A 'bromantic' getaway: Why holidays with friends are the best way to go

friends drinking wine
A group of beautiful friends enjoying wine on holiday. These people aren't us, but they're much more attractive. Photo credit: Getty.

In the last few years, the group escape has come into its own as the best way to holiday.

The friend-centric getaway - or 'fretaway', as I like to call it - is something that can stir up a little anxiety. Perhaps it recalls memories, or lack thereof, of large group trips to R&V or camping up north, with five to a bed and no sleep to be had. 

But great news! We're adults now - and that means holidays with mates are far superior to those cheap RTD filled days of old.

The best way to do it is, of course, to rent a holiday pad - a house where you can spread out with friends. You get extra points for great views, ensuites and fireplaces to gather around; all things that aren't as expensive as it sounds once you split the cost.

This was the case during the recent long weekend, when the lovely people at Bookabach offered me the chance to get out of the city to an exotic overseas location.

Ok, Waiheke Island. But it's over some sea, technically.

Waiheke Island
Views of Waiheke's Palm Beach out the Master Bedroom window. Photo credit: Newshub.

Of course booking a holiday with friends raises that terrifying holiday conundrum we've all experienced:  One person ends up being the organiser and everyone puts in their own opinion without actually DOING anything about it, but they're unhappy with every decision made... Sorry I'm getting carried away.

But Bookabach are trying to fix that with their new Trip Board service - like Pinterest but for travelling with friends and family. Basically, holiday makers can save their favourite potential properties in one place, then share their boards with everyone in their travel group and invite them to add comments and vote on their favourites.

There are even app push notifications, which could get like a group chat on crack.

Luckily there were no such worries with this booking. I sent the house listing to my friends and was met with a resounding "yes please!" - A miracle of unprecedented agreement.

Bookabach house
The image of the house that received a resounding "yes please!"

Until this getaway I had been to Waiheke many, many times but had never stayed overnight on the island. I always thought it was an unnecessary expense, given the half hour ferry back to Auckland.

After two nights in a house overlooking the beach with my nearest and dearest, I'm forever cursed:  Staying on the island is the only way to go.

Waiheke home
We rested on the loungers on the upstairs balcony. Photo credit: Newshub.

We cooked breakfast together in the kitchen, curled up with cheese platters in the lounge, and anyone overwhelmed could pop away for a private bath or nap. You can enjoy as much extroverted energy or introverted solo time as you like. That's where houses come into their own for the dream group hang. Hotel rooms can simply not compare.

If you need some solo time - get a place with a giant bath overlooking the beach. Just a tip.
If you need some solo time - get a place with a giant bath overlooking the beach. Just a tip. Photo credit: Newshub.

We pootled our way to Stonyridge and Tantalus estates, and drank Pinot Noir and Espresso Martinis to a point where even the late ferry wouldn't have been an option. Instead we taxi'd back to our beautiful accommodation, got comfy on the couches, and boogied in the living room long into the evening.

Jetting away on a mini-break with your nearest and dearest means you can create special memories with a big group of loved ones. There are more people to capture special moments on film, more people to laugh at your jokes, more mouths to share food and drink with, and you can pop away for a nap without everyone having to banish everyone from the tent.

I can't recommend it highly enough - especially when it involves espresso martinis at Tantalus estate.

Also, if you forget your phone charger there will be like four people with the same one. Genius.

Sarah stayed on Waiheke Island with friends courtesy of Bookabach.