» This Story:Read +| Comments
TRAVEL Q&A.

You Go, Girls, to Alaska

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
By Scott Vogel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 4, 2008

Q. In 2009, my college friends and I will turn 60. The group, five women, has already taken girl trips to Memphis, Hilton Head, San Francisco, the Napa Valley, Chicago and northeastern Florida. We want something special this time. Can you help?

This Story
View All Items in This Story
View Only Top Items in This Story

Jennifer Maloney, Gaithersburg

A. This isn't a girl group, it's a 1982 Go-Go's world tour (and we have the T-shirt to prove it), but never mind. Robin Zell of Just Girl Trips studied your past itineraries closely, finding it odd that the five of you hadn't mixed it up in Las Vegas at some point, ridden a zip line through Costa Rica or -- especially -- cruised Alaska.

"I say Alaska because with this age group, they're probably not sun worshipers anymore," Zell said. (She said it, not us.) "You can still have the luxury and amenities, step out into the wilderness and go back to the comfort of your cabin at the end of the day."

Zell started Just Girl Trips ( http://www.justgirltrips.com, 877-239-2950), she said, because "women are overworked and underpaid." Her recommendations, therefore, tilt toward the rejuvenating. Arizona, say.

"They could stay at the Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale" -- http://www. fairmont.com, 480-585-4848 -- "and enjoy a fabulous group pedicure. All the girls sit in a circle and sip champagne and eat strawberries while they get their toes done."

And just when we were thinking that the only things missing were Oprah and a couple of Nicholas Sparks novels, Zell moved on to more-frenzied Vegas ("It's not just tossing coins in the slot machines with the blue-hairs anymore") and whitewater rafting trips on the Colorado River, especially those offered by Holiday Expeditions ( http://www.bikeraft.com, 800-624-6323). "The sense of accomplishment would be awesome for this group," Zell said.

While we had Zell on the phone, we couldn't resist asking what it is that makes a good girls group. Answer: the absence of Maybes, here defined as women who think that they definitely might probably be able to make it, then back out at the last minute.

"Pick a date and let everybody know what it is and stick to it," Zell said. "Ninety percent of the time these trips never happen, and that's because of the Maybes."

My husband is in the town of Hard, Austria, coaching the Austrian national women's softball teams, and I would like to visit him in July. What are the best places to see in the Hard area?

Erika Ginsburg, Rockville

Is he working Hard or hardly working? If the latter, head for the hills. Vorarlberg -- the Alpine province in western Austria where Hard is found -- is "surrounded by stunning mountains," according to Sigrid Pichler at the Austrian Tourist Office ( http://www.austria.info, 212-944-6880), who called it a "hiking, walking, biking and boating paradise on Lake Constance." Not too far away is Vorarlberg's capital city, Bregenz, site of a superb though somewhat under-the-radar summer festival ( http://www.bregenzfestival.com) celebrating architecture, opera and more in July and August.

"Beautiful day trips in the area [include] Bregenzerwald, a picturesque village in Schwarzenberg, or the towns of Konstanz and Lindau on Lake Constance," Pichler said. The latter two are in Germany, and Konstanz in particular is worth a visit, if only for its meticulously preserved medieval architecture. Further afield, Innsbruck is just two hours away by train ( http://www.innsbruck.info), while Salzburg is a bit more than three ( http://www.salzburg.info).

Send queries by e-mail (travelqa@washpost.com) or U.S. mail (Travel Q&A, Washington Post Travel Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071). Please include your name and town.


» This Story:Read +| Comments
© 2008 The Washington Post Company


Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity