Image: Girls-only beach, Italy
Daniele La Monaca  /  Reuters
Patrons of a beach, exclusively for women, sunbathe in the Italian Adriatic resort town of Riccione. A survey found that the most common destination for women to reconnect with each other was at the beach.
updated 7/19/2007 4:57:34 PM ET 2007-07-19T20:57:34

Girlfriend getaways are growing in popularity, according to a survey released Thursday.

The study conducted by the AAA auto and travel association found that 24 percent of American women have taken a girlfriend getaway in the past three years and nearly 40 percent plan one in the next three years.

The survey of 1,500 women found that the most common destination was the beach (66 percent) followed by a spa (63 percent) or a shopping site (55 percent) or a cruise (51 percent).

Most indicated, however, that the destination was incidental to the purpose of the trip —spending quality time with female friends and family members, the study found.

It also found that while about 7 percent of the girls-only trips were related to a planned wedding, and 9 percent to a birthday, most didn't have a specific peg. In more than a third of cases, respondents said they wanted to reconnect with friends or get together for no special reason.

The biggest difficulties — finding a time that worked for everyone and selecting a trip that fit everyone's budget.

Aspire marketing, based in Phoenix, worked with AAA on the study.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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