Ready to spend some time with your squad? Here’s the lowdown on which locales are perfect for your next girls' trip and what swimwear you’ll need for each destination.
WHEN IT'S JUST YOU & YOUR BESTIE: SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA
Photo via Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa
It never feels like there’s enough time to catch up with your fave gal, so it’s important to head somewhere special that allows you to bond with each other while disconnecting from the rest of the world. Try Scottsdale, Arizona for a transporting experience that you can reach without a passport. This sunset-hued city has a host of spas and resorts, many of which are world-famous, like Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa, where you two can partake in heart-pumping fitness classes and then bliss out with a hot stone massage. And honestly, what sounds better than a few days of pampering with your best friend? Not that you need to be full-out lazybones while you’re in town. Check out special places nearby including the mesmerizing Desert Botanical Garden, which has walking trails that pass by towering Saguaro cacti and Sonoran wildflowers. Or stop in for a tour of Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s former residence and school that now provides a home base for the famous architect’s namesake foundation. No judgements if you’d rather hang out by the infinity pool to share some giggles in between gossip mags and cat naps, though.
WHAT TO PACK:
It can be a challenge to find the right types of bathing suits that work at a spa-style resort, especially if you’re planning on being active. You’ll need bikini top styles that aren’t too low-cut and bikini bottom styles that won’t ride up or slip down. The Riddle Story Print Bikini Set can handle stand-up paddle board yoga in the pool (it’s a thing), with its halter neckline and high-rise waist. The Wine Red Floral One-Piece Swimsuit features adjustable wide straps for a secure fit and a high neckline so there’ll be no…ahem…wardrobe malfunctions.
If you two would be happier sunbathing, there are a zillion types of swimsuits could work. Try bikini styles like the Tropic Heat Bikini Set and the Boho Print Bikini With Braided Straps, both featuring prints that fit in with Southwestern surroundings. Why not have fun with it?
WHEN IT'S "THE MORE THE MERRIER": MIAMI, FLORIDA
Your whole crew travels as one, which means you need to look for a destination that has something for everyone: the friend who is gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free (this week). The friend who thinks paragliding sounds perfectly reasonable. The friend who likes to have every hour planned out. The friend who likes to sleep in all day and can’t be bothered. The best course of action is to pick somewhere that has a little bit of everything, which drastically increases the chances of pleasing everyone.
This scenario calls for Miami. Amazing beaches? Check. Yup. Restaurants and clubs for days? Uh-huh. Adventure sports like kite surfing? Of course. If your hotel isn’t on the beach, you can always head to Lummus Park Beach, smack in the middle of seriously swoon-worthy Art Deco buildings in all of their pastel glory. The South Beach nightclub scene is all-night long, all-night strong, so take the group out for at least one hot and sweaty night of dancing to bass lines that pump so hard, your ear drums might hurt the next day. If everyone’s down for Latin music, hit Mango’s Tropical Café for mojitos and tail feather-shaking galore. Or take the gang off the beaten path to the Wynwood Arts District where you can snap #squad pics at Wynwood Walls, a made-for-Instagram outdoor graffiti exhibit. When all that posing leaves you with hunger pangs, sample goodies from the food trucks congregating at the Wynwood Yard. Don’t worry, the beach will still be there when your gals get done with snacking on those mind-blowing churros from Santo Dulce!
WHAT TO PACK:
What to bring to the beach? Go bold in bathing suit styles that attract attention and push the envelope. Your suitcase should include statement-makers like the Peach Macaroon Bowknot Bikini Set, an on-trend pink-and-blue confection that features a reversible bottom for double the style. Or opt for this Crochet One-Piece Swimsuit, a daring and unique monokini. What is a monokini? It’s a cross between a bikini and a one piece that’s a nonverbal way of saying, “It’s fashion, beaches. Look it up.”
WHEN YOU WANT LA DOLCE VITA: THE ITALIAN RIVIERA, LUGURIA
More often than not, Italy conjures visions of rolling Tuscan foothills and vineyards. Not that we don’t appreciate a great glass of Chianti, but it’s really the Italian Riviera we’re dreaming of. With its rows of luxury yachts, fresh seafood, high-end shopping and colorful villages, this is a trip that’ll make you and your ladies feel like modern-day versions of Sophia Loren. Start in Genoa, the region’s largest city, and pay tribute to the town’s favorite son, Cristopher Columbus. You know, the one that discovered America? That one. While you’re there, visit the circa-1100 AD Cathedral of San Lorenzo, complete with a stunning frescoed interior. Next stop is the town of Rapallo. Known for its seaside promenade, you can stroll and check out the scenery, which surely includes hunky Italian guys. Head on to the beautiful beachside village of Santa Margherita Ligure to splash around in its emerald-colored water. Lastly, make your way to Portofino’s ultra-glamorous Hotel Splendido. Overlook the harbor while clinking glasses at the hotel’s famous restaurant, La Terrazza. The two hidden benefits of this plan? One, that pair of comically oversized sunglasses you splurged on last year look completely appropriate here, and two, you might just meet one of those yacht’s owners!
WHAT TO PACK:
Besides retro-inspired sundresses and the aforementioned statement-making shades, make a beach packing list with swimsuit styles that fit in with the glam Riviera atmosphere. The Red And White Stripe One-Piece Swimsuit With Ruching wouldn’t look out of place with a dramatically wide-brimmed hat and espadrilles. For bikini types, it’s got to be the Summer Lemon Falbala Bikini Set—lemon prints like this one have been spotted on the runways of Milan, natch.
WHEN YOU CAN'T PIN DOWN AN EXACT DATE: CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA
A perfect year-round destination for a girlfriend getaway, this jewel of city on the Caribbean Sea rarely registers below 70 degrees or above 90 degrees during any given month. If the rows of brightly colored Spanish-style houses and balconies overflowing with bougainvillea don’t convince you that this is where you and your ladies should be, the lively design and food scenes here will seal the deal. Give yourselves some retail therapy in Cartagena’s covetable boutiques like St. Dom, housed in a 300-year-old former colonial residence, which stocks both local and international designers. Rest up in your own secret hideaway, the Tcherassi Hotel + Spa, located in a restored 18th-century mansion that’s helmed by celebrated Colombian fashion designer Sylvia Tcherassi. The one absolute must-do activity: hop a short boat ride out to the Rosario Islands for the day. The Rosario Islands are dotted with private beach clubs that provide everything you need to spend some much-needed girl-time on your own gloriously secluded beach. This includes showers and changing rooms, plus catered lunch, tropical drinks, and plenty of towels all delivered by private beach attendants so you don’t have to lift a finger.
WHAT TO PACK:
Any checklist for Cartagena should include swimsuits that meet at the intersection of tropical and totally chic. New bikini styles like the Ruffled Floral Bikini upgrade a feminine floral print with ruffled straps for a flirty, frilly look. Beach essentials like the Back Cross Monstera One-Piece Swimsuit make a sophisticated reference to the region’s lush flora and fauna.