We’re delighted to welcome New York Times bestselling author Jane Heller to the blog today! She comes bearing excellent advice for those of you considering a getaway with your besties–a “friendcation,” as she puts it. Enjoy her words of wisdom, as well as her new novel, Three Blonde Mice, available on shelves now. (And check out her book trailer at the bottom of this post!)

As if that’s not enough, Jane is giving away 5 cute aprons (in XOXO hot pink!) that you can enter to win via the Rafflecopter widget below. Perfect for the budding chef (or to hide the bloodstains?)!

Three Blonde MiceSeveral years ago, I wrote a novel called PRINCESS CHARMING in which Elaine, Jackie and Pat, three best friends who take vacations together every year, decided to embark on a seven-day Caribbean cruise – totally unaware that one of their ex-husbands had hired a hit man to kill one of them on the ship! In my new novel, THREE BLONDE MICE, the three women are agritourists on a “haycation,” spending a week at a farm where they learn how to milk a cow, harvest veggies and take cooking classes with a farm-to-table chef – only to discover that one of their classmates (maybe the guy who’s hot for Elaine?) intends to kill the chef!

Obviously, my “Three Blonde Mice” series of friendcations involves romance and high drama, but your girls’ getaway doesn’t have to. Here are my tips for avoiding the pitfalls and having a blast.

  1. Book separate rooms if you can afford it. Togetherness is a beautiful thing, but too much togetherness makes even BFFs get on each other’s nerves. Fights over closet space, for example, aren’t a good way to kick off the trip.
  2. Make sure everyone’s on board with the destination. There’s no point in twisting anybody’s arm into going to Vegas if that person would rather be in Cancun.
  3. If you or your friends have kids, find somebody responsible to look after them during your trip and then stop obsessing about them. Calling home 16 times a day to check on everybody is a buzz kill.
  4. Arrange for activities that suit everyone’s skill level. What fun is skiing if one of your friends breaks a leg while trying to get off the chair lift?
  5. Retail therapy is good for the soul, but shopping till you drop can max out your credit card – and get you arrested. When on a friendcation, do buy souvenirs, but make sure they’re merchandise from reputable stores, not illegal knockoffs from street vendors.
  6. Bring drugs. No, not those I’m talking about medications, as in the Epi-Pen Auto-Injector that’ll save you from a bee sting allergy or the Immodium that’ll prevent spending the trip in the bathroom. A friendcation when one of you is too sick to leave the hotel room? Bummer.Friendcation
  7. Drink responsibly. That means party to your heart’s content – what is a friendcation if not a chance to throw back some cocktails? – but call Uber before even thinking about getting behind the wheel of a car.
  8. If you’re all single and one of you finds true love (or at least true lust) on the trip, don’t dump your friends for the guy. That’s just wrong. You came to spend quality time with each other. Besides, plunging into a relationship away from home might tempt you to post a pic of you and the guy on Facebook – an image that’ll haunt you forever.
  9. When women travel together, there are bound to be disagreements. Don’t let negative feelings simmer. Talk about them and then hug it out.
  10. And finally – this should be obvious but I’ll say it anyway – do not include the Mean Girl on your friendcation, no matter how often or persuasively she begs to tag along. The minute you unpack your bags, she’ll dominate every conversation, try to set the itinerary, turn off other travelers you might meet and make you wish you’d stayed home. Take friendcations with really good and trusted pals.

Don’t forget to enter Jane’s contest to win one of these great aprons, perfect for all your farm-to-table fun!
a Rafflecopter giveaway