Why You Should Go On Holiday With Your Mate Instead

Photo: Maciej Serafinowicz.
Whether you’re doing it up hygge-style in Denmark, sunning yourself in the Canaries, or your pal Laura found a dodgy Airbnb somewhere near Coventry, 2017 is all about the hoe-mantic getaway. As bros are to bromance so hoes are to... you've got the idea. But we're not talking girl gang here, we're talking one-on-one.

Friend-based getaways have become a bit of a thing in the last decade or so – almost as if we only just realised we’re allowed out of the country without a man to carry our big, heavy bags for us. In the last six years, there has been a 230% increase in the number of women-only travel companies, and the girlfriend getaway market makes up a ridiculous 4% of all US travel spending.

Basically, if you haven’t considered a weekend away with your BFF, and you’re constantly prioritising your S.O. and other acronyms, then you’re missing out, big-time. Allow me to convince you to take the plunge, using my wide and varied experience (i.e. I’ve been on three different hoe-mantic breaks and each one was rich and fulfilling).

You can make big life decisions

While away with your family, it’s all about catching up and trying not to throttle your dad (hi Dad, this is just a joke). While away with your significant other, it’s all about having as much sex as possible and avoiding bringing up topics that you know usually lead to arguments. While away with your friend, it’s all about talking through each other’s life and attempting to solve any problems. If your friend – floating on a lilo, drinking a hilariously named cocktail – confesses to being upset about her shit job, then this should subsequently be thrashed out over a drunken dinner until she’s emailed her boss to arrange a meeting upon her arrival back in the country, and you’ve extensively workshopped four scenarios that may play out in said meeting, with you playing an insulting, slaughtered version of her boss.

You can scheme

There’s nothing like a concentrated long weekend of getting sloshed/ going on walks/ wandering about inspirational old buildings that remind you how fleeting life is, to breed a form of plotting not reached over a quick drink back home. Great collaborative ideas come from long breaks. Wine doesn’t even have to be involved. I went away with my best mate last year and she ended up showing me a notebook she carries around called “Men I’ve Shagged”, which we both decided I’d turn into a novel. Ok, this hasn’t happened – and probably won’t – but it was a good idea at the time. Other schemes that HAVE come off involve: me going away with my friend and deciding to start writing comedy together, me going away and deciding to quit my job and go freelance, me going away and deciding to break up with my boyfriend. Sure, only the first one is a legit scheme (the other two are just life decisions) but see below.

You will deepen your friendship

Just like a good ol' dirty getaway can put a sex-cracker up your romantic relationship, a one-on-one break can do the same for a friendship (minus the sex bit, obvs). Going away in a big group is one thing but a ro-mate-ic break is a little more intense, and requires a certain depth of both friendship and personality. It’s easy to get into a routine of only seeing your friends at parties, where you discuss how nice the party is before getting stuck with someone you don’t like. Catch-up drinks one-on-one always take a while to warm up, because for the first hour you’re just listing things you’ve done in the interim and, by the time you’ve got to the business of being friends (talking in stupid voices, wondering what a normal areola size is, googling whether elephants have belly buttons, etc.), it’s time to go home. A hoe-mantic break pushes you to that next level. You can catch up for the first few hours, but then you’ve got the entire weekend to just… be mates. And nothing bonds you to someone like silently reading beside them. No, I’m serious – the moment you don’t have to fill the silence all the time is the moment the conversations, when they do happen, get really interesting.

You’ll end up doing stuff you didn’t expect

You may think you know your best mate inside out but, just like you never know someone ‘til you live with them, you never know a friend 'til you’ve platonically romanced one another. I think Gandhi said that.
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