5 Affordable Girls' Getaways

Recharge and reconnect with your gal pals with a budget-friendly retreat.

U.S. News & World Report

5 Affordable Girls' Getaways

Girl friends on a summer vacation road trip

Whether you want sunshine, shopping, spa treatments or a culture-filled getaway, these spots are perfect for plenty of pampering and bonding time together with the girls.(Getty Images)

When it comes to finding a place to decompress with your friends, college roommates or family members on a great getaway with the girls, the key is plenty of planning and choosing a destination that offers a winning mix of fun, relaxation and quality bonding time. But here's the thing: Selecting a girls' getaway that fits a variety of preferences and price points can be tricky. For this reason, we came up with five budget-friendly girls' getaway ideas that offer the chance to cut loose, indulge in excellent cuisine, try a new activity and, most importantly, bring gal pals together.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Unlike the nonstop partying and rabble-rousing across Cancun, Playa del Carmen offers an ideal blend of accessible and sublime beaches, as well as thriving nightlife and dining scenes. Best of all, the newly opened Thompson Playa Del Carmen, offers a variety of resort deals catering to groups. During your stay, you can catch up over drinks from their rooftop bar, which boasts panoramic views from its perch above La Quinta Avenida, Playa Del Carmen's main thoroughfare. And in the daytime, you can enjoy plenty of sunbathing and shopping along the pedestrian-friendly La Quinta Avenida, or check out the nearby Xcaret Eco-park, which features plenty of opportunities for swimming and wildlife-spotting. Plus, if you want to spring for a little pampering, it's hard to beat the divine spa treatments (think: Fire & Ice stone massages) at the spa at Sense, a Rosewood Spa, at Rosewood Mayakoba.

Washington, D.C.

The nation's capital offers a wealth of free attractions and affordable places to bond. If you're traveling with art enthusiasts, make sure to check out the National Gallery of Art, which offers free admission and boasts a multitude of galleries, free concerts and exhibitions. And if you're looking for a cosmopolitan spot for leisurely cocktail-sipping with the ladies, head to the Hay-Adams Hotel located just a few short blocks from the National Mall, and grab a libation at Off the Record, the property's upscale bar. And if you would indulge in shopping outing, you and your buds can browse the racks in Dupont Circle or along trendy 14th Street, where you'll find plenty of consignment shops and affordable boutiques. Afterward, make your way to Georgetown to indulge in delectable cupcakes at the renowned Georgetown Cupcake or Baked & Wired. And for some excellent people-watching, make sure to check out BOURBON STEAK at the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, which is frequented by high-profile politicos and celebrities, alike.

Salt Lake City

For flourishing food and shopping scenes that won't leave a major dent in your pocketbook, look no further than Salt Lake City. Current Fish & Oyster – and its sister bar Under Current, with its inventive bites and inexpensive cocktails – offers an excellent spot for eating and drinking. And across the city, you'll also find a wealth of brewpubs and innovative restaurants, featuring everything from Spanish- to Japanese-influenced plates. When you're ready for some activity, stroll and shop around the Broadway area, where you'll find bargain-friendly stores like Fellow Shop or hit up the other side of downtown Salt Lake City for decadent chocolates at Caputo's before getting pampered with a spa treatment at The Grand America Hotel. And if you're hankering for more adventurous pursuits, with Salt Lake's dramatic typography, filled with canyons, mountains and the idyllic Great Salt Lake, there are plenty of outdoor adventures to experience.


If you and the girls are looking for a buzzy party scene paired with great gastronomy, it's hard to deny the appeal of a Miami getaway. Consider staying at the W South Beach to enjoy spacious rooms appointed with private balconies. Plus, when you need a break from the ocean or poolside lounging, you and your pals can get pampered at the on-site Bliss Spa. Once you're feeling replenished, head over to Cecconi's Restaurant for an elegant Italian dinner or check out Bâoli for French cuisine with Asian flair. And if you and the ladies love brunching, make sure to check out Mandolin Aegean Bistro or Verde at the Pérez Art Museum where you can combine museum-hopping with tasty bites in Miami's vibrant Design District. As for shopping, you'll have your pick from boutiques to major chains, but if you're on a strict budget, save your money for the Miami's world-renowned nightclubs.

Vail, Colorado

Vail may not come to mind as the most budget-friendly girls' getaway destination, but despite the cost to reach this ski mecca, it's fairly easy to find affordable lodging options once your arrive. At The Lodge at Vail, A Rock Resort, for example, suites can easily accommodate two people and feature a pull-out sofa, making it an ideal accommodation choice for groups. Plus, with free coffee, cookies, cocoa and a prime location that's just a two-minute walk from the main ski rental facility, transportation costs are minimal. Grab a bite at The 10th, an acclaimed restaurant at Vail Mountain, before winding down at a low-key pub like the Red Lion, which offers cheap, yet tasty beer varieties and plenty of great entertainment. And if you and the ladies are globetrotting foodies, rent a car and check out the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse in Leadville, Colorado for a meal to remember. Though this tucked-away backcountry dining spot requires a 40-minute walk (by snowshoe), you can savor four gourmet courses for $85 per person. And if all the skiing, walking and indulging in delectable meals has you maxed out, head back to The Lodge at Vail for some quality spa time together. Facial and massage treatments start at around $100, making it an ideal getaway for spa-seekers on a budget. 

About En Route

Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.

Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.

Edited by Liz Weiss.

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