train to Takayama, the first stop on your Gifu Adventure. The highlight of Gifu is of course the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shirakawa-go, which is a beautiful small village surrounded by mountains and rivers. Stay at a local’s house to experience the true Shirakawa-go lifestyle, but if that’s too expensive for you, staying at Takayama would be fine too. From Takayama it’s about an hour bus ride to Shirakawa-go, making it possible to do a day trip there and spend the night at Takayama. Don’t forget to try Hida-beef!
Pacific Road Trip, Australia – US$2,500 for 10 days trip
Pacific Road Trip is the most common road trip done by Australians that stretches from Sydney to Brisbane (or the other way around), passing beautiful coastal beaches, charming little towns and enticing national parks. The road trip could be done in as fast as three days or as long as three months. I did it in 10 days because of time and money constraint.
You will need an international driver’s license to rent a car in Australia. Renting a car costs about $AUD50 per day, or more expensive if you rent for less than a week. You can pick up the car at one city and return at another city at the airport. I suggest finding a place at Airbnb to save a lot of money. Australia has the best Airbnb hosts anyway.
The route has so many different stops along the way, but I recommend South West Rocks, charming little beach town where kangaroos roam on the lawn; Port Stephens, a pretty bay where you can see wild dolphins; Nimbin, the unique drug town; and Byron bay for its famous lighthouse that offers spectacular view of migrating whales. It’s still, hands down, one of the best views I’ve seen in my life.
And while in Australia, you must go on a hike at their amazing national parks!
Maldives – US$1800 for a week trip
Yes, Maldives is the best honeymoon destination for lovey-dovey couples, but, surprisingly, many families and group travelers holiday there also. Of course it is very expensive if you decide to stay at a remote resort, ranging from US$250 to US$1000 a night, excluding the costly US$300 sea plane transport. If don’t want to take the seaplane trip, you can visit the nearby atolls north from Male, the capital city, for relatively cheaper option, and stay in villa while unwinding for a week with your girlfriends.
I only suggest Maldives for “mature” groups who seek the serenity of island life away from the buzzing cities, where they can doze off on the sunbed with the book over their face (and a sweating glass of margarita somewhere nearby). Those who cherish long deep talk with friends about life. It will just be you and your best friends connecting, with the Indian Ocean ahead of you.
Now, go and start a whatsapp group so you can begin planning! That break you’ve been wanting to take will happen in 2016!
Meitriyana currently lives in Singapore, fourth city she’s lived in and definitely not the last. She loves travelling with her partner and her girlfriends but never alone because she always needs somebody to take photos of her. Her greatest wanderlust moment is her one-month backpacking trip to Europe last 2013.