Girls just want to have fun, so this column is all about girls' getaways.
There are tour operators who concentrate just on mother and daughter outings, where they can spend a little quality time bonding abroad.
Tour operators that specialize in this type of travel include Globus and Cosmos and Gutsy Women Travel.
Summer is here, so don't miss out on the opportunity to start thinking about sharing some quality bonding time abroad with your friends, daughters, book club buddies or sorority sisters.
It's a different kind of travel, but one from which you will return with wonderful memories.
Since most women love and live to shop, why not consider a week in Paris and London?
These two shopping meccas are packed with designer stores, outdoor markets, antiques and, most importantly, fabulous shoes.
Ladies can pick up a pair of Manolo Blahnik's on Church Street in London or find the hottest Dolce & Gabbanas on Rue Rivoli in Paris. Just make sure you bring an empty suitcase, as shopping temptations will surround you during your stay.
Here are a few favorite places to consider.
London has enough shopping variety to accommodate the tastes of everyone from the queen to Madonna, so you are sure to find something you love.
The following places for a little shopper's delight seem to be the favorites according to general consensus:
Stella McCartney, 30 Bruton St. True to her mother's strict vegetarian principles, Stella doesn't use leather or suede, but makes her unique statement with ultra-suede purses and trendy synthetic stilettos.
Gwyneth and Scarlett approve!
Spitalfield's Market, Commercial Street. Here you can browse through 250 stalls of everything from candles and oils to the latest fashions. It's a great way to spend an afternoon with the girls. Thursdays and Sundays are the best days to go, but it's open all week.
Paris is a shopaholic's dream, and those who travel there in January or July, will be excited to find that Dior, Prada, Channel and most designers have marked down their trendiest items 50 percent to 70 percent.
Here are our two top picks for the best shopping finds in this beautiful city.
Place de la Victoire:
Once you have shopped the touristy Champs Elysées, get off the beaten path and head for the Place de la Victoire, a square in Paris with tons of great stores, such as Energie, where you can pick up this year's hottest items.
Marché de la Création Paris Montparnasse: Rue de la Ga"té
You will love bringing home a real piece of Parisian art. This market explodes with paintings, sculptures, ceramics and jewelry from local exhibitors all year round. Do allow for plenty of time, as you will not want to leave. Well worth it. Happy shopping, ladies.
This column just gives you a tantalizing taste of what can be awaiting you once you have visited the usual places of interest in these two cities.
London and Paris never sleep, so this is a getaway that promises to keep you on your toes.
Get together with your favorite travel agent who will take care of every detail so you can relax, knowing that you have nothing to think about except having fun.
Until your actual trip, happy travel dreams.
Geraldine Blanchard is vice president of Global Tours and Travel, at 559 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne. She can be reached at (321) 676-6040 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information, visit www.globaltours.com.