Austin, TX (January 2008)—We’ve all been to Super Bowl parties. Too often they consist of a sofa full of guys cheering and high-fiving while they gulp down beer and chips. Meanwhile, their hapless wives and girlfriends make awkward small talk by the veggie tray and check their watches every few minutes. Sure, football is great for football fans, but not every woman gets all worked up over beefy athletes in tight pants—wait…let us rephrase that…Anyway, while some women do get caught up in the big game, there are likely many more who don’t appreciate the testosterone-y thrill of a Super Bowl soiree.
If you’re one of them, Christine Karpinski has a great suggestion: why not plan your own Super Bowl weekend getaway—just you and a group of your gal pals—at a vacation rental home near you?
“Think about it,” says Karpinski, the director of Owner Community for HomeAway.com (the online vacation home rental marketplace) and author of How to Rent Vacation Properties by Owner, 2nd Edition: The Complete Guide to Buy, Manage, Furnish, Rent, Maintain and Advertise Your Vacation Rental Investment (Kinney Pollack Press, 2007, ISBN: 0-9748249-9-2, $26.00). “You don’t spend enough time with your friends, you’re stressed out and need a break, and if you don’t plan something, you’ll end up making painful chitchat with your husband’s best friend’s new girlfriend—a chick with whom it’s a statistical certainty that you’ll nothing in common!”
Why a vacation rental? Karpinski says they’re fast becoming a popular alternative to hotels. After all, they’re no more expensive than hotel rooms (sometimes even less) and they provide the comfort and convenience you would find in your own home, plus a few extras. Most renters are excited to find their vacation rentals loaded with special features like large fireplaces, luxurious bedding, and soothing hot tubs.
Women hoping to avoid the football hype might pool their money with girlfriends and head off for a weekend stay at one of HomeAway.com’s thousands of vacation homes. Since there is a vacation home within a two-hour drive of most metropolitan areas, women all over the country can stay close to home and still enjoy a quick getaway. And owners are often flexible in their terms, especially during the off-season winter months when they feel lucky to rent even for a few days.
“Going away for the weekend is a great way for women to reconnect with each other, and this girl-time is especially beneficial during the drab winter months when we tend to feel gloomy,” says Karpinski. “And since the men folk are already committed to the television during Super Bowl weekend, most of your female friends will have no excuses not to pack a bag and head out for a fun weekend!”
So what will you do during your mini-vacation? Anything you choose! Here are a few weekend themes that a close-knit group of gals might enjoy:
*The Sleepover Spa Weekend. You and your girlfriends can put on your pajamas and settle in for some much-needed Zen time. Sip cool cucumber water as you give each other manicures and pedicures, or pop in a yoga video and have an energizing group workout. You might even book appointments at the local spa for facials and hot stone massages. Once you’re feeling like a million bucks, head out to a nice restaurant to enjoy some long overdue bonding time.
*The “Man, I Feel Like a Woman” Weekend. With all the men out of the way, this is the best time to indulge in all the girlie-ness that you sometimes stifle around your man. Lounge around eating candy. Blast Carly Simon and Jewel from the speakers and sing along as loudly as you want! Hold a movie marathon featuring all of your favorite chick flicks and don’t scrimp on the tear-jerkers. This weekend, the girls call all the shots!
*The Blast from the Past Weekend. So what if you have a husband, two kids, and three dogs back home? We’re still all kids at heart, aren’t we? This weekend you and your girlfriends can return to behaving like a bunch of teenagers again! Spread out your sleeping bags and play truth or dare. Gossip about the “boys” over popcorn, and break out movies that were popular when you were in high school. If you’re feeling particularly groovy, dress up and head out to a great club or bar. You’ll feel totally recharged by the end of the weekend and ready to return to adulthood.
*The Kids Are Alright Weekend. You may not want to hear this, but there’s a chance the hubbies will balk at keeping the kids and you and your friends won’t be able to find a sitter on Super Bowl Weekend. If that’s the case, don’t worry. The good thing about a vacation home is that the kids can hang out in a different room (or better yet, on a different floor!) while you and the gals savor some fruity daiquiris and a good gab session. Pack your blender and a good supply of kid-friendly movies and everyone will have a happy weekend!
“Even if you can’t get it together in time for the Super Bowl, you should definitely plan a fun weekend for you and your girlfriends soon,” advises Karpinski. “Women forget that we need the friendship of other women, and that’s not good for our emotional health. Check out HomeAway.com to see all the great homes for rent, zip out an email to all your friends, and just do it! Who knows? You may start a winter tradition that will rival even the most boisterous Super Bowl party—and in the future, your husband’s best friend’s new girlfriend will just have to fend for herself!”