Over the past few years, "girlfriend getaways" have exploded in popularity and I am constantly bombarded with inquiries.

Why are these female-only vacations so popular?

That's simple.

Women realize how important and therapeutic it is to be accepted, comforted and encouraged by loyal girlfriends. We talk about everything. We eat, we drink, we get spoiled and we return home feeling renewed.

Here are a few of my favorite girlfriend getaway destinations :

*Cruising.

I recently returned home from a 7 day laugh-out-loud and seamless Western Caribbean sailing onboard "Princess Ruby". It was pampering and seamless from beginning to end - all we had to do was unpack and unwind. We flew roundtrip from HIA to Ft. Lauderdale and for one week we island hopped in total comfort. I chose Princess for this particular sailing because she has all the bells and whistles of a large ship - including excellent dining venues (Sabatini's and Crown Grill exceeded my expectations) , a wide variety of pampering services in the Lotus Spa and privacy at The Sanctuary, an adult-only haven for total relaxation. A premium cruise line, Princess Ruby was also a fantastic value for the dollar. (www.princess.com)

If it's all-inclusive, ultra luxury you want, on smaller vessels without the lines and crowds - you will never be disappointed onboard Seabourn (www.seabourn.com) ; Silversea (www.silverseacruises.com) or Regent Seven Seas Cruises (www.rssc.com). There has never been a better time to take advantage of a ultra-luxury cruise. If you think it's too expensive, think again. Don't make a decision until you compare the luxury lines with the premium or mass-market ships. You may surprise yourself and remember - everything is included. You and your girlfriends will be spoiled beyond belief from the moment you step onboard one of these dreamy cruise ships.

*Close to home.

Just hop onboard Amtrak's Keystone service from Harrisburg or Lancaster and plan a luxury getaway to the City of Brotherly Love. One of my all-time favorite walking cities - Philadelphia overflows with restaurants, shops, public art, museums…and history. Lots and lots of American history. And as far as luxury goes, what's not to love about the ultra-chic Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons AAA five-diamond award winning hotels. Both properties offer fine dining, award-winning spas (deep tissue massages at Richel D'Ambra Spa ( Ritz-Carlton) are coma-like) and lively lounge areas for specialty cocktails. (www.ritzcarlton.com) ; (www.fourseasons.com)

Nestled in the Pocono Mountains, The Lodge at Woodloch, is an outstanding AAA four-diamond spa resort. If you are looking for total rejuvenation in a gracious setting - you've found it. This is a "serious" spa, complete with every service imaginable and only serving organic (and delicious) "superfoods" in the lodge's restaurant, "Tree", overlooking the nearby treetops and offering lake views. (www.thelodgeatwoodloch.com)

Another AAA four-diamond property that I love is the Omni Bedford Springs Resort. This historic spa and golf resort began more than 200-years ago when eight mineral springs were discovered and proclaimed a fountain of youth and good health. The oh-so-pretty bedrooms and beautifully restored lobby area, indoor pool and outdoor fire pits specialize in girlfriend getaways. (www.omni.com)

We are so fortunate to have the beautiful Hotel Hershey in our backyard. Since 1933, The Hotel Hershey (AAA Four-Diamond) has set the standard as an elegant destination resort featuring the fabulous Chocolate Spa, world-class dining, live entertainment at the Hershey Theater, glorious gardens and the excitement of Hersheypark. Book one of the cottages, perfect for a group of girlfriends. (www.hotelhershey.com)